Inferno (Motörhead album)

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Motörhead - Inferno (2004).jpg
Studio album by Motörhead
Released 22 June 2004
Recorded 2004[1]
Studio NRG Studios, Paramount Studios & Maple Studios[1]
Genre Heavy metal
Length 50:58
Label SPV GmbH
Producer Cameron Webb
Motörhead chronology
Live at Brixton Academy
(2003)Live at Brixton Academy2003
BBC Live & In-Session
(2005)BBC Live & In-Session2005
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]
Terrorizer 9/10[4]

Inferno is the seventeenth studio album by the band Motörhead, released 22 June 2004, on Steamhammer, their eighth with the label. It was the second release under Sanctuary Records and their subsidiary Metal-Is in North America and certain territories.


Inferno was Motörhead's first album with Cameron Webb producing. Webb told Joel McIver of Classic Rock Presents Motörhead in 2010 that he had wanted to make an album with the band for years and met them for dinner at the Sunset Marquee to discuss the possibility of working together:

"..I talked about how I wanted to make a really heavy record with them. That was a mistake, because Lemmy likes to play rock 'n' roll — he doesn't like to play heavy music — and he called me on it.."

Nonetheless, the band and Webb decided to collaborate and eventually produced Motorhead's heaviest album in years. In an interview for the bonus Inferno DVD, drummer Mikkey Dee states that Webb:

"..pushed us a little more. He wasn't intimidated by our rock star moods.."

Vocalist and bassist "Lemmy" Kilmister adds:

"..That was a great thing, 'cause Mickey can be really intimidating and so can I, and Phil [Campbell] can be really violent.."

The band also admitted that they made Inferno the same way as all their other albums — at the last minute — by renting a big rehearsal room in Los Angeles and writing songs for about six weeks and, after a week break, recording them while they're still fresh.


The final song on the album, "Whorehouse Blues," was somewhat of a departure for the band in terms of influence. It was described as a country blues style song, and was distinguished by the playing of acoustic guitar by all three band members, with Lemmy also taking up harmonica towards the end. Mikkey Dee explained his role change from drums to guitar by saying:

"..I've been playing guitar all my life a little bit, because guitars have always been around, so it's nothing spectacular in my eyes.."

He also stated that:

"'s quite fun to walk onstage and do that song. And we definitely surprised the audiences.." [5]

Filming of the video was due to take place in a Stringfellow's club, but Peter Stringfellow objected to the song title and the associations it brought with it, and withdrew any involvement. With twenty-four hours left until the shoot, they found a club in Ealing.[6]

"In the Black" was featured in the video game Brütal Legend.


Joe Petagno, long-time sleeve artist for the band, offered these comments on the concept behind the album cover this time round:

"..when I first decided to do the Inferno cover, I had the idea it should be Mars, the god of war. But I wanted to take the original three chrome heads I had created two years earlier and show it in the process of being formed at the foundry. Being poured, the molten metal, which goes through down the centre of the picture. It also formed the sword in the new logo. It's also an axis mundi, the centre of the world, which holds the whole Mars planet together. It's a circle, Mars is almost exploding. There are these soldiers coming in from the sides, which is very much like Iraq or any other hotspots in the world. At the same time as this Mars exploration shit was going on on TV... Great. Millions of people are dying, there's water on Mars, I'm so fucking happy. It came about because I was irritated about "Can't we just figure it out?... all the hypocrisy yet again, all the bloodshed, all the stupidity... it's in that cover. It was kind of a comeback to the Overkill and taking a second shot at it, really.." [7]

Critical reception[edit]

Guy Strachan praised the album in Terrorizer as:

"..the best album that Motorhead have ever recorded.." [4]

However, James Monger of Allmusic chided the band for:

"..churning out the same record over and over again.." [2]

In 2011 Motorhead biographer Joel McIver wrote:

"..Inferno was a blast from start to finish. Its bottom-heavy, modern sound suited the songs perfectly; it was almost as if, without realizing it, Motörhead had stamped their identity on the album more honestly than on any other album for at least a decade.."

Lee Marlowe of Classic Rock stated in 2013 that "Killers" "is as catchy as anything in the band's vast catalogue: a strident stand-out on one of the strongest albums they've done" while "Whorehouse Blues" "makes perfect sense."

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kilmister, Campbell, Dee.

No. Title Length
1. "Terminal Show" 3:45
2. "Killers" 4:14
3. "In the Name of Tragedy" 3:03
4. "Suicide" 5:07
5. "Life's a Bitch" 4:13
6. "Down on Me" 4:12
7. "In the Black" 4:31
8. "Fight" 3:42
9. "In the Year of the Wolf" 4:17
10. "Keys to the Kingdom" 4:46
11. "Smiling Like a Killer" 2:44
12. "Whorehouse Blues" 3:53
Total length: 50:58
Bonus DVD (in certain territories)
No. Title Length
1. "Interview & Making of Inferno"  
2. "Brave New World" (Music video)  
3. "Serial Killer" (Music video)  
4. "We Are Motörhead" (Music video)  


Adapted from the Inferno liner notes.[1]

Guest musicians[edit]


Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[8] 44
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[9] 74
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[10] 17
French Albums (SNEP)[11] 58
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[12] 10
Scottish Albums (OCC)[13] 84
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 34
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 36
UK Albums (OCC)[16] 95
UK Rock & Metal Albums (OCC)[17] 7


  1. ^ a b c d Inferno, Motörhead, SPV GmbH/Steamhammer, SPV 085-69742 CD, 2004 Liner Notes, page 10, 11 & rear
  2. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. Inferno – Motörhead at AllMusic
  3. ^ Rolling Stone Review Archived 11 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Strachan, Guy (August 2004). "Motorhead: Inferno". Terrorizer (122): 55.
  5. ^ Burridge, Alan (March 2007). "Interview with Mikkey Dee by Artyom Golew – became cover story in Sep 2006 issue of Russian Alive magazine". Motörheadbangers. 27 (78): 6–9. 
  6. ^ Burridge, Alan (December 2005). "Mick Stevenson's diary". Motörheadbangers. 25 (74): 9–16. 
  7. ^ About Joe Petagno – interview section with Joe Petagno, bonus DVD with Inferno 30th Anniversary edition SPV69748.
  8. ^ "Motörhead – Inferno". Hung Medien. 
  9. ^ "Motörhead – Inferno". Hung Medien. 
  10. ^ "Motörhead: Inferno" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  11. ^ "Motörhead – Inferno". Hung Medien. 
  12. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts – Inferno Chartverlauf". GfK Entertainment. 
  13. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Motörhead – Inferno". Hung Medien. 
  15. ^ "Motörhead – Inferno". Hung Medien. 
  16. ^ "Motorhead | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart
  17. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]