Lemmy is getting older (age 69) and he has been struggling in the last few years. The last album "Aftershock"  was way under par in my book, many songs were simply not of the usual Motörhead quality and Lemmy's voice (fully understandably) sounded rather weak. But there is a general rule that applies to Motörhead: after a weak album always comes a great one!
This album starts hammering from the very beginning with "Victory and Die". In song #2 "Thunder & Lightning" the massive Motörhead hammers on, and Phil does some amazing guitar shit in his guitar solo, that makes you want to dance around. In "Shoot Out All of Your Lights" we get proof that Mikkey is certainly in the house, and most importantly Lemmy sounds MUCH better on this album than he did on the last one.
Lemmy is still struggling somewhat when playing live, but if they should find it necessary to cut down live gigs to an absolute minimum, there are no signs that they have run out of jet-fuel in the studio. "Evil Eye" has that distorted vocal that Lemmy sometimes uses when he needs to sound particularly evil, while "Till The End" is that slow one with Lemmy's sensitive voice. Yes, we get all the tricks in the Motörbook here, but nothing new to report is awesome news. Don't fix it, if it ain't broken.
Sure there are some weaker songs as well, but if you look at the album from your helicopter, then it's a good one that you'll clearly be digging out from your record shelf from time to time and use to terrorize and murder your neighbors with.
The sound quality has a bit of a muddy feel to it with some lack of treble. I think it may have been mixed for headphones more than for loudspeakers. The vinyl has a bit better sound than the CD. It's no big deal and it was also the case on the last album. Maybe somebody should check if producer Cameron Webb's ears needs adjusting.
The last song on the album is the old classic "Sympathy for the Devil" by The Rolling Stones. It's one of the best covers I've heard in a long time. From Lemmy's heartfelt and raw vocal, over bass and drums, but especially because of Phil's stunning guitar playing. The man gets better for every year and the solo he does here just gives me goosebumps. It is so unbelievably beautiful in a rock 'n roll way, that it almost brings tears to your eyes.
I think "Bad Magic" is better than "The Wörld Is Yours" , while not as good as "Motörizer" . But no matter how time will place it in the Motörhead album rankings, it's clearly one hell of an improvement from "Aftershock" .
Motörhead ain't dead yet. They were just taking a nap. Welcome back and please stay with us for a mighty long time! We fucking love it when you kick our asses!
The album comes in different shapes. My preferred shape is the box set that includes vinyl, CD, poster and patches. Only add Coke and Jack Daniel's and you're ready to rock!