Blackthorne – Afterlife

Spread the metal:

Blackthorns - AfterlifeBlackthorne – Afterlife
Year: 2018
Label: HNE Records
Reviewed:  January 2019
Rating:  3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

A while back I reviewed the reissue of the Murderer’s Row album. It is almost destiny to have to review this album as well because the two are inextricably linked, sort of like evil step-sisters.   You may want to read the November 2018 review for some background.  The short version is that Blackthorne eventually became Murderer’s Row.

Back in the glory days of metal, the mid-90’s there were all sorts of fun innovative bands popping up, especially 80’s super-groups like Freakshow, Mother’s Army, Stream and more. Blackthorne was one of those super-groups and the fine folks at HNE Recordings / Cherry Red have reissued this album with three bonus tracks. Originally released in 1993 Blackthorne was Graham Bonnet, Bruce Kulick, Chuck Wright, Jimmy Waldo and Frankie Banali.  That is a ton of fire-power in one band!

The reissue is very well done, lots of photos, reviews, and a long essay by Malcolm Dome about the band.  Care and thought were put into the presentation.   The bonus tracks are from an acoustic live performance for a TV show in Japan, this demonstrates that in ’93 these guys still had huge credibility and respect.

Musically the band is white hot as they crank it up a notch past what much of the more melodic Hard Rock (or ‘Hair Metal’) bands were doing at the time.  Bonnet’s voice is deadly and Frankie has always been a master of the skins.  The hits just keep on coming, song after song of strong writing and great performances.  The band play to their strengths and do not succumb to the grunge sound like so many bands of the era (Crue, Tesla, Kiss etc) started to dabble in. The album finishes off with a version of ‘All Night Long’ a Bonnet show-piece to be sure.

AFTERLIFE is catchy and heavy I still listen to this album to this day, but now I don’t have to listen to my old cassette anymore!  Blackthorne does live on in the afterlife, after-all!


Graham Bonnet-Vocals

Bob Kulick-Guitar

Chuck Wright- Bass

Jimmy Waldo-Keyboards

Franke Banali-Drums

Track listing:

  1. Cradle To The Grave

  2. Afterlife

  3. We Won’t Be Forgotten

  4. Breaking The Chains

  5. Over And Over

  6. Hard Feelings

  7. Baby You’re The Blood

  8. Sex Crime

  9. Love From The Ashes

  10. All night Long

Bonus tracks

Afterlife (Unplugged)

We Won’t Be Forgotten (Unplugged)

Rehearsal Reel