Motörhead – Louder Than Noise…Live In Berlin (Album Review)

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The Teutonic roof has officially been raised.

Letting go of the past can be a difficult thing in and of itself, but when it is filled with so many iconic artists and works as the glory days of heavy metal were, it borders on sheer impossibility. British hard rockers turned unwitting heavy metal trailblazers Motörhead have been no exception to this fact, as a multiplicity of posthumous releases turning up since the outfit’s iconic front man and founder Lemmy Kilmister in late 2015. While some of these releases have been the usual box sets and related fodder for hardcore fans that consider exclusive material to be optional, a fair number of obscure live versions of various songs have also been making the rounds over the past few years, arguably paving the way for something a bit more substantial. Sure enough, with just over 5 years having passed since Lemmy hung up his leathers to sing with the angels, Silver Lining Music has unleashed a highly polished keepsake from the latter days of this powerhouse outfit’s illustrious career.

To the casual observer, “Louder Than Noise…Live In Berlin” might seem a superfluous release given that the corresponding Kings Of The Road Tour that ran from 2010 until late 2012 had already seen two major live releases while it was still going on. However, in contrast to the “The World Is Ours – Vol. 1 & 2”, this particular offering stands more as a standalone concert event than a compilation of multiple touring stops, a format more conducive to both the video medium and the online streaming one that has been all the rage of late. Likewise, the production job of Herwig Meyszner, whose work with noted metal veterans such as Saxon, Exodus and Kreator has resulted in some truly spectacular home viewing experiences, provides a unique cinematic quality to the finished product that makes the event seem all the more realistic. With the memory of the days when Lemmy was still raising a ruckus across the entire globe still fresh in everyone’s minds, this is a performance of mostly obligatory classics that will appeal to veteran followers and newcomers alike.

As with most of Motörhead’s latter day live appearances, the album being toured upon is sparsely represented in the set list, an irony not likely lost on most given Lemmy’s frequent complaints that few seemed to be giving the band’s new material a fair shake. Nevertheless, while “I Know How To Die” was the lone representative of 2010’s “The World Is Yours” to make the cut, it proves to be a fine up tempo banger to kick things off with and brings home the grit and grime with the best of them. Few things have changed between the band’s inception and where they ultimately ended up, as the lone representative from the band to the 2010s found on here blends in seamlessly with the next three heavy hitters “Damage Case”, “Stay Clean” and “Metropolis”, each of which are more than 30 years the opening song’s senior and among the more punchy yet bluesy offerings off 1979’s “Overkill.”

Old tricks tend to be the best ones, and as the rest of the performance unfolds, it’s pretty clear that despite the massive back catalog of material to draw upon, the lion’s share of this performance if focused upon the heyday of this outfit when Fast Eddie Clarke and Philthy Animal were still involved. Suffice it to say, drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell do an exemplary job of emulating the signature sounds of their predecessors, with standout moments including their renditions of the AC/DC-like hard rocker “Over The Top” and the boisterous closing rendition of “Ace Of Spades”. Phil winds up stealing the show about halfway through with a rather auspiciously technical guitar solo slot dubbed “String Theory”, accompanied by a lone droning keyboard line and culminating in a rather unconventional moment for a band that generally eschews the virtuoso end of heavy metal. Other solid offerings that represented the subsequent four-piece era of Motörhead includes “The One To Sing The Blues” and “Going To Brazil”, which are also notably more technically adventurous than the late 70s and early 80s bangers from the Clarke and Animal days.

The world may seem a bit less interesting without the trailblazing figures that were responsible for crafting half of the songs found here, and there is definitely a bittersweet element to hearing the gravely brilliance of a man who wasn’t past his prime until a few months prior to having both feet in the grave. All the same, the sheer scope of material that exists under the Motörhead name is a gift that should not be passed up, and while this concert largely falls back on most of the better known material of the distant past, it offers a stellar showing by the band towards the end of their run and quells any notion of one being too old to rock. This outfit defined the concept of the power trio, and while in their own minds they were simply playing rock ‘n’ roll louder and messier than the rest, that is essentially what birthed the subsequent heavy metal explosion of the 80s, and Lemmy’s own sentiments to the contrary notwithstanding, this concert underscores why they were so influential upon it.

Released Date: April 23rd, 2021
Released By: Silver Lining Music
Genre: Heavy Metal

Musicians:

  • Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister / Bass, vocals
  • Phil Campbell / Guitars
  • Mikkey Dee / Drums

“Louder Than Noise… Live In Berlin” Track listing:

  1. I Know How To Die
  2. Damage Case
  3. Stay Clean
  4.  Metropolis
  5. Over The Top
  6. Doctor Rock
  7. String Theory
  8. The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
  9. Rock It
  10. You Better Run
  11. The One To Sing The Blues
  12. Going To Brazil
  13. Killed By Death
  14. Ace Of Spades
  15. Overkill
8.4 Great

Keepsakes turned posthumous releases are a common thing in the aftermath of a legend having passed, but a stellar showing by metal’s most beloved power trio back in 2012 proves to be far more than just another cash-grab live album

  • Performance 8.5
  • Setlist 8.5
  • Setlist 8
  • Production 8.5
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