Motorhead, ‘Bad Magic’ – Album Review
For the past 40 years, Motorhead have been one of the most beloved bands in hard rock/heavy metal. Once thought to be immortal and indestructible, frontman Lemmy Kilmister has had a few health issues in the past couple years, but his performance on the band’s latest opus Bad Magic shows he has plenty of gas left in the tank.
Bad Magic is Motorhead’s 22nd studio album. Their sound doesn’t deviate much from record to record. You know you’re going to get a boisterous dose of straightforward meat and potatoes rock 'n' roll played at maximum volume. It’s a formula that has served them well over their career, and there is no reason to change.
The album begins with Lemmy singing “victory or die” before the music kicks in. It’s a great opener with driving guitar and a memorable solo from Phil Campbell along with Lemmy’s rumbling bass guitar and trademark raspy vocals.
Many of the tracks on the record follow that path of an urgent tempo and an excellent groove. “Shoot Out All of Your Lights” begins with an energetic drum fill from Mikkey Dee and has a memorable call and response chorus. “Evil Eye” also spotlights Dee’s talents. “The Devil” is one of the catchiest songs on the album.
When it comes to memorable riffs, the whole album is filled with them, but “Tell Me Who To Kill" has some of the strongest. Motorhead do change things up from time to time to help add variety. Lemmy shows his softer side on the power ballad “Till The End,” and his melodic singing is spot on.
The album closes with “Sympathy for the Devil.” It’s a bold move to cover the Rolling Stones, especially a song that iconic, yet Motorhead nail it. Lemmy doesn’t try to do Mick Jagger karaoke, he puts his own unmistakable spin on it. The drums are turned up nice and loud in the mix, and Campbell shines with a couple of outstanding solos.
The songs on Bad Magic have a timeless sound. You don’t know if they were written this year or in the early ‘80s. Motorhead have been consistently delivering the goods for longer than many of their fans have been alive, and hopefully will continue to do so for years to come.
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