Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Sound Check


“Bad Magic”

There is an old saying that goes, “Once you have listened to one Motorhead album, you have listened to every Motorhead album.” It’s not completely without merit. But part of the reason why Motorhead has managed to survive 40 years and 22 albums is because it’s a fucking good album. Lemmy Kilmister kicks the door in, shouting “Victory or Die!” before plunging headlong into the track by the same name. It is a thunderous welcome to an album that feels delightfully familiar and entirely thrilling. “Shoot Out All of Your Lights” is a thunderous offering to the Rock Gods, by way of Mikkey Dee’s drum work, while “The Devil” might be the purest Motorhead track on the album. The whole album feels like it was pulled directly from the same primordial ooze that the band itself sprang from four decades ago. That Motorhead has been able to keep dipping from the same well and not given us anything stale is a testament to the notion that greatness is also timeless. CV

Iron MaidenIron Maiden
“The Book of Souls”

Iron Maiden has managed, over the years, to prove itself to be a band that is not content resting upon past successes. It has made for an act that has been surprisingly daring over the later portion of its career. While acts like Metallica are happy to churn out milquetoast albums that only hint at past greatness, each new Iron Maiden album has served as an abject lesson in hustle. “The Book of Souls” will probably not be the album that returns Iron Maiden to the heights of radio popularity, but it might just be the band’s best, most complete work ever. Capped off by the 14-minute anthem to metal excess “The Red and the Black,” “The Book of Souls” is a punishing, seemingly endless onslaught of sound that rarely lets up and never genuinely disappoints. CV

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