on 3 June 2013
Having blasted the classic 'Bound for Glory' over the last few weeks on Planet Rock, I was looking forward to an entire LP of classic 70's Lizzy. Saving the CD for my commute home - long enough to listen to the whole album a couple of times without the Mrs having a moan...I set off with the volume cranked suitably.
Two cracking tracks to start with (the second is 'BFG'), I then felt a tinge of disappointment as the remaing tracks appeared to fall some way short of the 'Jailbreak II' I was hoping for. However, as the CD started to spin for the second time, the whole album started to grow on me and I began hearing hooks and melodies that had been missed on the first spin.
I can't remember the last time a Lizzy LP took a couple of listens to confirm it was classic status, but we'll forgive Scott and Co for this one - a fine effort without the main man at the helm - good job - the boys are certainly in the suburbs at least...
on 31 May 2013
The classic Thin Lizzy sound lives on in the Black Star Riders.
People might get hung up on who is/is not in the band, but, when it comes down to it, all that really matters is how the album sounds....and this one rocks.
Hearing echoes of the Johnny The Fox/Bad Reputation albums (with a splash of Emerald)- loving it! Scott Gorham has put together a great band, most of whom have toured as Thin Lizzy (great gig, lads).
If you like Thin Lizzy, then you should give this album a listen.
Raising a glass to Phil. Slainte!
on 27 May 2013
When work began on this album it was going to appear under the Thin Lizzy name. Trying to please all the Lizzy fans and do justice to the memory of Philip Lynott must have been an unusual and specific pressure directing the writing of the new songs. With a change of name, and in the line up, 'All Hell Breaks Loose' can be viewed as a transitional album that allows the new band to discover who they are and establish the identity of Black Star Riders in its own right. What will be really interesting will be to see the direction they choose to take things in on future albums. Thin Lizzy have always been known as a live band and that will no doubt continue with Black Star Riders who are already committed to a heavy touring schedule for the rest of 2013. Many of the tracks here come with built in opportunities for the audience to sing right back at them.
Opening with the legendary dual guitars, the title track is something of a surprise as it is not as aggressive as its name might suggest. The anthemic single 'Bound for Glory' that fans are already familiar with is up next. This gives us the first of Damon Johnson's killer guitar solos. Ricky Warwick has a voice that is both powerful and melodic, shown off to its very best advantage here, singing his own lyrics. 'Kingdom of the Lost' has wonderful Celtic feel with Ricky looking back to his Northern Irish roots.
With 'Bloodshot' and 'Blues Ain't So Bad' Scott Gorham silences those who have in the past questioned his contribution to the writing for Thin Lizzy. After the pulsating high energy of 'Kissin' the Ground' things get slowed down just a little with the brooding lyrics of 'Hey Judas.' The driving 'Before the War' continues the war theme established early on. Drummer Jimmy DeGrasso has wasted no time getting to work on the rhythm section with Marco Mendoza. This new partnership comes into its own on 'Bloodshot' and 'Blues Ain't So Bad.'
Picking favourites is difficult, but from first hearing 'Valley of the Stones' has been right up there. Every track has its own merits, but after just a few hearings I would add to that 'Bloodshot' and 'Blues Ain't So Bad.' On first hearing 'Hoodoo Voodoo' and 'Someday Salvation' didn't work quite as successfully for me, but several listens in, the little devils are worming their way into my brain.
The Special Edition comes with the bonus track 'Right to be Wrong' - well worth paying a bit extra to get this one. The `Making Of' DVD is also well worth having. It gives some really interesting insights into the songs, and how everything came together. It also works well to introduce Jimmy to the fans.
With this album Black Star Riders announce their arrival - a force to be reckoned with, with the Thin Lizzy spirit running through it. Warwick/Johnson will be a partnership to be looking for in the writing credits for years to come. I defy anyone not to be dancing round the room while listening to All Hell Breaks Loose (Air guitarists - I leave that to your discretion.)
on 27 May 2013
The current members of Thin Lizzy continuing the legacy of the band after the legend Phil Lynott through many line-ups and tour, decided to do an album but with different name. Hence, Black Star Riders with this stunning classic rock album All Hell Breaks Loose.
