“Alright!” As an opening lyric, delivered with full on Kilmister growl, Blood Of The Sun not only pay tribute to a rock great, but set the scene of the whole album, where music is a celebration, and the band is front and centre to lead the festivities. ‘Keep the Lemmys Comin’ lead the bourbon fuelled and denim clad charge with chugging guitars, a pummelling rhythm section, and full on Seventies Hammond organ swirling like your vision after a night of partying. For the uninitiated a “Lemmy” is the name given to his favourite drink of so many decades, the complicated recipe normally interpreted as putting some ice in a large glass, covering with Jack Daniels, and then filling to top with full fat Coke, and repeating until, drunk, unconscious or diabetic (Incidentally, my local has a drink named in my honour, “The Spenny”; take a pint glass, add half a pint of scrumpy, and then fill to the brim with more scrumpy. It’s a complicated concoction, but feel free to buy me one if ever we meet dear reader.).
The party continues unabated with ‘My Time’, a number that harkens back to the classic age of hard rock; if it weren’t for the fact that I was already familiar with the band from their prior releases (was it really as long ago as 2012 that I bought ‘Burning On The Wings Of Desire’?) it would be oh so easy to imagine this was a release from the Rise Above Relics label, and that Blood Of The Sun were erstwhile tour mates of Free back in the day rather than the ever evolving musical project of Messrs Gryder and Vasquez, the only constant members of the band and keyboard wizard and pounder of the skins respectively. Leaving no time to breath the band then fire into ‘Livin’ For The Night’, with the spirit of Rainbow flying high, but with the addition of a second guitar leading to some fine duelling solos, all before the strings are trumped by Mr Gryder, ably demonstrating that his fingers are every bit as dextrous as those of the axe-men as he goes full Jon Lord on them. A truly epic number that clocks in at well over the eight minute mark, but with the shear energy on display it seems to fly past in under half the time without so much as a hint of padding, and just when you think the band must have nowhere left to go, they managed to turn the dials to eleven with the even more massive sounding ‘Air Rises As You Drown’, a huge slab of massive stadium filling rock. If the year were closer to 1970 than it is to 2020, Blood Of The Sun could easily be filling assorted enormo-domes across the world, with the likes of Bad Company as special guests. Sadly this sort of music is no longer in vogue, and most stadia are instead almost exclusively the prowling grounds of the bland, the autotuned, and the manufactured.
Damn, I seem to have depressed myself with dark thought of the likes of Coldplay and Bieber, but fortunately with the ‘Blood’s Thicker Than Love’ CD still spinning, ‘Stained Glass Window’ pours forth from the speakers with a tidal wave of good time blues, combining the guitar boogie of Billy Gibbons and the funky keyboard skills of Steve Winwood, and bonus points for anyone who ever guessed that Mr Winwood would be referenced on Ave Noctum. Time is called on the proceedings with ‘Blood Of The Road’, and the hard rock staple of a story of the miles of travelling that a working band travel to bring their show to the fans, and it’s a tale that the band tell with an undiminished fire, passion, and bombast. Only six tracks fill this album, and it is truly an album that the replay button could pretty much have been invented for. If you’re already a fan of Blood Of The Sun, this album shows that they have not lost any of the fire in their bellies; if it your introduction to them, your ears are in for a treat and your wallet is in for a battering as you will be hunting out their back catalogue after hearing this beauty.