Following the departure of Damon Johnson last year, the band recruited new axeman Christian Martucci, who joins the three-pronged attack alongside stalwarts Scott Gorham and frontman Ricky Warwick – upon which the band entered the studio to commence a new chapter in the group’s history.
Opening track ‘Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down’ is maybe not your textbook BSR number, but it’s certainly a welcome addition to their repertoire. The band’s twin guitar assault is still present, whilst the introduction of saxophone in the latter stages of the song adds a nice texture to the number.
Recent radio playlisted singles such as the Celtic tinged ‘Ain’t The End of the World’ and the anthemic ‘Another State of Grace’ are the kind of staple crowd-pleasers we’ve come to know and love from Black Star Riders. ‘Underneath The Afterglow’ continues in a similar vein.
The funky Hammond/keys intro to ‘Soldier In The Ghetto’ is again a little bit different for BSR. However, it works and adds a nice classic rock quality to the song where required. The band switch things up somewhat with power ballad ‘Why Do You Love Your Guns’, before returning to business as usual with ‘Standing In The Line of Fire’.
With lines like ‘Hey Mr President are you watching’ there is a bit more of a political context to the hard-rocking ‘In The Shadow of the War Machine’. Again one of the many standout tracks on the record.
Black Star Riders push the album over the finish line with ‘Poisoned Heart’. A perfect conclusion to the album and a further contender for a future single we think.
With Another State of Grace, Black Star Riders have broadened their horizons and certainly flexed their creative muscles in the studio adding to and reinforcing their existing musical DNA.
Black Star Riders – Another State of Grace – is out now via Nuclear Blast