Black Star Riders – Heavy Fire

0005926333_200Out of the ashes of the Thin Lizzy tribute act that guitarist Scott Gorham and guitarist and lead singer John Sykes once started came Black Star Riders. When the band went into the studio back in 2012 to record their debut album, they were still called Thin Lizzy, something that in all honesty left a somewhat bitter after taste in the mouth. To release an album of newly written material under the Thin Lizzy moniker without the late Philip Lynott wouldn’t have been the right choice – in fact, there was a big risk that no matter how good and Lizzy sounding said album would have been, it would still have left the Thin Lizzy name bedraggled and it would probably have discouraged many Lizzy fans from even giving that record a fair chance. Thankfully Scott & co. realized that as well and changed the name of the band. But the Lizzy comparisons remained and not only because of Gorham’s past but because most of the songs were written with Lizzy in mind and therefore had a huge Thin Lizzy vibe to them and lead singer / rhythm guitarist Ricky Warwick (ex- The Almighty) seemed to try hard to sing in a Lynott kind of way. Well, that mattered little because I thought – and still think – that All Hell Breaks Loose (2013) is a brilliant album. When it was time to release the follow-up, The Killer Instinct (2015), the band had moved away some from the most obvious Lizzy-like moments even though there was lots of it still present. I loved that album too and to be frank, I thought it was even slightly better than the debut. With album number three, I found it interesting to see if the band had dropped the Lizzy vibes furthermore – and of course, if they had managed to once again release another killer album.

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