Music Review: Black Star Riders CD: The Killer Instinct


Available: February 20th, 2015

Label: Nuclear Blast

Official Websites:


Thin Lizzy has long been considered one of the more influential hard rock bands of the 70’s, the influences range from Iron Maiden to Guns n’ Roses to name just a few. However by the early the 80’s the band had split up and a few years later, singer/bass player Phil Lynott passed away ending any chance the band might reform with their signature leader.  Since then Thin Lizzy was carried on by other members of the band as a tribute to Phil but never really a full time affair.  Eventually the members out of respect for Phil thought it best to start their own band and leave the Thin Lizzy name for a pure tribute to Phil and not try to live off the name of Thin Lizzy while doing original material.  Thus Black Star Riders (BSR) was born and the band is ready to release their second full length album, ‘The Killer Instinct’. 

Back in December Nuclear Blast was kind enough to have me visit Helsinki and conduct an interview with Ricky and Damon of BSR to help promote the upcoming album.  I told them during the interview, which can be watched below, that if the album had come out in 2014, I would have considered it one of the best albums of the year.  The album is that good.

While this is not Thin Lizzy anymore the similarities are so pronounced you would think this was Thin Lizzy releasing a new album today.  With the opening track, ‘The Killer Instinct’ the band showcases how much talent they really have and what effect years in the music business can have in honing a musicians writing ability.  The song is a well crafted vessel of rock n’ roll that really delivers a contemporary production sound but with a classic rock sensibility that only bands who came up during that time period of the 70’s and 80’s can genuinely capture.

Other songs on the album such as ‘Finest Hour’, ‘Sex, Guns and Gasoline’ and ‘Through the Motions’ all cover subjects that you might expect from a classic rock band but without sounding cliché either.  Each of the songs on ‘The Killer Instinct’ are filled with great vocals, guitar riffs and hooks that a fan of Thin Lizzy and classic rock bands should go out and gobble up like a Thanksgiving Turkey and then cuddle up with for a long nap after watching the Detroit Lions get beat on TV.  While I couldn’t claim this album as the best of 2014, I can say while even though the year of 2015 is young this ranks right up there as one of the best this year.

Rating: 4.75/5

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