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Hellraiser: Best of the Epic Years

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Album Review

Motörhead's short stay at Epic Records (1991-1992) marked a particularly uninspired period in the band's long career. Hellraiser collects seven songs from each of the albums it recorded (1991's 1916 and 1992's March or Die) and adds two songs that were recorded at the time but not released: "Dead Man's Hand" and one of the better songs here, "Eagle Rock." Lemmy seemingly was searching for some kind of mainstream rock success at this point. Both albums lack the fire of earlier Motörhead material and March or Die shows a shocking lack of toughness. "1916" provides the only highlight of the set, "Ramones" is a fast and fun ode to the brothers Ramone, "Going to Brazil" is a 12-bar rocker about going to Brazil, oddly enough, and "Angel City" is a boogified tribute to the Los Angeles rock scene. Elsewhere the band was dipping into weak epic balladry with "1916," bad blues with "You Better Run," lame generic heavy metal with "Hellraiser" and "Asylum Street," boring covers with "Cat Scratch Fever," and worst of all acoustic power ballads with "I Ain't No Nice Guy" featuring Ozzy and Lemmy croaking their way through some really dumb lyrics. Unsurprisingly, Motörhead's attempt to sell out failed miserably and by the next record the band was off a major label and back to doing what it does best; making loud, fast, and obnoxious records. If you are a Motörhead fanatic, you probably have all the material on Hellraiser already, but if you don't have it, don't get it as it is Motörhead at its worst.


Formed: 1975 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Motörhead's overwhelmingly loud and fast style of heavy metal was one of the most groundbreaking styles the genre had to offer in the late '70s. Though the group's leader, Lemmy Kilmister, had his roots in the hard-rocking space rock band Hawkwind, Motörhead didn't bother with his old group's progressive tendencies, choosing to amplify the heavy biker rock elements of Hawkwind with the speed of punk rock. Motörhead wasn't punk rock -- they formed before the Sex Pistols and they loved the hell-for-leather...
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Hellraiser: Best of the Epic Years, Motörhead
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