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July 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Some things are just a given. KISS’ “farewell tour” will go on as long as it fattens Gene Simmons’ wallet, Cannibal Corpse will never do a ballad and Motorhead will continue cranking out albums that don’t really deviate from their signature sound. Lemmy is 59 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. The current lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee is the longest steady Motorhead crew, going on 12 years. Including compilations and live recordings, the band has about 500 albums available (actually this one is “officially” number twenty). Motorhead has made a career of releasing a stellar record (ORGASMATRON) followed by a forgettable one (ROCK AND ROLL) almost without fail and that trend continues with INFERNO, which is a much better effort than 2002’s HAMMERED. INFERNO is still undeniably Motorhead with equal parts punk, rockabilly and hard rock and Lemmy’s ability to write a good melody is still evident but don’t go expecting a big change in sound. This is Motorhead after all!

Fortunately the wrestlers have been left off this record and making a special guest appearance is guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, who contributes solos to “Terminal Show” and “Down on Me.” “Terminal Show” is a heavy, killer opener and Vai’s smokin’ solo with a chunky bass from Lemmy just adds fuel to the fire. “Killers” and “In the Year of the Wolf” feature groovy riffs and great solos from Campbell. “In the Name of Tragedy,” the best cut on INFERNO, allows Dee to shine with some fine double bass and heavy riffs from Campbell. “Life’s a Bitch” has that rockabilly sound similar to “I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care)” from the 1916 album. “In the Black” could very well be Motorhead’s catchiest song in years and SHOULD be a choice for a video. Campbell’s riffs are unforgettable and the chorus is infectious. “Fight” is a good ripper in the vein of “Burner” from the BASTARDS album, with some pummeling double bass and an intro request from Lemmy to “put the bass up, will ya?” Lemmy sounds evil and his gruff voice was made for songs like this. “Whorehouse Blues” is Lemmy’s latest ill-fated stab at experimentation and the abysmal results of such previous stretches as “1916” and “Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me” should have taught him to stick to what Motorhead does best. This blues and harmonica number is not as bad as those and Lemmy and Campbell’s acoustic guitar duel is quite impressive, but Motorhead is not a blues band and the “mouth harp blues” could have stayed “missing.”

INFERNO is road-tested, warts-and-all (no pun intended) Motorhead with no frills and no surprises. In other words, if you liked Motorhead before, you’ll like INFERNO, too. If you thought they were rubbish, chances are INFERNO won’t bring you to your senses. Motorhead is pretty reliable and over almost thirty years, they have never released a completely horrible album. Sure, there have been missteps—1998’s SNAKE BITE LOVE—but there is always something great even on the poorer efforts. INFERNO has its moments and rates somewhere in the middle between OVERNIGHT SENSATION and OVERKILL; not horrible but nothing really spectacular, either.

KILLER KUTS: “Terminal Show,” “Killers,” “In the Name of Tragedy,” “In the Black,” “Fight,” “In the Year of the Wolf”
Track Listing

1. Terminal Show
2. Killers
3. In the Name of Tragedy
4. Suicide
5. Life's a Bitch
6. Down on Me
7. In the Black
8. Fight
9. In the Year of the Wolf
10. Keys to the Kingdom
11. Smiling Like a Killer
12. Whorehouse Blues


Lemmy Kilmister—Vocals/Bass
Phil Campbell—Guitar
Mikkey Dee—Drums

Next review: » Motorhead - Inferno
July 2004
Released: 2004, Sanctuary/Metal-Is
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Lemmy, Phil, and Mikkey - known collectively as Motörhead - return with their new studio album INFERNO. What we have here is typical Motörhead with no major surprises, as it should be. It's great to have a band that doesn't throw you an unexpected curve ball with every album which thereby pisses off 1/2 of the fanbase. With Lemmy and co. you know what you'll get - rocking heavy metal! I continue to be impressed with Lemmy's ability to kick ass on into his 60's outplaying and outlasting just about everyone.

The music on INFERNO is a mixture of styles from a few different Motörhead eras. There are hard rock/blues based metal songs like "Killers" or "Keys to the Kingdom", then there are faster double kickers that are more in line with recent albums like SACRIFICE and onward with tracks like "Terminal Show" and "In the Name of Tradedy". For a song with more of a punk edge we have the quick-chop punkified metal track "Smiling like a Banshee". The only place we are taken into different territory is with the closing track "Whorehouse Blues". As the title suggests, this is a blues song with Lemmy on acoustic guitar and harmonica(!). There are no drums on this one, just acoustic guitars. Even though I'm not into the blues, this was entertaining and a nice way to close of the album.

To look a little deeper into some of what I think are the better moments of the album I would start with the opening track on INFERNO - "Terminal Show". This kicks in at high gear sounding very metal and upbeat. The main riff verse is slightly reminiscent of the main riff in "Helpless" (covered / made famous by Metallica on the Garage Days Re-revisited EP) but that's where the similarities to anything but Motörhead's own sound ends. Mikkey Dee, as is evident on many tracks here, shines with some fancy drumming. The solo in “Terminal Show” is flashier than usual for Motörhead with some cool shredding happening – and there is a reason for this….guitar god STEVE VAI plays the solo on here and he does a stellar job! Vai can also be haerd playing lead on the track “Down on Me”. "Killers" (no, it's not an Iron Maiden cover) kicks into some mid-tempo heavy rock riffing and rock/blues influenced soloing. Then the third song on the album is "In the Name of Tragedy" and it's back to the heavier sounds and one of the better songs on INFERNO. The three songs at the beginning of the CD are enough to win over even the most casual of Motörhead fans. "In The Black" is another of my favs on the CD. The chorus is a little more melodic than some of the others on here. “Year of the Wolf” is catchy but repetitive, with a great chorus.

