Scorpions – Rock Believer Review

‘Rock Believer’ is the best Scorpions album in years. The German metal pioneers go back to their roots when it comes to the sound of the album and at...

Released by: Spinefarm Records

Release Date: February 25th, 2022

Genre: Rock

Links: https://www.the-scorpions.com/

 

Line-Up:

Rudolf Schenker Guitars

Klaus Meine Vocals

Matthias Jabs Guitars

Pawel Maciwoda Bass

Mikkey Dee Drums

 

Tracklist:

Gas in the tank

Roots in my boots

Knock ’em dead

Rock believer

Shining of your soul

Seventh Sun

Hot and cold

When I lay my bones to rest

Peacemaker

Call of the wild

When you know

Shoot for your heart

When tomorrow comes

Unleash the beast

Crossing borders

When you know Acoustic

 

The artwork of Scorpion’s records often created some attention and sometimes even led to controversial discussions. What is remarkable with their new album ‘Rock Believer’ is the screaming person on the cover, reminding of the iconic artwork of the ‘Blackout’ album from 1982. The good thing is, that it isn’t only the artwork that reminds me of the glorious days of the Hannover-based metal band.

After having released the milestone album, Scorpions remain being commercially successful and even increased their popularity. At the same time, the music entered more and more the mainstream. The rock roots moved into the background and it’s not just a coincidence that the biggest hit of the band is a ballad with bells and literally whistles. 40 years after having let ‘Blackout’ off the leash, the quintet returns with ‘Rock Believer’ as strong as the title of the album indicates. One might wonder where this extra energy boost comes from, a push that directed the band back to the more fundamental roots of rock’n’roll.

One of the reasons could be the fact of having Mikkey Dee a drummer on board that inhales rock and metal with every breath he takes. Dee, having been the Motörhead drummer for many years, is a beast behind the drumkit. With him providing a powerful heartbeat the band had the chance to create a rock and metal feast. Scorpions could prove that they are firm rock believers and they made use of this opportunity.

What also added to the strength of the record is the fact of the quintet recording in their hometown Hannover. While the studio in L.A. was already booked, travel restrictions forced the band to change plans and record in Germany. They worked on the album as a band, had time to discuss music, and focus on the essence, of the songs for the new album. This situation helped to revitalize the ‘80s spirit that breaks through many times while spinning ‘Rock Believer’.

It is significant that ‘Peacekeeper’ has been released as a single in November 2021. The song is with less than three minutes the shortest one on the album. Boiled down to the essence, ‘Peacemaker’ was a first sign of the new record becoming the best Scorpions album in years, maybe even in decays. The expectations, driven by ‘Peacemaker’, will be confirmed by the album.
It feels like the band has some gas in their tank and therefore the opener can also be seen as a bold statement. ‘Gas in the Tank’ is a straight rocker that provides an excellent start to the new album. Hardness and melodies are well-balanced and the following ‘Roots in My Boots’ takes a similar direction. The latter is a dynamic rocker that reminds me of the sound of the early ‘80s.
A strong Mikkey Dee drumbeat starts off ‘Knock ’em Dead’ with the title track being next in line. ‘Rock Believer’ is a rhythm-driven song with a lot of ‘80s references, especially when it’s about the starting riff. It’s a good song on the album, but there are better tracks too. One of those is the gloomy ‘Seventh Sun’. ‘The Zoo’ and ‘China White’ are songs that come to my mind while listening to ‘Seventh Sun’.

The upbeat ‘Shoot for Your Head’ ignites a rock firework and ‘Unleash the Beast’ is another interesting song on the album too. The chorus is more of an average kind while the verse with Meine’s partly spoken vocals is something that works extremely well. The thundering ‘When I Lay My Bones to Rest’ brings the essence of rock’n’roll to the plate while the obligatory ballad is entitled ‘When You Know’. The softest part of ‘Rock Believer’ fits into the context of Scorpions ballads but is less cliché-loaded than some of the early emotional excurses.

‘Rock Believer’ is the best Scorpions album in years. The German metal pioneers go back to their roots when it comes to the sound of the album and at the same time unveil a freshness and dynamic that positively surprises. Everybody that lost their passion for Scorpions music after the release of ‘Love at First Sting’ should give this album a chance. It is worth it.

 

Written by: Markus Wiedenmann

Ratings:  (9/10)

 

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