Motörhead - 'Bad Magic'

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Motörhead - 'Bad Magic'

Into the fortieth year of the band's history and still going unbelievably strong.

What kind of introductory vignette can be written about the band that's an encyclopaedic definition of a "Rock legend" – their sound being an embodiment of Rock 'n' Roll in its most simple, raw, straight "in your face" form? And what can you say about Lemmy Kilmister that hasn't been said before? While some of our younger selves likely etched Motörhead's logo into our school desks (and some maybe didn't), the band's legendary status is undeniable for anyone who has at least a tad of Rock 'n' Roll in their bloodstream. And it's certain Motörhead's new album 'Bad Magic' won't really change this status quo.

This album has (as would be expected) an entirely raucous, loud, brash Rock 'n' Roll sound that is embroidered with gritty vocals that are driven along by a pulse-pounding drum line and raw guitars. And, of course, Kilmister's characteristic, hoarse voice was never about his range as much as it was about the trademark addition to Motörhead's sound. From the opening track 'Victory Or Die' and its fierce follow-up 'Thunder And Lightning' to the rough, Punk-ish vibe of 'Electricity' and the sinister Black Sabbath-esque undertones of 'Evil Eye', '...Magic' is pure Metal magic indeed.

What about the potential highlights? Could it be the heavy, lumbering 'The Devil' which is seasoned with a guest solo by the mighty Brian May of Queen? Maybe it is the wonderfully imperfect vocally, but heart-tugging and honest ballad 'Till The End'? Or is it Kilminster and the gang doing a gritty, guitar-laden version of The Rolling Stones' classic 'Sympathy For The Devil' that marks the album's strong point? As one song after another of '...Magic' plays, it gets increasingly difficult to pick just one or two highlights from many.

There are many classic bands now busy with reinventing the proverbial wheel, album after album – as well as those who fooled themselves into thinking that a drastic, stylistic volte-face is exactly what their fans are waiting for. 'Bad Magic' represents superb and unquestionable proof that Motörhead belongs to neither of these camps. Their twenty-second studio release runs counter to whatever is "current" in modern Metal, instead utilizing all the flavours rooted deeply in the band's style.

Love them or loathe them, it's simply classic Motörhead – into the fortieth year of the band's history and still going unbelievably strong.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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