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Scorpions: Rock Believer

Best Scorpions album since 1984's Love at First Sting? Well, it's certainly up for debate, but that's what many fans are screaming with the release of the German acts' 19th studio album, Rock Believer. Though the 90s and the 2000's haven't exactly been kind to this longstanding hard rock/heavy metal institution when you look at overall album sales, most will look to releases such as Crazy World, Face the Heat, Humanity: Hour 1, and Sting in the Tail as at least platters that contain some solid material, even if overall they aren't exactly classics from start to finish. Cue in Rock Believer, which at least pushes a lot of the familiar buttons and SOUNDS like the band really are trying to rekindle their inner early '80s selves all over again. "Gas in the Tank" and "Roots in My Boots" are fun, raucous, uptempo rockers, fueled by plenty of Jabs/Schenker guitar firepower (though the latter's lyrics are absolutely cringeworthy), and Klaus Meine still sounds excellent as always on the anthemic and highly memorable title track. In fact, the 73 year old wonder is really the MVP of this album, sounding as if he regularly visits the fountain of youth alongside fellow marvel Glenn Hughes, his youthful vigor soaring over the top of fun though cliched metal tracks "Knock 'Em Dead", the mid-paced "Shining of Your Soul", and the sledgehammer & sleaze of "Hot and Cold". The band dip into near doom metal territory on the heavy "Seventh Sun", and "Peacemaker" is a snarling, riffy heavy metal scorcher that will take you back to the days of Animal Magnetism and Blackout. Not necessarily breaking any new ground, but it certainly scratches an itch that many of us have been longing for from these guys for many years. "Call of the Wild" is mid-tempo blues metal, "When I Lay My Bones to Rest" sounds like a rehash of a least a half dozen songs we've already heard from them, and the album ends with somewhat of a whimper on "When You Know (Where You Come From)", but it is catchy and packs some drama...probably the song that is most growing on me that I initially didn't care for. You can't win them all, but when was the last time that a Scorpions album contained 80% songs that you really cared for?

Ultimately, that's how I have to look at Rock Believer. There's plenty to get excited about here, and yeah, lyrically, this one's not going to win any awards, but thought provoking lyrics were never something that won this band any awards. Memorable, hard rocking songs that tick all the boxes, and for my money, it results in the strongest Scorps platter since, well, Love at First Sting....and I'll admit, I rarely listen to that one anymore, and I'm regularly going back to this one. Time will tell where this one ranks in the catalog, but for now, it's a keeper.

Track Listing
1. "Gas in the Tank" Rudolf Schenker 3:40
2. "Roots in My Boots" Schenker 3:17
3. "Knock 'em Dead" Schenker 4:11
4. "Rock Believer" Meine, Schenker 3:57
5. "Shining of Your Soul" Schenker, Greg Fidelman 3:57
6. "Seventh Sun" Schenker, Hans-Martin Buff, Ingo Powitzer, Fidelman 5:30
7. "Hot and Cold" Jabs 4:12
8. "When I Lay My Bones to Rest" Schenker 3:07
9. "Peacemaker" Schenker, Pawe�' Mąciwoda 2:56
10. "Call of the Wild" Schenker 5:20
11. "When You Know (Where You Come From)" Schenker 4:22

Added: April 8th 2022
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 913
Language: english

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