I was just a kid in 8and when I wrote my first music review for my school newspaper in the metal-heavy town of Albuquerque, NM. It was 1982, and the record I looked at was “Blackout” by Scorpios. I loved it, and made an impassioned but poorly written case that, despite Klaus Meineaccent sometimes thick, the record was a classic. It is therefore with a mixture of nostalgia and wonder that I am now writing a review in 2022 for a new Scorpios disk. Klaus still has a bit of awkwardness in his pronunciations, but I’d be damned if he didn’t sound insanely good for a guy who still sings about girls and rock and roll in his 70s.

In fact, it must be said from the outset that the core of the trio of mine, Rodolphe Schenker and Matthias Jabs all seem to be taking regular doses of an unknown elixir, for despite their age, they still brag and deliver the goods.

To my taste, the Scorpios hit their classic beat in a series of strong albums that began with 1979 “Love drive.”— an album that had a hilariously goofy album cover that was provocative enough that my mom made me throw the record away. I luckily found an alternate, non-stripped edition of “Love Drive” the following week and bought it again, so my withdrawal was limited. And I soon also resumed the solid following, “Animal magnetism”.

But it was “Blackout” which seemed to propel them to the next level, with the radio hit, “No one like you.” They had great guitar sound, really memorable solos, and catchy songs that stuck with you from the start. The lyrics were sometimes hard to make out, but I always made out enough to sing songs like “Another Piece of Meat” and “Don’t make any promises your body can’t keep”– tracks that my mother certainly wouldn’t have approved of. Ah… the spoils of youth.

“Thunderbolt” with his MTV mace “Rock You Like a Hurricane” was the last of the classic Scorpios Course. For my money, the records to follow featured good songs, but suffered from uneven quality. And eventually the band fell into an identity crisis when radio tastes changed in the 90s.

The point of all this is to say that 2022 “Believing in Rock” is in many ways a triumphant return to the band’s heyday. The guitar sounds, production and songwriting are all rooted in this old tradition. Even the album cover, with the classic logo in the upper left corner, a retro-looking font for the album thumbnail, and a close-up of a screaming face gives off a dramatic sense of deja vu. It’s on the mark.

“Believing in Rock” released 50 years after the debut of Scorpions, “Lone Raven” was released in 1972. Singer Klaus Meine and guitarist Rudolf Schenker are the only remaining members of the formation, but second guitarist Mathias Blows has been on board since “Driving of Love” and can arguably be credited with solidifying the sound that made the Scorpios a commercial success. In an age-defying way, the trio still sounds great here, and the rhythm section of Pawel Mąciwoda (on board since 2004) and Mikkey Dee (formerly from motor head) stays in their lanes and provides strong and energetic support. In search of this classic Scorpios her, things have really come full circle and god bless you Klauswho rushes into “It’s just in my blood!” He looks remarkably lively for a 70-year-old singer.

The record comes as a bit of a surprise as the band had previously announced their retirement, which in the end may have just been a ploy to sell more tickets on the last tour. But maybe they love the music so much they couldn’t stay away, and with so much free time thanks to a global pandemic, maybe they banded together and gathered enough material to almost make a double album. Despite their 50th anniversary, there are still a few “Gas in the tank”, which is a pretty fitting opening track for the record.

There are two versions of the release, one with 11 tracks and another with 5 additional songs. “Shoot for Your Heart” and “Crossing Bordersare two bonus tracks that I would miss if I didn’t have the extended version. The last bonus track is just an acoustic version of the only real ballad on the disc, “When you know.” The electric version has a classic solitaire Scorpios atmosphere and makes a nice connection with the album – the acoustic version, quite frankly, seems a bit useless.

There are plenty of songs reminiscent of the classic Scorpios tracks. “Roots in My Boots” “Knock ‘Em Dead”, “Hot and cold” and “Peacemaker” are solid rockers that would have found their place comfortably in the catalog of the classic period. “The Shard of Your Soul” and “Seventh Sun” go back a little further in the spirit of the catalog, when Uli Jon Roth was the featured guitarist, with some more atonal grooves.

Now let’s be clear. There’s nothing revolutionary here, but that’s exactly why it works. Scorpios seemed to have identified what made them their best, and they are leaning hard on this version. Yes “Believing in Rock” is the latest contribution to their catalog, they come out with their fists in the air, and a nod and a wink to the fans. And I’m happy for them.

Produced by: Spinfarm from Universal
Released on: February 25, 2022
Kind: Hard Rock

The musicians:

  • Klaus Meine / Voice
  • Rudolf Schenker / Guitars, backing vocals, guitar solo “When You Know (Where You’re From)”guitar arrangements
  • Matthias Jabs / Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Slide Guitar, Guitar Solos, Guitar Arrangements
  • Pawel Mąciwoda /Low
  • Mikkey Dee / Drums

“Believing in Rock” track list:

  1. Gas in the tank
  2. Roots in my boots
  3. knock them out
  4. believer in rock
  5. Shining with your soul
  6. Seventh Sun
  7. Hot and cold
  8. When I lay my bones to rest
  9. Peacemaker
  10. call of the wild
  11. when you know
  12. Shoot for your heart
  13. When tomorrow comes
  14. Unleash the beast.
  15. Crossing borders
  16. When you know (acoustic)

7.9


Awesome

The German tank of melodic hard rock defies the odds and their age, managing to make a respectable return to their glory days in terms of mood, performance and production, and bringing together nearly a double album of material that has a good killer to filler ratio

  • song writing
    8.5

  • Musician
    8

  • Originality
    7

  • Production
    8