Like the sun, moon, and starts, Lemmy is eternal. For a man whose blood has been called “not human” his ability to persevere and continue to beat the odds and lay down album after album of top rate metal has to rank up there as one of the seven wonders. If you like Motörhead at all, INFERNO is a sure bet.
Track Listing

01. Terminal Show
02. Killers
03. In The Name Of Tragedy
04. Suicide
05. Life's A Bitch
06. Down On Me
07. In The Black
08. Fight
09. The Year Of The Wolf
10. Keys To The Kingdom
11. Smiling Like A Killer
12. Whorehouse Blues


Lemmy – bass, vocals, acoustic guitars, harmonica
Philip Campbell – guitars
Mikkey Dee – Drums

Special Guest: Steve Vai – lead guitars on “Terminal Show” and “Down On Me”

Next review: » Motorhead - Inferno
August 2004
Released: 2004, Steamhammer/SPV/Playground Music
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

For those who don’t know who the legendary Motörhead are, I strongly suggest a trip to your local record store to purchase some albums from these metal icons. For all of you out there who know these gentlemen, I’m sure now further introduction is needed, so lets go.

INFERNO is Motörhead’s first studio album since HAMMERED (2002). In between these studio albums they released a compilation by the name of HELLRAISER: BEST OF THE EPIC YEARS and a live album called 25 & ALIVE: LIVE AT BRIXTON ACADEMY. The live album was taken from a show in 2000, when Motörhead celebrated 25 years in the business. Both albums came out last year. Now comes the release of their long awaited new studio album called INFERNO.

There have been no changes to the line up, which has been steady for a long time now. However, Steve Vai does make a guest appearance by taking care of lead guitar duties on “The Terminal Show” and adding a guitar solo on “Down On Me.”

The music on INFERNO is hard rock with heavy guitar by Phil Campbell, fast and hard-hitting drumming by Sweden’s Mickey Dee and Lemmy’s characteristic bass play and whiskey-tinged voice. Musically there are no changes and as usual they explore a bluesy and punkish brand of rock ’n roll, as well as heavy rock ’n roll.

I’ve probably said before that Motörhead’s albums have had some ups and downs and that’s possibly ‘cause they’ve always been very productive and released one record a year. Now that they’ve taken more time to create this album, the quality is so much better. I think it was a smart move to wait awhile ‘cause now the standard on all songs is high, something that’s very rare on recent Motörhead albums.

INFERNO contains twelve tracks, with all of the three guys contributing lyrics and music. It was recorded in NRG, Paramount and Maple Studios and mixed in Paramount Studios. Cameron Webb both produced and engineered it and he and the band have done an incredible job with the production and soundscapes.

This masterpiece kicks off with “Terminal Show” and from the very beginning it’s straight-in-your-face Motörhead all the way through. It’s a stunning opener that shows Motörhead is not ready to be counted out, while forcing one to surrender and kneel in front of these legends. Steve Vai pulls off an excellent guitar solo at the end of the song. “Killers”, “In The Name Of Tragedy”, “Suicide”, “Down On Me” and “In The Black” are all typical Motörhead songs with Lemmy at the top of the mix. Mikkey gets the chance to show off that he’s both fast and very technical on drums and Phil also get some space to shine on guitar. “Life’s A Bitch”, “In The Year Of The Wolf” and “Keys To The Kingdom” are bluesy hard rock tracks, which Motörhead normally have a few of on every album. Lemmy seems to be very fond of blues music. On “Fight” and “Smiling Like A Killer” the tempo rises and you can sense some undertones of punk. Mikkey plays really technical and there are a lot of tempo changes. The album closes with a real blues track called“Whorehouse Blues” that’s totally acoustic and without Mikkey. Lemmy plays harmonica and acoustic guitar along with Phil and, even though it’s a surprise ending, it’s a nice finish to a brilliant album.

Motörhead don’t create anything new with INFERNO but it doesn’t matter, ‘cause it’s Motörhead. They deliver a very vital and energetic album with not a single bad track to be found. I have nothing to complain about and I’m sure that fans of Motörhead are going to greet this album with open arms.

Now it’s on to touring and more touring for Motörhead, as they’ve already done some festival shows in Europe this summer. In the winter they’re going to do a headlining tour with label mates Sepultura as special guests.
Track Listing

1. Terminal Show
2. Killers
3. In The Name Of Tragedy
4. Suicide
5. Life’s A Bitch
6. Down On Me
7. In The Black
8. Fight
9. In The Year Of The Wolf
10. Keys To The Kingdom
11. Smiling Like A DKiller
12. Whorehouse Blues


Lemmy Kilmister – lead vocals, bass, guitar, harmonica
Phillip Campbell – guitar, vocals
Mikkey Dee – drums

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