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3.87 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2015

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Victory Or Die (3:09)
2. Thunder And Lightning (3:06)
3. Fire Storm Hotel (3:35)
4. Shoot Out All Of Your Lights (3:15)
5. The Devil (2:54)
6. Electricity (2:17)
7. Evil Eye (2:20)
8. Teach Them How To Bleed (3:13)
9. Till The End (4:05)
10. Tell Me Who To Kill (2:57)
11. Choking On Your Screams (3:33)
12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You (2:58)
13. Sympathy For The Devil [The Rolling Stones cover] (5:35)

Total time 42:57


- Ian Fraser Kilmister / vocals, bass
- Philip Anthony Campbell / guitars
- Michael Kiriakos Delaouglou / drums

About this release

Release date: August 28th, 2015
Label: UDR Music

Brian May (Queen) appears on "Sympathy For The Devil)

Thanks to diamondblack for the addition and Vim Fuego, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Bad Magic" is the 23rd full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Motörhead. The album was released through UDR Music in August 2015. Despite some serious health issues over the course of the last couple of years Lemmy, Philip Campbell, and Mikkey Dee soldier on, and have found time to write and record "Bad Magic". Lemmy has said it over and over again. He will never retire, but rather die on stage doing the thing that he loves the most: Playing bad ass rock´n´roll.

Stylistically the music on "Bad Magic" continues the sound that the three-piece have now played on many albums. If you don´t expect great development in sound you won´t be disappointed. This is just Motörhead like they´ve more or less sounded the last 20 years. That also means the material on the 13 track, 42:57 minutes long album is consistent in quality and style, but only few tracks stand out. Again it´s business as usual for Motörhead. The album is packed with heavy mid paced- and a few faster paced hard rockers, and even a power balled in "Till the End". This time around Motörhead has also opted to include a cover of "Sympathy For The Devil" by The Rolling Stones as the closing track on the album.

The musicianship is as always strong, and it´s definitely not audible that these guys aren´t exactly youths anymore. The voice production occasionally makes Lemmy sound like he is about to lose his dentures, which is slightly distracting, but it´s a minor negative detail, and all in all this sounds as bad ass rocking as always. The sound production is suitably raw and powerful, so upon conclusion "Bad Magic" is another consistent release by Motörhead. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Vim Fuego
Motörhead don’t do bad albums. It’s just not in the DNA of Lemmy & Co to produce a bad album. However, it’s been a long time since Motörhead produced a truly classic albums, and while ‘Bad Magic’ is a good album (and quite possibly the band’s final studio album), it just doesn’t have the chops to propel it into the true classic category.

Motörhead struggled through the late 80s due to problems with labels and line-ups, but seemed to get back on track with 1991’s ‘1916’ album. That album saw Lemmy experiment a little, and saw him finally have the confidence to stretch his voice to actual singing on some tracks, rather than his more usual rasped yell. Instruments outside the traditional bass/guitar/drums combo were added. There were slower, more subtle songs, which made the out and out rockers rock even harder. “Everything louder than everything else” was not dead and buried, but was used more sparingly, to add depth and contrast to the album. And it worked. Every album since has used this formula to some extent.

So what do we get with ‘Bad Magic’? Well, exactly what you’d expect. There’s straight ahead rockers, like opening track “Victory Or Die” and “Thunder & Lightning”. There’s the dirtiest blues swagger in rock in “Fire Storm Hotel”. Several songs are short and punchy, clocking in at under three minutes, like “Electricity” and “Evil Eye”, which also features some nice, evil sounding vocal effects. The raunchy old Rickenbacker bass comes to the fore in the intro to “Teach Them How To Bleed”. “Til The End” is the now obligatory semi-acoustic semi-ballad. Since this is Motörhead, it’s powerful as fuck, and there’s nothing saccharine about it.

“The Devil” indicates where Lemmy’s religious leanings still lie, and then to remove any doubt there’s also the album closer, a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”. Motörhead’s version of the old Stones’ classic is quite faithful, but as you’d expect, rocks harder than the original and surprisingly it features Brian May from Queen on guitar.

As a drummer, Mikkey Dee never seems to age. The rapid fire rhythms of “Shoot Out All Your Lights” sees him still firing on all cylinders, and he still kicks the shit out of a pair of bass drums throughout the album. Keith Richards is often called “the human riff”, and Phil Campbell can’t be far behind him. There’s no “Ace Of Spades”, “Bomber” or “Overkill” here, but the slabs of rock, metal and blues he pulls from the guitar are more than satisfying to Motörhead’s fans, topped off with his trademark solos.

The only sign of Lemmy’s age (69 when this was recorded) and health problems are the vocals. Although seemingly indestructible, Lemmy gave up the smokes and the booze to increase his longevity as a performer. He may have left it a bit late. At times it seems he is pushing hard to keep his performance up. His voice has picked up a sibilant quality, almost like he forgot to put in his teeth.

Minor quibbles aside, these three old bastards still rock with an energy and vitality which puts to shame most bands of this generation. ‘Bad Magic’ will not win Motörhead any new fans, but after 40 years, it does not matter. This will keep the fans the band already has more than satisfied.

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