Inferno (Sanctuary)

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As heated as its namesake, Motörhead's latest is one of its thrashiest, angriest albums ever. Track titles such as "In the Name of Tragedy," "Fight," and "Killers" build certain expectations in the listener -- Inferno meets them, and then some. It's a much harder, faster album than 2002's relatively melodic Hammered, closer in spirit to such bitter, bile-spewing late-1990s efforts as Bastards and We Are Motörhead. The band has come out swinging once again, determined to batter every last fan into bloody submission.

That's not to say that the record is a one-dimensional pummeling session. Inferno features two guest guitar solos from Steve Vai (see if you can spot them; Phil Campbell's an underrated axeman in his own right) and closes with the acoustic "Whorehouse Blues," a track that indicates a possible future path for Lemmy. He's going to turn 60 next Christmas, after all, and his lyrics have often showcased self-mocking humor and a bluesman's swagger. Why shouldn't he go that route, a few more years down the road, if his liver holds out?

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