2013 has been quite the year for the metal community. New releases from the likes of Chimaira, Kingshifter, and so many others have made the field among the metal community extremely crowded. Enter veteran rock band Motorhead and its members’ twenty-first full length studio album, Aftershock. With the release of Aftershock, Lemmy Kilmister and his band mates have made the choice of the year’s best new hard rock and metal even more difficult. Kilmister left fans wondering when they’re hear the next new Motorhead album when it was announced earlier in the year that he was suffering from an illness. So it only makes sense that he, drummer Phil Campbell, and guitarist Mikkey Dee would open the band’s twenty-first full length studio release with the pummeling ‘Heartbreaker.’ This song is a bold statement, letting the world know that not even illness will keep Motorhead from making music. ‘Coup de Grace’, the album’s second song, keeps the energy flowing, proving more still why this trio of musicians is still collectively one of the rock world’s greatest bands nearly four decades after it was originally formed. The band barely lets up even the slightest over the course of the album’s fourteen total tracks. Simply put, the band leaves listeners breathless by the end of the album’s closer, ‘Paralyzed.’ By the time this song’s final notes fade, any purist metal head will agree that what he or she has just experienced in this album is a work that is far more than deserving of a spot on any rock critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock albums.
Lemmy, Phil, and Mikkey waste no time getting things moving on Aftershock. The album’s opener, ‘Heartbreaker’ is proof of that. It’s a full on, no nonsense hard rocker much in the vein of the band’s much more classic records through the years. Keeping in mind that Kilmister had suffered from an illness before this record was released, it makes this song all the more impressive return especially for him. His voice sounds as pounding as ever as he sings, “Careful where you stand now boy/Everything has changed/Got to search and destroy/Everything has changed/Got to move/Stop the dreams/All protection gone/Listen to how the people scream/On and on and on.” Lemmy has never sounded better. His powerhouse vocals alongside the musicianship of Phil and Mikkey collectively make this an excellent first impression for anyone that is new to the music of Motorhead. It’s just as impressive a return for the band’s more seasoned fans.
‘Heartbreaker’ is one heck of a way for the members of Motorhead to open the band’s new album. The energy doesn’t let up after this song ends, either. Lemmy, Phil, and Mikkey keep the throttle on high as they launch into the equally pounding ‘Coup De Grace.’ The song’s musical energy alone will have any purist metal head’s horns high in the air. The defiant lyrical side serves to make it even more of a fan favorite. Lemmy sings in this song, “Don’t believe a word/Don’t run with the herd/I don’t like the news/Watch it every week/Just because/I don’t believe it/Don’t make me a freak/If you knew the real stories/Can’t be fooled no more/You can kiss/Or you can tell/Parasite or whore.” He goes on to sing in the song’s next verse, “Don’t believe the lies/Truth will make you wise.” The statement being made here is largely clear. That statement set alongside the song’s musical side exudes pure hard rock energy. And the combination of the two elements will certainly make this another fan favorite.
The energy exuded by ‘Coup De Grace’ and ‘Heartbreaker’ is incredible to say the least. And it hardly lets up at any one point throughout the course of Aftershock. This is the case even with the album’s closer, ‘Paralyzed.’ The song’s lyrical side is interesting to say the least. The song’s lyrics are obviously metaphorical. Kilmister writes, “Looking for a temple/Looking for the gold/Looking like a hero/When the story’s told.” He goes on singing, “Flying over mountains/Flying over seas/Flying through a hurricane/Praying on your knees/Searching for a fortune/Searching for a clue/Flying in the face of death/Flying into view.” It’s certain to lead to plenty of discussion as to what exactly is being said here. Add the discussions in question to the song’s full throttle musical side, and audiences get a song that closes the album just as solidly as ‘Heartbreaker’ opened the record. These songs, and those not mentioned all work together to make Aftershock one that Motorhead’s legions of fans will love whether it’s a first introduction or the twenty-first re-introduction. It’s available now in stores and online. As of right now, Lemmy is still fighting the good fight, trying to get back to full strength. As long as everything goes as planned, the band will hit the road in Europe in 2014, beginning with a performance in Glasgow, Scotland on February 13th, 2014. A full listing of the band’s most current tour schedule is available online at http://www.imotorhead.com/tour. More information on the band’s tour, all the latest news from the band, and on Aftershock is available online at http://www.imotorhead.com and http://www.facebook.com/OfficialMotorhead. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.