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Bad Magic Black
180 gram, Import
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Bristling with thunderous attitude, and some of the fiercest rhythms and riffs that’ll assault your ears this year, Bad Magic demands that you fall to your knees and pray heartily that your senses don’t get completely pulverized, because big-rig head crushers like the totemic and Motöranthemic “Thunder And Lightning” show that Motörhead are as strong, mean, loud, relentless, uncompromising and goddam heavy as ever. Drawing on their own vast catalogue of road-warrior freewheeling rock’n’roll spirit, Bad Magic also strides confidently into some of the earlier attitudes of Motörmusic. There is the driving malevolence of “Choking On Your Screams” underscoring Lemmy in magnificently omnipotent vocal mood, “Electricity” carries a hefty chunk of punk attitude married with some of Phil Campbell’s best lead work yet, and “Shoot Out All of Your Lights” screams devilish, greasy, biker-born-screw-you-and-yours attitude, Mikkey Dee’s tribal drums pounding out a great path for more Kilmister proclamations. In this, their historic 40th year anniversary, Motörhead will also continue to gleefully deafen fans with a world tour, including an European Summer tour where they will debut brand new Motörclassic “Thunder & Lightning”. The world might be in a state of turmoil and uncertainty, but Bad Magic is solid gold proof that you can always bet on Motörhead to deliver the greatest, leanest and meanest of goods through thick and thin.
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The upside of this is that Motörhead had a bit more time to knock out some new material and get into the studio with their (now) long time producer Cameron Webb. Their 22nd effort is Bad Magic and it is Motörhead at their best. It’s a bombastic audio assault complete with the English wit of rock ‘n’ roll troubadour Kilmister.
It’s hard to imagine a rock and metal scene without Lemmy Kilmister; he is to hard rock and metal music what Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings were to country music. Yet, the two aforementioned passed on and the genre moved forward — but not for the better. As Motörhead continue to add to their back catalog 40 years in; Bad Magic offers up their most consistent album since the now classic Inferno.
The standout tracks on Bad Magic are; the new concert staple “Thunder & Lightning,” the gritty “Electricity,” the terrifying “Choking On Your Screams,” and the explosive cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” Lemmy had this to say to USA Today about the aforementioned track; “I thought we beat them. I thought we beat it to death. I mean, I like the Stones’ version, but I like ours better.” I can’t say that I can disagree with him.
Anyways, "Bad Magic" is just 100% pure essential Motorhead, and in other words, it just plain kicks ass. This album like any other Motorhead album is a blast of pure attitude and sonic power throughout. When you hear that opening grab-you-right-by-the-throat scream from Lemmy of "VICTORY OR DIE" in the album's opening track "Victory or Die", there's certainly no question that this album will definitely have you hooked within an instant. Every song on this album is definitely a real winner. The production is just top notch throughout, and of course the band's musicianship doesn't disappoint whatsoever. Guitarist Phil Campbell is in fine form throughout this album as he displays his masterful guitar skills with awesome, mean sounding riffs and furious, ripping solos through one track to the next, meanwhile drummer Mikkey Dee sounds absolutely amazing as he flawlessly pummels his way relentlessly throughout with his awesome drumming through each track with ease, and of course Lemmy himself delivers with his always heavy, powerful, snarling vocals and awesome, heavy-as-a-bulldozer bass playing. There's certainly no question that Lemmy was the true driving force behind Motorhead and they'll definitely never be another one like him.
The album's opening track "Victory or Die" immediately gets the ball rolling in blistering fashion with Lemmy's opening scream of "VICTORY OR DIE" and is quickly followed by a lethal abundance of heavy, blistering riffage, and loud, thundering drum beats throughout, meanwhile the following cut "Thunder & Lightning" (My favorite track on here) steps the album up a notch with a more faster tempo, heart pounding drums, and intense, furious riffing, plus a very memorable ripping and wailing guitar solo from Phil around the 1:35 mark is also featured, plus awesome vocals from Lemmy as well. Afterwards, we have track three "Fire Storm Hotel" which is a super catchy, groovy number that features a very catchy and groovy ZZ Top-like groove throughout with awesome riffs and catchy vocal melodies, while track four "Shoot Out All of Your Lights" brings back the intensity with a blistering drum intro, and is further highlighted by more furious, thundering double bass drumming from Mikkey, and mean blistering riffs plus a wicked, wailing, and screaming solo from Phil, as well as more amazing vocal delivery from Lemmy too. Next up, track five "The Devil" is another killer song that packs a nice punch throughout boasting heavy crunchy guitars and bass, and it also features an awesomely, wicked, blazing guest guitar solo courtesy of Queen guitarist Brian May, and moving on, the sixth track "Electricity" (another one of my favorites) is a short yet very fun and super catchy rock n' roll number that features awesome riffing, catchy vocals and lyrics, and a very catchy upbeat rhythm that you just can't resist headbanging and dancing to, and elsewhere, track seven "Evil Eye" is yet another favorite on here that boasts a fast, bouncy, pumping rhythm, along with more heart pumping riffage and awesome, memorable vocal deliveries.
Moving forward, the eighth track "Teach Them How to Bleed" is another brilliant standout track that begins with a cool bass intro, and then thunders in with a relentless, fast-paced, onslaught with relentless, streamrolling riffs and heavy, thumping drums beats, and is also further accompanied by an excellent guitar solo from Phil, along with more of Lemmy's awesome vocals, and some intelligent lyrics to boot as well. Following that up is the sober, meaningful, and truly grand, slow-paced brilliantly written ballad "Till the End" and it is such an incredibly moving and meaningful song that definitely earns a place amongst Motorhead's classic songs. I really dig Lemmy's vocal melodies throughout, plus Phil's guitar solo from 2:26 to 3:29 is really top notch too. Track ten "Tell Me Who to Kill" is another top notch song that boasts another batch of awesome riffs, and super cool bass lines, plus another fantastic guitar solo from Phil, and excellent vocals from Lemmy to boot, meanwhile the following song "Choking on Your Screams" is a brilliantly delightful, and fearsome number that is very dark both lyrically and musically. This song is just filled with dark lyrics, and amazing musicianship throughout. I just love it. Then we have track twelve "When the Sky Comes Looking For You" which contains a very catchy and upbeat feeling throughout with delicious, rocking riffing and solid drum work, plus a fantastic chorus and another killer guitar solo are also featured in this song, and then finally, we have an immensely joyful, and satisfying cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For the Devil" which caps off this amazing album in perfect fashion.
Well there you have it folks, all in all, "Bad Magic" is an all around amazing effort by Lemmy and Co., and a very nice and fitting end to an absolutely incredibly massive, and influential 40 year career, and yes even though Lemmy may be gone now, but there is certainly no question that his legacy and spirit will forever live on in our hearts. Buy this album now!!! 5 stars all the way!!!
R.I.P. Lemmy!!! Farewell and God Speed!!!