Motorhead / Bad Magic

Bad Magic

Motörhead (/ˈmtərhɛd/) were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band is often considered a precursor to, or one of the earliest members of, the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Motörhead released 23 studio albums, 10 live recordings, 12 compilation albums, and five EPs over a career spanning 40 years. Usually a power trio, they had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly No Sleep ’til Hammersmith cemented Motörhead’s reputation as a top-tier rock band.[2] The band are ranked number 26 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.[3] As of 2016, they have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

Motörhead are typically classified as heavy metal, and their fusion of punk rock into the genre helped to pioneer speed metaland thrash metal. Their lyrics typically covered such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and, most famously, gambling.

Although Lemmy has been credited with being part of various musical scenes, thrash metal or speed metal in the main, from the mid 1970s onward, he stated very clearly, when asked the question, that he plays Rock n Roll. He (Lemmy) has said that they had more of an affiliation with Punk Rockers than with the so-called Heavy Metal scene; Motörhead having evolved out of the London mid-1970s Punk era.

Lemmy died on 28 December 2015 after being initially diagnosed with an undisclosed aggressive form of cancer, which was later revealed as prostate cancer, and heart failure, after which drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell both confirmed that Motörhead would not continue as a band.

Bad Magic is the twenty second and final studio album by the band Motörhead released on 28 August 2015, and is the fifth release under the UDR GmbH / Motörhead Music collaboration of the previous five years.

Due to the death of founder Lemmy Kilmister four months after the album’s release, the band disbanded after 40 years on the road. Surviving members Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell stated to numerous media that the band was finished.

“When the Sky Comes Looking for You” was the only song from this album to be played live, to current knowledge.

The Analysis—-

Victory Or Die—-With the classic sound right from the first moment you hit ‘play’, there is never a mistake when you hear Motorhead. Lemmy sounds remarkably fresh and driven…the words coming at you blazing fast and the music classically fast and aggressive. This is so nice to hear….Lemmy always forsaking his bass guitar to let the lead guitars shine and take you on a nice journey. Fantastic drums and a great vocal.

Thunder & Lightning—-Speed racing through your headphones, this track is true to form and classic in sound. Lemmy sounds a bit hoarse….the rest of the band joining him on the vocal….the sound a bit weak at times…but the constant wall of sound still intact. This is fast…aggressive and tinged with a classic punk sound.

Fire Storm Hotel—-With more of a classic heavy metal sound at the onset of this track, the pace of the song is less punk and more mainstream heavy metal. Lemmy sounds graveled and weathered….but it as you would expect. This is still classic Motorhead…..loud and pounding….and you catch every word from Lemmy. Fantastic! And a great bass solo!!!

Shoot Out All Your Lights—-Huge drums kick off this track and then the speed commences…urging Lemmy to sing as fast as he possibly can. The chorus is a huge band affair….reminding me of the golden era of the band if you will….I’m sure this would have played live incredibly well. This is fantastic. The band is tight as hell…and Lemmy sounds fantastic.

The Devil—-With an odd almost mystical beginning, the chords emerge sounding almost like Motley Crue. Lemmy delivers a vocal that sounds really rough and removed from the actual mix of the music…like everything is pushed to the background. This has a nice bombastic sound…but it is the music that shines versus the voice.

Electricity—-Sounding much crisper and clearer than the previous track, the band is back to full throttle punk/metal. Lemmy sounds refreshed and delivers his vocal with a slight blues tinge that I really like. This has a classic sound all the way through.

Evil Eye—-Drums begin the track, but the entire thing seems to be missing a bit of the vitality and energy that I expected. You have to consider all the health problems Lemmy had been having…and shake your head with amazement that this release was even ever made. The music lacks a certain punch for me…until mid point in the track when the leads take over.

Teach Them How To Bleed—-A huge fantastic bass line and drums from hell begin this track and then we are off and running. It seems to me like some of this release was recorded at different times…the energy seems so different on some tracks than the others. Lemmy sounds clear, concise and driven here rather than muddled and uninspired. This is great!

Till The End—-Slow and melodic with a huge beautifully soaring guitar, I am surprised to hear such an introspective Lemmy. The gravel plays odd at this slower pace…but the song builds to a huge fantastic chorus that gives me chills. This is a ballad I guess, and it is a fantastic one. This is remarkable and full of fore shadowing.

Tell Me Who To Kill—-With a nice lead intro, the mayhem is back in full swing although you notice the vocal seems pushed to the back of the mix again….making it seem thin and weaker than expected. The voice does sound weathered…but you can feel the attitude through your headphones….this is fantastic…huge bass…excellent drums and a melody to die for!

Choking On Your Screams—-Aggressive in sound, but the voice sounds so muted and removed from the track. I’m glad to have this swan song from Lemmy and Co. but the voice sounds tired and ready for a rest. The mood of the song is darker and more slowed down…..sometimes as if Lemmy is reaching for every word. Not a bad track….but sounds rather old and under-produced.

When The Sky Comes Looking For You—-Full ratchet and with a huge melodic guitar line, now Lemmy sounds present and up front the way he deserves to be. I am convinced this album was recorded at different times of Lemmy’s decline. This sounds fresh and driven…exactly how I choose to remember the wonderful enigma called Motorhead.

Sympathy For The Devil—-This is done very well….covered by hundreds of bands, it is hard to do this any different…lol. Lemmy sounds sedate and removed…but the power is there. The instruments are quieter…allowing him to snarl his way through the track. Really nice.

**** out of 5

 

 

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