• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

SCORPIONS – ROCK BELIEVER review

ByTaylor T Carlson

Mar 7, 2022

ROCK BELIEVER is the 21st studio album from Scorpions, released in 2022.

With the arrival of the year 2022, it’s now officially been 50 years since the release of the band’s debut album, LONESOME CROW. Feel old yet? Either way, there’s no denying this heavy metal quintet from Germany remains one of the most impressive and longest running rock bands in the world.

The Scorpions’ current lineup consists of vocalist Klaus Meine, guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs, drummer Mikkey Dee, and bassist Pawel Maciwoda. Of these musicians, Meine and Schenker have been with the band since their recordings began. Jabs has been in the band since around 1979. Maciwoda has been in since 2003, and Dee, formerly of Motorhead, joined the band in 2016, replacing former drummer James Kottak.

The Scorpions’ story has been a long and interesting one producing some of the greatest classic hard rock/heavy metal hits of all time. The band also hasn’t been afraid to branch out musically, sometimes with mixed results. But there have been far more hits than misses, and despite the band claiming they’d be retiring around 2010 (does any band ever mean it when they say they’re doing that?), they’ve persevered. ROCK BELIEVER marks the band’s first release of studio material since 2015’s RETURN TO FOREVER.

What’s truly surprising about Scorpions music is how the group has almost always managed to deliver quality music. Many bands that drag out their careers in the studio and on the live stage struggle and suffer, with a noticeable decline in the quality of recordings and performances. While I wasn’t the hugest fan of the band’s last studio album, RETURN TO FOREVER, the subsequent live performances and the band’s concentrated efforts still shined through more than many of their contemporaries, many of whom started their careers long after these German rockers. So…. how’s ROCK BELIEVER?

I’m happy to say ROCK BELIEVER is a kick-ass album, easily the best from the band in many years, and quite possibly their best studio effort since the turn of the millennium. There’s no orchestral accompaniment or experimentation with dance music here, nor are their attempts at blatant commercialism. It’s a fantastic throwback that hearkens back to the band’s classic 80s sound, perhaps better than anything that’s come since the Decade of Decadence. I’m pleased to announce that there’s not a weak track in the bunch, and fans of the band will be happy to hear them sounding the way they should. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear this was produced by Dieter Dierks back in the 80s, even though neither is actually true. Relentless yet diverse between the heavy and the melodic, it’s a studio effort that proves these guys aren’t ready to retire after all. And you know what? If they can continue to make music this good in the studio and back it up on the live stage, I’m good with that. I think you will be too.

ROCK BELIEVER will make a believer out of you. Klaus and company aren’t done doing what they do, and that’s just fine with this headbanger. The album transports the listener back to the Decade of Decadence, yet it never feels like a “copycat” album of those older days either. That’s why it’s hands down one of my favorite albums of 2022 so far. Highly recommended!

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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