Scorpions - Sting In The Tail
Universal Music Group
Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
11 songs (44'20)
Release year: 2010
Scorpions, Universal Music Group
Reviewed by Marty
Album of the month
Although it wasn't initially intended as such, sometime during the recording of this new album Sting In The Tail, it was decided that this was the best sounding material that the Scorpions had come up with in many, many years and if the band had ever intended on going out on a high note, then this was it. These veteran German rockers have since announced that Sting In The Tail will in fact be their last ever studio album with plans to finally retire after a massive 2 year farewell world tour beginning early this summer.

Although the same song writing team responsible for Humanity Hour 1 was also used here, there seems to have been a more conscious effort to get back to the classic Scorpions sound of the 80's and such albums as Blackout, Love At First Sting and Savage Amusement. In fact, much of this album pretty much picks up where Savage Amusement left off even though almost 22 years and many subsequent albums have passed in the interim. The album opens with a very Rock You Like A Hurricane structured Raised On Rock, complete with driving riffs, classic Matthias Jabs lead fills and the melodic touch of the Love At First Sting album. The title track Sting In The Tail has a sort of Can't Live Without you groove complete with thick razor sharp riffs, excellent lead work and a great catchy chorus. Many of the songs on this album have the classic big guitar sound of the 80's Scorpions material. Gibson guitars and cranked up Marshalls churning out catchy riffs that were very up front in the final mix were the main ingredients of their sound throughout the 80's and it has returned in fine form with this album. More examples of great riff driven tracks include Spirit of Rock and No Limit. Tracks like Slave Me and Turn You On also benefit from great melodic vocal lines and very strong, solid choruses. What Scorpions album would be without at least one big power ballad and with Sting In The Tail, we actually get 3. The Good Die Young is a touching tribute to those who lay down their lives for peace and freedom. Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) contributes haunting, angelic backing vocals for the verses as well as for the chorus of the song. Lorelei has that Still Loving You passion and is a true highlight of the album as far as Klaus Meine's voice. Not sounding like he's aged at all, the power and passion in his voice reaffirms that Scorpions are the masters of this type of heart wrenching heavy power ballad. Sly uses a sort of acoustic Holiday like intro and once again evolves into another huge and emotionally charged track. Things get cranked up a notch or two with the speedy and big booming riff infused Rock Zone. This one's a real "party rocker"; one of the many different styles of hard rock that they mastered over their long and glorious career. The album finishes with The Best Is Yet To Come, a fitting finale to this album. Awesome soaring melodies and a get-stuck-in-your-head chorus top off a song that almost takes on spiritual-like qualities.

Having followed this band from the late 70's until now, I'm very familiar with their back catalogue and just how different a band they were back in the Uli John Roth era. However, even though they became much more commercial with an almost pop-metal sound in the 80's, few would argue that this was where they came full circle to develop the classic Scorpions sound that we all know and love. This album revisits that era and in some cases, a few of the tracks on Sting In The Tail sound like long lost tracks from that glorious time in their career. The thick guitar tone has returned and the song writing; although fairly simple in nature shows a sharpness, coherence and more importantly a renewed awareness of just what makes great Scorpions songs. It will be sad to see when they finally do pack it in but with the massive tour in the works, you can bet that live DVDs and other compilations will follow as well as the obligatory final send-off show that will no doubt feature appearances by Uli John Roth and Michael Schenker as well as other former members like Frances Bucholz and Hermann Rarebell. Sting In the Tail is a class album by a class band that has had the kind of lengthy career that we may never see anymore from any band. They have such a distinct sound and there will never be another band quite like them. They crossed over the many genres of melodic rock, hard rock, heavy metal, hair metal and the whole MTV metal craze of he 80's gaining fans from all walks of life and musical tastes along the way. Not many bands can do that. As a lasting legacy, they have left their fans with an album that is simply the best since Savage Amusement and sums up in a fitting swan song, all that is so great about this band.......enjoy!!

Killing Songs :
Sting In The Tail, Slave Me, The Good Die Young, Turn You On, Sly and The Best Is Yet To Come
Marty quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Scorpions that we have reviewed:
Scorpions - Humanity - Hour 1 reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Scorpions - Unbreakable reviewed by Marty and quoted 82 / 100
Scorpions - Moment Of Glory - DVD reviewed by Danny and quoted no quote
Scorpions - Acoustica reviewed by Sin and quoted no quote
Scorpions - Moment Of Glory (with the Berliner Philarmoniker) reviewed by Chris and quoted no quotes
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