Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose


Review by Ian Savage

Nuclear Blast

‘Eagerly anticipated’ doesn’t even begin to cover this album. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, Black Star Riders formed out of the Ricky Warwick-fronted lineup of Thin Lizzy in late 2012 when original guitarist Scott Gorham opted against using the Lizzy name for new material. This was compounded by drummer Brian Downey’s decision to pull out of the band unwilling to commit to heavy touring; as a result, despite the Lizzy-related hype surrounding All Hell Breaks Loose, it only features Gorham from any studio incarnation of the band.

The connection wasn’t weakened in any way by the release of ‘Bound For Glory’ as the lead single from the album in March – the harmonised guitars, the strident bass, even Warwick’s vocal inflections mark it as a natural successor to classic era Lizzy. Anyone buying All Hell Breaks Loose for that won’t be disappointed, but there’s plenty more strings to Black Star Riders’ collective bow than re-hashing the past.

The opening title track is a punchy slab of rock and roll in its own right, with a chorus hook you could land a Great White with and a barnstorming solo; ‘Kingdom Of The Lost’ lends a nice Irish infusion (despite the majority of the band being American); ‘Sometime Salvation’ will be charted territory to anyone familiar with Warwick’s solo output. There’s occasional clunkiness both musically and lyrically (Ricky, did you really just rhyme ‘on this bed’ with ‘you in my head’?) which prevents this from being a ten-out-of-ten album for me; however, my editor agrees with my original five-word review and said I could include it:

F*ck me, this is good!

Get it.

Black Star Riders – All Hell Breaks Loose9 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. All Hell Breaks Loose
  2. Bound For Glory
  3. Kingdom Of The Lost
  4. Bloodshot
  5. Kissin’ The Ground
  6. Hey Judas
  7. Hoodoo Voodoo
  8. Valley Of The Stones
  9. Someday Salvation
  10. Before The War
  11. Blues Ain’t So Bad



  1. There are that many bands doing Lizzy style songs these days, why not a record with members of the actual band – It’s a Catch-22 situation for those involved but I think they delivered. Mind you, I’d’ve rhymed “bed” with “giving head”… Shows how low I sink.

  2. I feel ashamed to say but I don’t like it that much….Had it for about 6 weeks so I’ve given it plenty of time to sink in and come to the conclusion that it sounds hurried and a little cliche. If they had spent 6 more months on it, it could have been a very different album. There’s not enough memorable stuff on there to get the crowd going at a gig apart from the first single. I love what they propose and admire the respect they have show to the Thin Lizzy legacy by releasing all in but name a Thin Lizzy album. Maybe when I see them play the songs live it’ll all click into place.

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