Black Star Riders
All Hell Breaks Loose
(Nuclear Blast Records)

As a diehard Thin Lizzy fan, I’ve been looking forward to this album ever since I saw them live and was blown away at how good these guys work together.  Black Star Riders isn’t just a money-grab by ex-Thin Lizzy members; the band only contains one original member of Thin Lizzy, lead guitarist Scott Gorham. First off, I applaud them for changing the band name and trying to branch out on their own merit, but honestly, this album is so good, it doesn’t matter what they call it, it’s a fantastic rock n’ roll record.

The album has a few moments that are homage’s to Thin Lizzy’s legacy, particularly on “Bound For Glory”, but for the most part, they forge their own territory. One of my favorite aspects of the album is its lyrics courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Ricky Warwick. On tracks like “Kingdom Of The Lost”, “Valley Of The Stones” and “Blues Ain’t So Bad”, the lyrics tell very interesting and engaging stories that make me actually pay attention to them, which isn’t always the case for me. Musically, the album has a genuinely fun rock n’ roll swing on tracks like “Hoodoo Voodoo” and “Blood Shot” and on “Hey Judas”, Warwick shows an incredible ability to craft preposterously catchy hooks.

Overall, Black Star Riders are a great band and stand very well on their own. In fact, had I not known Scott Gorham was the lead guitarist in this band, I would still be very interested in it. The other important thing to note about this album is that unlike other rock bands featuring veteran musicians nowadays, they successfully avoid the “old guy rock” sound thanks to Kevin Shirley’s solid production job and a plethora of lyrics and riffs that are memorable and not cheesy. (Brandon Ringo)

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