Heavy Fire is the third album by Hard Rock/Heavy Metal group Black Star Riders and was released February 3rd, 2017. Black Star Riders are essentially the new Thin Lizzy today just dropping the name considering Scott Gorham is the sole original member it made sense. Their last two albums were great Hard Rock that had the sound that Thin Lizzy laid the way for back in the day. However with three albums in can the band make themselves still sound fresh?
1.Heavy Fire-Opening with a really nice mid paced groove rock tune. I really like the production right away as you can hear every instrument very evenly. I dig the modern rock sound you kind of get with a song like this but holy hell that chorus is so strong I cant help but sing to it every time I hear it. This is a very strong opener that shows what the band is all about. Groovy hard rock with hooks aplenty.
2.When The Night Comes In- There is a slight ACDC mixed with Thin Lizzys pub rock (Well obviously) but it doesn’t make it feel like a ripoff Lizzy song in fact it is very solid and the harmonies during the chorus are very on point and hooks you right from the get go. This is one of my favorites on the album its one of those songs you blare going 90 on the highway.
3.Dancing With The Wrong Girl-This song has more of that bluesy groove to it but still sticking to a mid paced melodic groove as well. This is so far the most melodic song on the album but it still kicks you in the guts with a mix of a solid production and equally structured song writing abilities and musicianship.
4.Who Rides The Tiger- Another more fast paced tune akin to the title track but the verses have a very southern rock feel to them that I really dig. It sounds very modern rock especially in Ricky Warwicks vocals but Black Star Riders have this charm that you don’t find in modern rock bands playing a similar style (they also don’t have Scott fucking Gorham either).
5.Cold War Love-This song has a softer and way more melodic tone to it, definitely a song that would have made its rotations on FM radio back in the day. I actually really dig this song as well it’s written very well with a lot of hooks that aren’t forgettable like a lot of more modern bands today and keeps you interested as it does change up the pace in the album without going too slow on everyone.
6.Testify Or Say Goodbye- The double lead harmonies are all over this tune and its nice to see them here as well. This song goes for the more melodic hard rock the album mainly goes for with some awesome Hammond organ in the background as well. Another solid written song.
7.Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed-I dig the funky nature of this tune with the bass almost sitting right in front. It has that more 70’s funky hard rock feel to it that wouldn’t be out of place on one of the Thin Lizzy’s late 70s albums.
8.True Blue Kid- Damn this song is so 70’s I feel like im listening to something from 76′ rerecorded in 2017. It just has the funkiness yet hard rock/radio rock that was so profound of that decade. It is a good mid paced rock tune that has a lot of different parts to it that make it unique enough to stand out.
9.Ticket To Rise-This song has more of a pub rock feel to it, something you’d definitely hear in the local bar. There are some even bad ass backup vocals as well that give the song even more of a melodic edge to itself. Overall, it’s a good tune with some different hooks to it that’ll keep you humming those lines for days.
10.Letting Go Of Me-Ending with a more bumping rocker, this is another really powerful song akin to the first few tracks and ends the album on a really high note that keeps the band firing on all cylinders. The hooks are as big as they can be and the rhythms keep chugging through and one of my favorite solos burst out in a jam mid way through the song. Definitely one of the best tunes on the album.
Overall, I give Heavy Fire an 8 out 10. For their third album, Black Star Riders prove that in 2017, catchy, hard hitting pub rock is just as good as it ever was back in the day. Scott Gorham and gang have given us another album that even though it borrows from what Thin Lizzy laid down, it manages to be it’s own thing in the modern day and retains that this is rock n roll and it’s very much alive.