Posted on December 19, 2009 -
“We are motorhead, and we play rock and roll.”
Kiss of Death is a 13-track, 45-minute plus whirlwind combustion of just that.
If Inferno was any clue that Motorhead was still going strong after almost 30 years, well, they still are on “Kiss of Death.”
There are some plusses to Kiss Of Death over Inferno:
1. Kiss of Death kicks off with the scorchering “sucker”, whereas Inferno opened with “terminal Show”, a slower, rhythmic tune.
2. Kiss of Death also ends with a sonic bang. The album culminates into a great force of sound in “going down”, with Lemmy declaring “you can’t mess with Dr. Rock”, a humorous poke at their roots. The bonus song “Ramones”, sounds looser and harder that when it was originally recorded on the album “1916″.
3. Great guitar sound. The mixing was done very well for this album, and it shows in Phil Campbell’s playing. One sizzling track that reminds me of “overnight sensation” is “Devil I know”, which has Phil’s signature tone front row center, and Lemmy declaring, “I might be a dog, but honey you’re a bitch”. Several other tracks that highlight Phil’s guitar sound are “under the gun”, “living in the past”, “sucker”, and “going down”.
4. Kiss of Death has some of the best rocking blues tracks ever recorded by the band. The two all-out blues rockers, “one night stand”, and “Under the Gun”, are placed strategically after two full-force motorhead powerhouse tunes to give the album a deinitive groove, and keep the listener interested. “Under the Gun” has such a catchy chorus and guitar hook–it probably will be played live in one of their upcoming tours.
5. The ballad. While motorhead has done it’s shares of hits and misses in the acoustic section, “God Was Never on Your Side” works. The pacing is perfect, and the song simply softens and loudens when it needs to. Like “whorehouse blues”, it is also another sleeper for Motorhead.
6. The automatic classic. As soon as I heard “trigger”, I knew that Kiss of Death was not going to be some lame, uninspired sequel to “Inferno”.
Lemmy’s voice throughout the album sounds sinister, especially on the groovy, sacrifice-like “Kingdom of the Worm”, which has Mikkey Dee playing great drums to start the song.
The album does have a mid 90s retro feel to it, like the Sacrifice/Overnight Sensation era, but I think that’s a positive aspect for the album.
I was not disappointed by too much, other than lackluster tracks such as “Christine”, and “Sword of Glory”, which I think the band has rehashed in many other song forms on previous albums.
Perhaps my favorite track on the album is “Living in the Past”, a very hard-rocking soon to be classic to be that shows hints of Lemmy’s deep raspiness found on “Orgasmatron” over 20 years ago.
On Kiss of Death, Motorhead came to play rock and roll, and they don’t disappoint.