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Motorhead - 1995 Sacrifice

ARTIST: Motorhead
ALBUM: Sacrifice
YEAR: 1995


LINEUP: Lemmy- vocals, bass * Phil Campbell, Wurzel - guitar * Mikkey Dee - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sacrifice * 02 Sex & Death * 03 Over Your Shoulder * 04 War For War * 05 Order/Fade To Black * 06 Dog Faced Boy * 07 All Gone To Hell * 08 Make 'Em Blind * 09 Don't Waste Your Time * 10 In Another Time * 11 Out Of The Sun


The early 90's were somewhat of a mixed period for Motorhead. A record label dispute put them on hold after 1987's weak 'Rock 'n' Roll' and when they reappeared in 1991 with '1916' the results were more commercial than usual. For me the album was dire, but the positive public reaction saw Lemmy try to copy the formula with 1992's 'March Or Die' which was even worse. When the band got their act back together with 1993's 'Bastards' there was no stopping them though, returning to the heaviness of the 80's. But in my opinion 1995's 'Sacrifice' is their best of the 90's. With the above lineup there was a ferocity that matched the classic days of the Eddie Clarke/Phil Taylor era, although this was Wurzel's last showing with the band, bowing out after 11 years. Whatever had inspired Lemmy must have been lethal, because the raw, muddy wall of noise here hasn't dated one bit in the last 20 years. It was great then and still is now, if somewhat forgotten.

The Songs
The savagery of the title track sets the tone, the riffs and drumming about the most gutter level metal you'd ever hope to hear. Where you sensed Motorhead were going through the motions a few years earlier, clearly Mikkey Dee had given them a much needed boost. 'Sex And Death' is barely a two minute blast, but still manages to be melodic and vicious at the same time. 'Over Your Shoulder' opens in a doom like dirge, the riffs again heavy beyond compare, giving the album a real impetus. Every track works and when the lads go for broke on 'Order/Fade To Black' you're talking thrash levels that would shame a >Megadeth or >Anthrax in 1995, or any band who'd given it up for that matter. After this assault it's hard to see where there is to go, but rockers like 'Dog Faced Boy' and 'Don't Waste Your Time' just take it up more notches. The latter is one of Lemmy's forays into 50's type rock and roll, with the sax and piano blaring in great rockabilly style. He overdid this in later years, but this was his best attempt by a mile. 'In Another Time' has an epic metal feel, as does the end track 'Out Of The Sun' giving this album another shade. Motorhead tried everything here and it worked better than any album which followed, no matter how hard they tried.

In Summary
With Wurzel departing, the band was back to a trio, which is how it's been ever since, with the period of 1995-2004 remarkably consistent. It fell apart for me after that, with some horrific efforts as documented here at GDM, but with 2013's 'Aftershock' it showed Lemmy still had something left. For me it's hard to get past this as their best since the 80's however, despite other credible efforts. It captured the true essence of Motorhead, something which when Lemmy gets right is hard to ignore.

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