Motörhead Bad Magic Album Review


Released 28 August

Okay, we’re a bit late to the party on this one. Motörhead’s 22nd album ‘Bad Magic’ released just under a month ago, so by now most of you who were gonna buy the album will have probably already done so. But having listened it a few times since the cd dropped through my letterbox earlier in the week, I thought that decibelROGUE should chuck in it’s tuppenceworth anyhow.

First things first: 40 years active, 22 albums. A new album every 20 months or so, for 4 decades is phenomenal consistency by any measure. Whether you’re a fan of the band or not, there’s absolutely no denying that Motörhead deserve their place right at the top of the list of rock ‘n’ roll greats for their work ethic alone.

The album explodes into life with ‘Victory Or Die’. And it’s a classic, instantly recognisable Motörhead song. Lemmy’s “Victory Or Die” battlecry is followed by Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee delivering a swift punch in the face with brilliantly heavy guitar riffs and driving drums. The pace doesn’t let up through ‘Thunder & Lightning’ and one of my personal favourite tracks on the album ‘Fire Storm Hotel’.

Brian May makes an appearance on one of the album’s other standout tracks ‘The Devil’. It’s dirty guitars, dark tone and Lemmy’s growly vocals all combine superbly to create a really menacing vibe. Best song of the lot for me though is ‘Teach Them How to Bleed’. Fast, furious and in your face, it’s everything you’d expect from a really good Motörhead song. Plus, it has a light-hearted outro which provides a nice twist at the end of an otherwise serious song.



Then there’s the ballad. ‘Till The End’ kinda took everyone by surprise, since Motörhead aren’t exactly renowned for slowing things down like this. Is it Lemmy finally contemplating his own mortality? Not really. More a pledge to continue to live his life on his own terms, till the end. I’ll drink to that!

We return to more familiar territory in the last part of the album when the foot was well and truly put to the floor with ‘Tell Me Who To Kill’ and the superb ‘Choking On Your Screams’.

Had ‘When The Sky Comes Looking For You’ been the last song of the record, it would’ve rounded off ‘Bad Magic’ perfectly. It’s relentlessly driving guitars and drums are like a rock ‘n’ roll express train. Loved it! However…

The choice of last song, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ was a bit of a strange one for me. It’s not that I have a problem with bands doing versions of other peoples work, or that Lemmy and the guys haven’t done a good job with this one. Far from it. It’s just that if – and forgive me for getting slightly morbid for a moment – ‘Bad Magic’ turns out to be the last album that Motörhead record, will fans really want the last song of their last album to be a cover version? It’s a minor quibble with what is otherwise a great, properly old school rock ‘n’ roll album.

Hardcore fans will probably argue that ‘Bad Magic’ doesn’t rank among the best albums Motörhead has ever recorded. Fair enough, but it’s still a very good album in it’s own right. So decibelROGUE recommends you go and buy the album and go see them live if you can still get a ticket.

Motörhead are currently out on the road touring and will be reaching the UK in a few months time. decibelROGUE will keep you updated on any news in the meantime and hope to bring you a review of one of their shows.