Motörhead

Kiss of Death
(Sanctuary Records)

Motörhead's 27th album (and its 19th studio offering), Kiss of Death, doesn't deviate from the heavy guitars, breakneck beats, and hoarse vocals that made the British band one of the most influential groups in the heavy metal genre. With the departure of guitarist Würzel, Motörhead's been pared down to a three-piece, but surprisingly, the bottom doesn't fall out of the songs without a rhythm guitarist. Phil Campbell manages to fill the record with chugging, guttural guitars, most evident on supercharged rockers like "Trigger," where singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister sings "I know I'm weird — I'm crazy! Lucky for you, babe, I'm so lazy/But I'm gonna pull your trigger," in his usual gargling-gravel voice. And while Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor has long been regarded as Motörhead's signature skin-hitter, drummer Mikkey Dee does a jaw-breaking job; unfortunately, his phenomenal fills, double-bass beats and high-hat histrionics are often buried in the sonic stew by producer Cameron Webb, who also helmed the boards for Motörhead's 2004 album, Inferno. Overall, Kiss of Death is a typical Motörhead growling power-chord onslaught, with two exceptions: an acoustic folk-rock ballad called "God Was Never On Your Side," where Kilmister attacks organized religions with an uncharacteristic croon, and "Ramones," a raucous, punky tribute to the legendary NYC band.

 
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