banner ad
banner ad
banner ad


| 16 February 2015 | Reply

Nuclear Blast
20 February, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Black Star Riders - The Killer Instinct cover

Let’s get formalities out of the way up front: you should already know that Black Star Riders was the original incarnation of the last Thin Lizzy line-up, led by classic-era-veteran Scott Gorham and singer Ricky Warwick, a veteran of biker metal band The Almighty who also has a couple of solo albums under his belt.

A extension of the late Thin Lizzy the band may be, but they stride confidently into their second album with style and a uniqueness which – yes – does owe something to the late, great Phil Lynott and the band he invested his life (literally) in, but is also evolving into something different and very special. It is, to quote Gorham, “a step up in the evolution” of the band.

Debut album All Hell Breaks Loose was the sound of a band whose dam walls had broken – after several years touring playing the Lizzy classics they finally let their originals loose. That album was laid down in under two weeks, astonishingly fast for as mighty a record. The Killer Instinct took just under double that time – 21 days, and the extra time gave the band more time to craft these recordings and give them sonic depth. What they’ve delivered is nothing short of the first truly excellent album of the year.

With Nick Raskulinecz twiddling the dials (Foo Fighters, Mastodon, Alice In Chains, Rush), and guitarist and co-songwriter with Warwick, Damon Johnston and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso returning from the first BSR album, all that remained was to find a bass player who could replace effervescent star Marco Mendoza, who left to pursue his work with his own band and The Dead Daisies. Enter ex-Ratt, Vince Neil and Lynch Mob rumbler Robbie Crane.

You can hear the band members’ collective experience on The Killer Instinct, as well as the results of their relentless gigging over the past couple of years – these cats are tight, man.

Running the gamut from denim & leather rockers (The Killer Instinct, Bullet Blues, You Little Liar) to Celtic-tinged stompers (Turn In Your Arms, Soldierstown) and even a slow-burning epic (Blindsided) , The Killer Instinct showcases great performances from all involved.

More importantly, it proves these old dogs still have teeth to take a bite out of it, and the promise of more music – and more evolution – from them is exciting indeed.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad