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BLACK STAR RIDERS - Another State of Grace

Release date Sept 6/19 (Nuclear Blast)

The Mighty Decibel's #1 hard rock album of 2019!!!

Black Star Riders (BSR) return with their fourth studio album, and a good one it is. Emerging from the last touring incarnation of Thin Lizzy, guitarist Scott Gorham and vocalist Ricky Warwick have put together one of the best and most consistent hard rock bands presently making the rounds.

BSR have a sound that has evolved from their legendary origins, and while it is probably mature enough to grab a radio audience, it is not so commercial that metal heads would look down their noses at it. The writing and performance are all extremely professional and well crafted.

The first three songs, “Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down”, “Another State of Grace” and “Ain’t the End of the World” all have the signature Thin Lizzy guitar sound and vocal style, and their placement at the beginning of the album must have been intentional, meant to grab the attention of old fans. After that, the writing style diverges, but the quality does not dip, with the exception of the somewhat lackluster power ballad “Why Do You Love Your Guns?”, but even that song isn’t bad.

Other standout songs on the 10 track, 39 minute album include “Poisoned Heart”, “Standing in the Line of Fire” and “Underneath the Afterglow”. All are good, solid, hard rock of the type that was abundant in the early 1980s with bands like UFO, Whitesnake and Aerosmith, but which seem to be less prevalent these days.

You don’t have to be old to enjoy this (although that may help), but anyone with an appreciation for high quality hard rock will enjoy this effort, along with the three previous BSR albums. Give it a spin when you have friends over who aren’t into death metal, they'll thank you.

(8.5)

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