Black Star Riders, Heavy Fire. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

There is no reason to believe that Rock will ever die, it doesn’t even seem to exist in a world where it never truly goes out of fashion or sits uncomfortably in the shadows having disappeared into a void of distaste or despair. If Rock can never die then it should come as no surprise that the music that is fluid and robust should at times remind you not only of the best of times but of those once inhabited by the music of the past five decades.

The players may change, the line ups flowing and often elegant, yet the music sounds strong, as meaty as an overfilled steak pie, as smooth as a glass and as reflective as mirror shining light into that void that has claimed Blues and Jazz at some point and tries its damndest to take Folk and every other genre at gunpoint, the trigger cocked but there is no bullet for rock it seems.

For the Black Star Riders, Rock is an icon passed down through Time, it has been assaulted it has come under Heavy Fire from a lot of cynics but it has endured, it is the present from West Bromwich born and Ireland raised Phil Lynott and given with honour to what is essentially the next stage of evolution, Rock may pass on but it never dies.

The band’s latest album, Heavy Fire is an arsenal, a fire breathing dragon so pumped that takes on anything in its path and leads the resulting cinders and ash to be swept up later, the heat just too much to handle at first.

Tracks such as When The Night Comes In, the excellent Dancing With The Wrong Girl, Testify or Say Goodbye and Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed are more than honouring the late great Phil Lynott, they speak for themselves as being part of a great group’s wonderful savage beauty; a kick against the dragon perhaps, placing trust in the scaly mythical creature enough to sit on it and ride the sky, the trailblazer hoping to let Rock speak with exact and elusive dominance.

Heavy Fire is an album that lives in the tradition of Rock, it is big, it is fluid but it never forgets the heartstrings of where it comes from and the influences it has breathed.

Ian D. Hall