As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic slowly continues to decrease and live shows continue to make their return just as gradually, some bands are starting to announce their returns to the road. Others meanwhile continue to wait and see how things go or continue work on new studio material. Others still have simply been doing their part to give audiences their live fix with new live recordings. Motorhead fits into that latter group. The band is scheduled to release its 14th (yes 14th) live recording Friday through Silver Linings Music, which also handles records for the band’s fellow British heavy metal act Saxon. The recording, Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin, is a 15-song concert that was originally captured Dec. 5, 2012 at the Berlin Velodrome in Berlin, Germany. It is a presentation that will appeal primarily to Motorhead’s most devoted audiences. That is proven in part through the recording’s set list, which will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance of the set list adds to its appeal, to a point. It will be discussed a little later. The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin. All things considered, they make this latest of Motorhead’s many live recordings another presentation that will appeal to the band’s most devoted audiences.
Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin is an intriguing new offering from Motorhead. It is a presentation that will appeal largely to the most devoted of the band’s audiences. That is due in part to its featured set list. The set list runs 15 songs deep and pulls from much of the band’s early catalog. It is the same set list that the band performed for much of its shows on its Kings of the Road Tour, which was ironically in support of Motorhead’s then latest album, 2010’s The World is Yours. Only one song featured in the set list – ‘I Know How to Die’ – is from that album. The other songs featured in the set list reach farther back. That includes going all the way back to the band’s 1979 sophomore album Overkill and all the way up to 1992 album, March or Die. Given, four albums from that stretch are omitted here – Motorhead (1977), On Parole (1979), Iron Fist (1982), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987) – but that still does not matter. That the band would treat audiences to so music from nine of its albums covering such a rich portion of its catalog is something special. Add in a guitar solo that the band dubbed ‘String Theory’ that sounds like it belongs on a Pink Floyd record – which is quite a way to break up the otherwise nonstop energy in this set list – and the noted audiences get a set list that forms a solid starting point for the recording. The overall set list is anything but unfamiliar. Much of the set list featured here is composed of songs featured in many of the band’s existing live recordings. That aside, longtime fans will still enjoy it. The band’s performance of the set list adds its own touch to the presentation here.
The performance of Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell, and Mikkey Dee throughout the course of its performance here is notable because of its role in keeping audiences engaged and entertained. As has already been noted, the concert, for the most part, keeps the energy high. Even in more laid back moments, such as in ‘Metropolis,’ and ‘You Better Run,’ the band still manages to keep the energy flowing through the slower but still heavy arrangements. Campbell works his way through each song expertly, complimenting Dee’s drumming and Kilmister’s bass work so well. Kilmister’s confidence as he leads the way is just as entertaining. Dee meanwhile, deserves his own praise, as he solidly keeps the time in each high-energy composition. The band keeps the banter between songs to an extreme minimum, instead letting the songs and their energies do the talking. The power in each song’s performance does much to illustrate the band members’ confidence, making for even more engagement and entertainment for listeners. When the entertainment and engagement ensured by the band’s performance is considered along with that generated by the concert’s familiar set list, the recording proves even more appealing to the noted fans. Thee two elements are only a portion of the recording’s presentation. The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements.
It should be disclosed here that this critic was only provided a streaming audio presentation of Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin, rather than a streaming video link. To that end, this discussion will focus solely on the recording’s audio production. If a streaming video link is provided at some time, then this discussion will include a focus on that aspect. Having noted all of this, the audio production that went into the audio-only presentation of Motorhead’s new recording is positive in its own right. It is rich and fully immersive. Kilmister’s semi-mumbling vocal delivery style is just as present here as on any of Motorhead’s studio recordings. Campbell’s guitar cuts through in each song, including the deeply moving ‘String Theory’ guitar solo. Dee’s cymbal crashes, snare hits, etc. are just as well-balanced against Campbell’s guitar and Kilmister’s vocals and bass. At no point in the concert is any one part overpowering against the others. The effect is that it makes the recording’s general effect just as appealing for audiences as the concert’s content. When that content and the presentation thereof is considered together, the result is a presentation (at least in terms of the concert’s audio presentation) that Motorhead’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.
The audio-only presentation of Motorhead’s new live recording, Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin will appeal to any of the band’s most devoted, longtime audiences. that is proven in part through its set list. While clearly familiar, featuring a number of songs that are also featured in many of the band’s existing live recordings, the set list does well in its presentation of the band’s early catalog. That is despite the fact that the concert was part of a tour that was meant to support then far more recent studio recording. It celebrates Motorhead’s developmental years, which will itself appeal to the noted audiences. The band’s performance of the recording’s featured set list will keep audiences engaged and entertained what with the energy exuded by each musician as the group makes its way through the set. The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements. Even considering that solely of the audio presentation, every level is expertly balanced throughout. That is a tribute to the work of those who recorded the concert on site and those who handled the production in post. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this recording. All things considered, they make Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin a presentation about which Motorhead’s most devoted fans will make plenty of noise. Louder than Noise…Live in Berlin is available now through Silver Linings Music and Motorhead Music.
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