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Motorhead - 2015 Bad Magic

ARTIST: Motorhead
ALBUM: Bad Magic
LABEL: UDR Records
YEAR: 2015


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Victory Or Die * 02 Thunder & Lightning * 03 Fire Storm Hotel * 04 Shoot Out All Of Your Lights * 05 The Devil * 06 Electricity * 07 Evil Eye * 08 Teach Them How To Bleed * 09 Till The End * 10 Tell Me Who To Kill * 11 Choking On Your Screams * 12 When The Sky Comes Looking For You * 13 Sympathy For The Devil



After some less than accomplished albums during the latter part of the last decade, 2013's 'Aftershock' was a welcome return to form for Lemmy and company. This latest effort being the trio's tenth studio album together. It occurred to me while listening to 'Bad Magic' that I haven't listened to 'Aftershock' in two years, which leads me to wonder about the merits of that album in retrospect. After all it's common for me to listen to the bands classic era material, which honestly doesn't say much for Motorhead 2004 or later. Given his multitude of health issues recently it's still amazing at the age of 70 that Lemmy is still aggressively creating new music, although just how essential these newer recordings are is still open to question.

The Songs
Overall 'Bad Magic' lacks the intensity of 'Aftershock' but still manages to easily overcome the tepid 'The World Is Yours' and 'Motorizer.' The best tracks are right out of the gate, 'Victory Or Die' and 'Thunder And Lightning' both blasts of Motorhead at their fastest and heaviest, both able to stand alongside anything off 'Bastards' for example. The riffs of 'Fire Storm Hotel' have a solid hard rock tone and the stop-start aggression of 'Shoot Out All Of Your Lights' certainly recalls 1995's 'Sacrifice' masterpiece. Lemmy sounds his age on 'The Devil' and it's funny that 20 years ago I recall reviewers being stunned at his age and still churning out his familiar brand of metal. There's nothing to recommend the routine chug of 'Electricity' which is Motorhead at its most formulaic. The manic 'Teach Them How To Bleed' regains the momentum, vintage Motorhead speed metal. As is his tendency on occasion, Lemmy throws in a ballad, 'Till The End' being the introspective offender, Lemmy reflecting on his life and the inevitable end. Everything that follows is marginal, medium paced offerings which unfortunately resemble some of the weaker albums mentioned earlier, suggesting this could easily have been a 10 track album. A cover of 'Sympathy For The Devil' is tossed in for some reason and really doesn't differ much from the original.

In Summary
Although there's nothing that leaps out here which gives it a must-hear status, it's still a solid album which indicates the band is far from done, despite the advancing years of Lemmy. Then again I was writing that myself a decade ago so it's apparent he'll be making music until he's under the ground (I'm seeing visions of that video 'Killed By Death' when he rides out of a grave on a motorbike.. Ed). The only aspect which continues to invade my thoughts is I have little desire to listen to this again now the review is done. You can bet however 'Another Perfect Day' is high on the agenda.

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