When you start off an album with a song that's as immediately addicting as "Heavy Fire", you know you are in for a rousing good time, and that's clearly the case with the third release from Black Star Riders, also titled Heavy Fire. Thin Lizzy legend Scott Gorham, along with singer Ricky Warwick, guitarist Damon Johnson, bassist Robbie Crane, and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, started up BSR back in 2012 as the modern continuation of the Lizzy story, and with their third album for Nuclear Blast, they seem to have really hit their stride.
Once you get past that kick ass opening title track, the highlights keep coming. "When the Night Comes In" and "Dancing with the Wrong Girl" are both Lizzy inspired rockers, long on tasty dual guitar licks and Warwick's emotional vocals. "Who Rides the Tiger" is one of the heaviest songs this band has recorded, a crunchy rocker complete with some sizzling lead guitar work and beefy riffs, while Warwick channels the late Phil Lynnott on the heartfelt ballad "Cold War Love" as well as the bluesy rocker "Testify or Say Goodbye". Crane's thick bass grooves permeate the hard rocker "Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed", another great vehicle for Gorham & Johnson to unload some guitar thunder, as they also do quite well on the scorching cuts "True Blue Kid" and "Letting Go of Me". For a more tender side to the band, the lovely "Fade" closes out the album in romantic style, with poignant vocal harmonies and tasty guitar work leading the charge in classy fashion, the bands ability to drop in an emotional pop song amid all the guitar histrionics a nice way to cap things off here.
Heavy Fire is ultimately less an album about the shadow of Thin Lizzy (though of course that influence can no way be avoided) and more about a band settling into their new identity and creating their own legacy. Either way you look it at, Black Star Riders have put together a very strong hard rock record here that proves they are indeed a force to be reckoned with.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01. Heavy Fire
02. When the Night Comes In
03. Dancing with the Wrong Girl
04. Who Rides the Tiger
05. Cold War Love
06. Testify or Say Goodbye
07. Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
08. True Blue Kid
09. Ticket to Rise
10. Letting Go of Me