New Releases by Black Star Riders and Sabaton

Reviews of new music.

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 Black Star Riders
All Hell Breaks Loose
Nuclear Blast

What we have here is the most recent lineup of Thin Lizzy having what basically amounts to a conscience-call from deep within the deepest crevices of their collective mind. They wanted to go into the studio and record a new album, but realized that it’s one thing to go out on tour using the Thin Lizzy name, but putting out new material under that moniker would leave a nasty taste. So they didn’t. The band, led by Scott Gorham and former Almighty frontman Ricky Warwick, has used this all-new Black Star Riders name to put out an album that sounds like Thin Lizzy jamming with the Almighty. Warwick is no slouch, but he’s no Phil Lynott either. To be fair, he wouldn’t claim to be. The most Lizzy-like tune is “Bound for Glory,” with Warwick searching the depths of his soul for every last drop of whiskey-fueled, storytelling ability. 

Swedish Empire Live
Nuclear Blast 

Oh, shit. Sabaton might well be the best metal band that you’ve never heard of. The Swedish power metal troupe harnesses the glorious, overblown sound of Powerslave-era Iron Maiden, plus Manowar and Dragonforce. The synths share equal billing with the guitars, hammering home the operatic, symphonic, beautiful nonsense. This here is a CD/DVD live double-disc album. The CD and first half of the DVD contain a Woodstock Festival set, while the DVD is bulked out with tunes from various cities on tour. Therefore, you get to hear songs like “Ghost Division,” “Gott Mit Uns” and “Metal Crüe” three times. The lyrics aren’t always as silly as the music might suggest; you’re expecting dungeons and dragons and instead you get Nazis and war. But it’s all so over-the-top, even when we’re hearing about “Warsaw, a city at war,” that it’s practically impossible to scrub a big, silly grin off your face.

“All Together, we all stand united, Gott mitt uns.” We don’t know what it means, but count us in. 

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