Motörhead - Bad Magic (UDR Music/Motörhead Music)

Studio album number twenty-two from the greatest rock n' roll band in history. Not the greatest heavy metal band - the greatest rock n' roll band...
Release Date: 
28 Aug 2015 (All day)

They have come to define modern rock n' roll and even transcended it to many degrees, they've influenced some of the biggest names in heavy music today who all speak of Lemmy in reverential terms; without Motörhead there would have been no Metallica. Bass player Rob Trujillo said that, not me.

They've been a total constant throughout life for people of my generation and you simply cannot imagine life without them. Not that you'd want to of course. They're the ultimate road warriors, they've got the ultimate rock n' roll attitude and they are more than for real. Motörhead for life. Motörhead forever.

When you hear Motörhead's music for the first time, it changes you for good. They've made more classics than you'll find in the Royal Albert Hall on Proms week and their music will outlive pretty much all of today's rock offerings; Bad Magic is a more than worthy addition to the catalogue.

Produced at NRG Studios with long-time producer Cameron Webb, Bad Magic came together after a couple of years which saw Motörhead enjoy their most successful international era in over two decades off the back of their previous release, Aftershock. It's the very first time they have ever written and recorded an album live in the studio and Lemmy's own personal performances on Bad Magic rank as some of the most wide-ranging and unique he has delivered in years.

And to my ears, this album features more of Phil Campbell's influence than has ever been heard on a Motörhead album before, which, seeing as he is currently playing better than at any point in his whole life, is a very good thing.

Album opener Victory Or Die sets the tone for the whole opus. It's a bombastic slab of the hardest rock around and it will mash your head and pummel your senses. Move over pretenders - this is the real thing and it's an excellent live set opener too. Thunder & Lightning continues the assault in fine style - it's a furious track, brimming with relentless pace and power and once you're past these two tracks, you know you are onto the best album Motörhead have produced in years, certified by the dirty blues of Fire Storm Hotel which is followed by the call to arms which is Shoot Out All Of Your Lights.

Queen's Brian May makes a guest appearance on The Devil, adding a scintillating solo on this thunderous Motörstomper that carries one of the most unforgettable Motörhead riffs ever, while Electricity contains some of Lemmy's most profound lyrics on the album. Evil Eye spits and snarls yet contains a memorable melody while Teach Them How To Bleed simply leaves you breathless with it's relentless pace. This track is like being on a speedball doing 150mph down the M1. The wrong way.

Till The End sees Lemmy taking a philosophical stance as the pace drops for this slower, bluesy number that will become a Motörhead staple for many years. That melody will grip you and leave you wanting more and you get more with final three tracks proper, Tell Me Who To Kill, Choking On Your Screams and When They Sky Comes Looking For You.

The first of those three tracks will leave you totally breathless either side of Phil's solo while Choking... will make you sweat and the boogie-tastic When The Sky... is a perfect album closer which is almost catchy in places. That's Motörhead catchy; could there be any other way from the ultimate rock n' roll band...

There were a few raised eyebrows when it was revealed that there would be a cover of The Rolling Stones' Sympathy For The Devil on the album and it's the very final track and it works well. As with all the cover versions they have taken on, Motörhead put their own take on it and don't just do a cheap copy of the original. After all, they are Motörhead and they ARE rock n' roll.

After forty years of an exceptional career the spirit of Motörhead lives on with Bad Magic. It will live on always, no debate about that.