Thin Lizzy is no Thin Lizzy without Phil Lynott. Here, Scott Gorham on guitar is the only remaining and long term band member who has worked with Phil. Ricky Warwick on vocal, Damon Johnson on guitar and Marco Mendoza on bass (not to be confused with Marc 'The Animal' Mendoza of Twisted Sister), they all joined long after Phil. Brian Downey, the only original member along with Phil until the last stand, didn't stay with Black Star Riders and Jimmy DeGrasso replaced him on drums. So, that's Black Star Riders, a new band or Thin Lizzy reincarnated or evolved and Kevin Shirley, who has worked on great albums with Aerosmith, Journey, Iron Maiden, Joe Bonamassa, etc., producing the debut album.
When I discovered Thin Lizzy in the late 80's, Phil Lynott had already left us. That was 'Live Life' the double cassette, my first Lizzy album. I still listen to their music wishing Phil was still alive. Bound For Glory, typical Lizzy style track chosen by band members for airplay, is resemblance to Boys Are Back In Town and/or Waiting For An Alibi. When I close my eyes, I can hear Phil in Ricky Warwick's voice. Ricky is a marvellous singer. Even Gary Moore can be felt as in the celtic style number 'Kingdom Of The Lost' which reminds me of Wild Frontier. From top to bottom the album just rocks, rocks and rocks. Other of my favourites are self-titled opener, Bloodshot, Kissin' The Ground, Hoodoo Voodoo and Valley Of The Stones. It's playing more growing rapidly. Hey Judas is my personal favourite. The name may sound like anti-christ but it's not. It's about Jesus still loving Judas even after what he did.
The special edition disc comes in a beautiful silver booklet consisting of pages full of lyrics, production info and stunning photographs of the band. On the left pouch goes audio CD with one bonus track making it 12 in total and on the right pouch goes DVD containing one hour long making of the album mostly interviews. On the package it says, 'Songs that could slip onto a Thin Lizzy album and stand shoulder to shoulder with almost anything there' by Classic Rock. I could not agree more.
All Hell Breaks Loose is one of the best rock albums I am listening to these recent days. Others being Now What?! by Deep Purple, The Way Life Goes by Tom Keifer (Cinderella), Unstoppable Momentum by Joe Satriani to name a few.
Thin Lizzy rocks! So does Black Star Riders!
Rock 'N' Roll \,,/,
on 17 January 2014
*Loved* the album. Phil's influence is apparent and celebrated - as it really should be. I'm so glad they didn't shy away from that. Scott's presence (& Marco Mendoza now) ensured authentic tones, harmonies and sound but I greatly enjoyed the writing & playing contributions of the vocalist (& sometimes guitarist) Ricky Warwick (he does sound remarkably like Phil, in a good way) and the extremely talented guitarist/writer, Damon Johnson, who really does come over as a genuine fan of Lizzy, striking some Robbo-style shapes and playing beautifully Celtic guitar lines -- particular enjoyed the acoustic numbers on youtube. It was great to hear this new material, which is surprisingly good. "You've got to give a little love
To those who love to live" - not forgetting love too for drummer Jimmy DeGrasso ;) - it is only in hindsight that I have learned to appreciate the greatness/perfection of Brian Downey's playing. This album proudly carries the Thin Lizzy hallmarks - in an entirely good way.
Great artwork & hardback packaging - although the type is too small for my poor old eyes :( -- its tempting to get the vinyl album version with a proper full size cover. Getting the DVD for an extra £1 is a good investment. I've become a fan :) Heck, I even bought their sweatshirt - and that is remarkable!
The first real Hard/Classic Rock album in 30 years? I think it might be, for me anyhow. There is something magic here. Brilliant!