Album Review of “Heavy Fire” by Black Star Riders
By Mike Moscato
Thin Lizzy was one of those underrated bands from the 70s, a little before the time I started listening to and buying albums on my own, but when I heard them, I thought they were great. When I was approached to do this review of an album for former Lizzy members, I jumped at the chance!
Black Star Riders are Ricky Warwick on vocals, Scott Gorham/guitars, Damon Johnson/guitars, Robbie Crane/bass and Jimmy DeGrasso/drums. Scott Gorham had been with Thin Lizzy from 1974 to 1984 (also after 1996), and is credited with helping to develop their twin lead guitar style as well. Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson were the newest Lizzy members, joining the band in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
The band was formed under the new name out of Thin Lizzy in 2012, and had two previous albums – All Hell Breaks Loose (2013) and The Killer Instinct (2015). Heavy Fire was produced this year by Nick Raskulinecz who has worked with Foo Fighters, Deftones and Rush in the past.
“Cold War Love” (track 5) really hit me emotionally. I truly think Phil Lynott was being “channeled” through Warwick, because it made me totally fall in love with this band. I cannot say enough about this song! “Thinking About You” comes out with a great heavy bass intro, and “True Blue Kid” comes out punching, a similar characteristic of many of the songs. One of the best lines on the album is on track 9, “Ticket To Rise” – “I’ve been a saint, a sinner, a healer, a heathen, streetwalker, sky-rider, gambler and dealer….”
“Heavy Fire” tells some great stories, even a few political ideas are presented, and Ricky Warwick does a fantastic job of getting the message across. This is one superior rock band, and I am fairly certain that nobody is doing what they are doing. Personally, I cannot wait to see the band live!