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Black Star Riders
Killer Instinct

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2015
Genre: Hard Rock, traditional
Reviewer: Eric Compton
  • A nearly perfect debut album



  • I know the band collectively plays live as the nostalgic Thin Lizzy but the group decided any new studio work shouldn't be under the Lizzy name to honor Phil Lynott and his legacy. I get that and appreciate the preservation but 'Killer Instinct' and the BSR debut 'All Hell Breaks Loose' (2013) are both extremely conversant with Thin Lizzy's sound and ARE essentially Thin Lizzy. Irish front man Ricky Warwick (The Almighty) sounds identical to Lynott and Scott Gorham, the only original band member that played on a Lizzy studio album, continues the same guitar tones and riff stylings that he used on 'Fighting' and 'Bad Reputation'. Cuts like 'Bullet Blues' has that instant accessibility through the addictive chorus, backed by twin guitar melody. It's free, it's lively, it is Thin Lizzy in spirit and song. The wartorn "Soldierstown" is reminiscent of "Angel of Death", an effective guitar lead at the beginning that leads into an Irish sing along. "Sex, Guns & Gasoline" uses robust percussion and busy cymbal work to tell the tale of fugitives and motorcycles. Overall, a stellar piece of work that continues the Thin Lizzy legacy and improves on a nearly perfect debut album.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

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    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BLACK STAR RIDERS
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Heavy FireBlack Star Riders
    2017
    Eric Compton2/27/2017
    Killer InstinctBlack Star Riders
    2015
    Eric Compton4/2/2015


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: BLACK STAR RIDERS

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