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Album Review : MOTORHEAD, “Louder Than Noise… Live in Berlin

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A bony hand pushed the glass back across the bar, “A Jack and coke as ordered sir.” Outside the storm raged gathering in its fury; the wind eddying the rubbish around in eccentric circles in the alley  with the rain battering on the windows out front.

The storm is approaching, as forecast unrelenting. Inside the lone drinker, clad entirely in black, cares not; undistracted by the gathering fury.  Unperturbed, the time is nearing.

He looks up from under the brim of his headwear, adorned with crossed golden swords, and utters “Rock n’ Roll never dies.” As he raises his hand two shadowy figures, similarly attired, enter. The drinker looks up, once again, a wry smile cracking his rugged, time-worn face before taking one last long drag on his cigarette. Slamming his glass, now empty, on the stained bar he proclaims gruffly “I Know How To Die!”.

A thousand powerful lights scream brightly and in an instant the seedy bar is sent, simultaneously, tilting sideways and turning on itself. The drinker looks up once more; the time has come. Showtime!

Taking his four strings in hand before tipping a knowing nod to-Mikkey he gruffly rallies “We are Motorhead!”, glancing to his right-hand side he graciously requests “Phillip if you would be so kind.” Those lights roar brightly again and an almighty wall of rock n’ roll riffs, thundering beats and guttural, rasping vocals join forces and the stage is set for the next 70 minutes or so.

The drinker has a name; he is forever Lemmy. The date is Wednesday 5th December 2012; there’s 12,000 packed into Berlin’s Velondrom; one of Motorhead’s biggest German gigs. The ‘storm’ has arrived and delivers in waves; The Kings of The Road tour has landed and this recording is the resultant offering.

Thundering through balls to the wall metallic rockers like ‘Damage Case’, ‘Over the Top’ and ‘The Chase Is Better Than The Catch’ the trio of Campbell, Dee and Kilmister encompass the storm’s ferocity.

This line-up has been Motorhead’s longest lived; the intensity of the brotherhood is evident. They deliver exactly what ‘Dr. Rock’ has prescribed; rock n’ roll turned up to the maximum. Beaufort scale twelve; devastation guaranteed.

The power is threaded through rock n’ rollers ‘You Better Run’ and ‘Going to Brazil’; an occluded hard rocking front. This isn’t a one dimensional onslaught. It’s full-throttle, in the face pummeling assault which is brought to an incadescent climatic end by ‘Ace of Spades’ and ‘Overkill’.

A furious, raging conclusion; a thousand lights scream brightly once more. Silence, then a bony hand slides a full glass across the surface of the bar; the barkeep proffers “On the house sir. Rock n’ roll most certainly never dies.” The drinker looks up from the shadows under the brim  of his hat, nodding knowingly exclaiming “Killed By Death’ before emptying the glass. The legacy lives on; burning brightly. 

Motorhead’s collective energy is as strong as it ever was and this is testament to the strength, depth and breadth of material they recorded throughout 40 illustrious years, across 22 studio albums. ‘Louder Than Noise …. Live In Berlin’ captures the very essence of this.

Track Listing:
I Know How to Die – Live in Berlin 2012
Damage Case – Live in Berlin 2012
Stay Clean – Live in Berlin 2012
Metropolis – Live in Berlin 2012
Over the Top – Live in Berlin 2012
Doctor Rock – Live in Berlin 2012
String Theory – Live in Berlin 2012
The Chase Is Better Than the Catch – Live in Berlin 2012
Rock It – Live in Berlin 2012
You Better Run – Live in Berlin 2012
The One to Sing the Blues – Live in Berlin 2012
Going to Brazil – Live in Berlin 2012
Killed by Death – Live in Berlin 2012
Ace of Spades – Live in Berlin 2012
Overkill – Live in Berlin 2012

Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals/Bass
Phil Campbell – Guitars
Mikkey Dee – Drums

Review by Gary Spiller for MPM

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