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Black Star Riders

Heavy Fire: Ltd. Edition Embossed Digibook


Sorry Sold Out

Release Date: 3 February, 2017

There’s a beautiful purity to the finest rock ‘n’ roll, a thrilling simplicity in striking an over-amplified guitar chord, a transcendent joy in getting high on just volume, adrenaline and a backbeat. Black Star Riders, lifers in an industry less secure than a secret in a soap opera, understand this, which is why Heavy Fire, the quintet’s third album for Nuclear Blast, sounds so fresh and exhilarating and alive.

Recorded with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Deftones, Rush) at Rock Falcon Studio in Franklin, Tennessee, the follow up to BSR’s acclaimed 2015 release The Killer Instinct, finds the quintet – frontman Ricky Warwick, guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson, bassist Robbie Crane and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso – in electric form, crashing through 10 tracks of swaggering, life-affirming hard rock with a shared passion and power both irresistible and inspiring. It’s another compelling chapter in the storied career of a band Classic Rock magazine hails as “the most vital classic rock act on the circuit.”

Due to the strength of their respective CV – Warwick having previously fronted The Almighty and Johnson known for his work with Alice Cooper and Brother Cane - Black Star Riders were initially billed as a ‘supergroup’, but eighteen months on the road supporting All Hell Breaks Loose bore witness to the fact that this was a genuine band of brothers, not a vehicle for inflated rock star egos. The release of The Killer Instinct, the group’s second album for Nuclear Blast, in February 2015, was concrete proof of this, featuring as it did a spectacular arsenal of songs, instant fan favourites Blindsided, Soldierstown and Radio 2 ‘Record of the Week’ Finest Hour among them, which illustrated that Black Star Riders were no longer content to merely stand on the shoulders of giants.

That notion is hammered home emphatically by Heavy Fire, the group’s third long-form collection. From the Warwick/Johnson/Gorham-penned title track to the euphoric, driving Letting Go Of Me, this is a superior hard rock set, 10 songs with their feet in the gutter but their eyes firmly fixed on the stars. Like Phil Lynott, Northern Ireland-born Ricky Warwick is a gifted storyteller, and his sharp, allusive observations on the human condition coupled with an ingrained empathy for the disaffected, the marginalised, the troubled and the voiceless, shines through on the likes of the Van Morrison-tinged Cold War Love, the deceptively-upbeat Dancing With The Wrong Girl and the tense, cautionary Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed, inspired by a conversation with a homeless Vietnam Vet. The album touches on matters both personal and political – Warwick describes Ticket To Rise as “a warning shot across the bows of a relative, to say ‘Think about the path you’re taking’” while Ride The Tiger is the singer’s seething indictment of the madness of America’s gun laws – while retaining a basic faith in humanity’s ability to cope with whatever obstacles might hurl at us.

“I don’t think there’s another band out there doing what we’re doing,” Gorham says. “And I think there’s a value to what we do. If you stood where I stand night after night, looking out at phenomenal crowds losing their minds to a rock ‘n’ roll band, it still looks like rock ‘n’ roll has something to say, and a big part to play in people’s lives. I was lucky enough to be in a great rock band with Lizzy, and I’m fortunate too to be part of another great band with Black Star Riders. We’ll always have a debt to our past, spiritually and musically, but this is a band focussed very much on the future.”

1. Heavy Fire
2. When The Night Comes In
3. Dancing With The Wrong Girl 4. Who Rides The Tiger
5. Cold War Love
6. Testify Or Say Goodbye
7. Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
8. True Blue Kid
9. Ticket To Rise
10. Letting Go Of Me
Bonus Track
11. Fade

Nuclear Blast
CD Album