“Rock Believer” is not just another new release that we will talk about it for a while, write a few scattered lines and then forget all about it as it happens so often nowadays. No, it’s not like that, at all. “Rock Believer” is a landmark; a turning point for the music industry for a variety of reasons. You see, it’s a rare occasion to witness a band with a 50-year recording career to come up with such a qualitative effort. But it’s not only this. The songs themselves portray a clear image of a band that possesses both the energy of a newcomer and the wisdom of a veteran act. “Rock Believer” is old school and modern at the same time. It’s a classic Scorpions album with a “warm”, analogue production.
But even all of the above don’t justify the aforementioned characterization of a turning point for the music industry. The thing that makes “Rock Believer” so special and significant is that it captures a band that had absolutely no reason at all to record another record yet it did so and it did it successfully. This is an album that reminds of the good old days of “Blackout” and “Animal Magnetism” aiming straight and exclusively to the legions of Scorpions fans out there. Schenker/Meine/Jabs/Maciwoda/Dee managed to speak straight to our hearts and all you need to do is…listen. Simple. “Shining Of Your Soul”, “When You Know (Where You Come From)”, “Seventh Sun”, “Gas in the Tank” and “Shoot For Your Heart” are anthems. Scorpions proved that all the musicians in the world should think like them. They should try and release songs that will speak to their fans and stir timeless emotions despite the undeniable fact that there is not the same consuming and buying audience out there. Still…we are few, we are many, we are strong. The truth is that we are lucky to have Scorpions and “Rock Believer” in our lives. A simple “thank you” to the mighty Scorpions is not enough…
I guess the mighty Scorpions had foreseen that… “The Best Is Yet To Come” they claimed back in 2010 when they released “Sting In The Tail” and here it is… another amazing album totally worthy of the band’s huge career and a proof that the sting is still venomous.
While I was writing this it was announced that Scorpions will be playing Athens’ biggest open air stadium this summer with Alice Cooper as a special guest. I thought about all the miserable people who will start mocking them again about doing their last tour, the farewell shows and all that crap they write on Facebook to laugh with their friends. I’d say let them to their misery – although I’m sure that a lot of them will go see them live – and that’s good for them because a Scorpions show is always awesome
On the other hand, how can you quit when you can still make such great albums, try stuff, experiment and still maintain your identity as well as the passion, the energy, the intensity and most importantly the quality? I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Thank God!
Plus, the title “Rock Believer” is not given by accident, since it’s sending to the fans of the band and the fans of our favourite music in general the message that rock is not dead, as long as it lives inside of you. It has the power to keep you alive and “unbreakable”, no matter the age, or the years you have in your back as a musician. “How can we grow old, when the soundtrack of our life is rock’n’roll?”
Here’s to the next ones…
Let’s turn now to the Greek Scorpion Fan Club “Greek Sting” for their impressions on “Rock Believer”…
I cannot be objective with the Scorpions. It’s the band that changed my life in 1985 when my dad brought “World Wide Live” home. Yeah, OK I’ve checked out some compilations with their songs before that, but I wasn’t sure what I was listening to, but “World Wide Live” made me decide where to go musically in my life. And as a Fan Club we have made strong criticism for their “black” decade (from “Pure Instinct”, “Eye II Eye”, “Comeblack” and “Acoustica”) but also for their many misguided commercial moves (such as lack of special editions, non-release of classic live performances, or spoiling already good ones – Wacken’s DVD was dreadful, especially for us who were there and watched one of the best live shows of all time). I want to say that we have always been strict with the band, because when you have lived through periods of “Love At First Sting”, “Savage Amusement”, “Blackout” you should have great expectations. So, Scorpions returned to normality after 2004 with good to excellent records, some more experimental (“Humanity”) others more classic (“Sting In The Tail”) but always strong and classy. We were waiting for “Rock Believer” impatiently. The samples were already not only encouraging but incredibly good really! “Peacemaker” exploded like dynamite, we knew how epic “Seventh Sun” would be from the rehearsal they released on YouTube. But, I really did not expect such a triumph. Let’s not forget that Klaus and Rudi are 73 years old. First of all, let me make a reference to the amazing production that sounds lively, analogue and fresh. I am fed up with the plastic productions from bands of such caliber that have all the means to make a proper rock or metal production. So, the sound gives another bonus to the already comfortable and easy listening of the songs which are great one by one. “Seventh Sun” sounds like another imposing “China White”, teutonic and heavy is the best the band has written since the “Crazy World” era (maybe along with the masterpiece “Humanity”), “Shoot For Your Heart” shows kids how to play ball in melodic rock (and it is a bonus) the starting three shows eras of “Animal Magnetism”, “Blackout” and “Crazy World”. “Shining Of Your Soul” may sound like “Is There Anybody There”, but the basic riff and chorus take it to the stratosphere. The other bonus track “When Tomorrow Comes” continues the tradition of Scorpions leaving great ongs out of the standard edition… they take us back to “Humanity” with a very experimental metal track that I personally canot get enough of. Finally, one understands how good the new album is from the ballad. At a time when bands no longer write ballads and Scorpions haven’t written a good slow song since “Sting In The Tail”, “When You Know (Where You Come From)” gives us the final blow. I do not know how at 73 they managed to write such an album! Maybe the arrival of TITAN Mikkey Dee gave them the freshness they lacked, maybe they rightly decided that the Meine / Schenker written compositions were far superior to any Swedish producer, maybe that they thought this might be their last record (though I think after this saga there is still “gas in the tank”), maybe maybe maybe… The point is that they came back with an album that is not just good, or honest for an older band, but an album that stands comfortably next to their top releases without lacking anything. Rudolf gives it his all as the eternal teenager, Mikkey was and is one of the best drummers, Matthias’s solos are unsurpassed and Klaus is driving us crazy. I do not think there is another singer at such an age who sounds so good (only Eric Adams I think is kept in such shape). Apparently, 2022 will be the year of the silver haired with fresh and amazing records from FM, Saxon and of course my favorite Scorpions… Bury The Undertaker!!!
“The Scorpions are going to release an album. “Let’s see” was my first thought without too many expectations. And here comes the 25th of February with the official release when I listen to the album and I am shocked! With Klaus and Rudy at 73 making me jump up and down like a teenager, like when “Face The Heat” was released! I was waiting to listen to a filler, but I couldn’t find one… every song is better than the other! The intro is powerful with “Gas In The Tank”, reggae rhythm on “Shining On Your Soul” that brings “Is There Anybody There” in mind, but without being the same, “Seventh Son” is totally German and heavy, with an amazing chorus. “Peacemaker” is an amazing hit song, from the ones that stick in your head and you sing them all day long. “Shoot For Your Heart” is fast and dynamic and throws us with our back against the wall, just because they can. And the only ballad of the album “When You Know (Where You Come From)” transcends us to older Scorpions-eras, filled with emotions, just as it suits to this band. Klaus’ voice is amazing, like you are listening to a 35-year old singer at his best. Scorpions are not my favourite band by chance, they’ve earned rightfully their place in my heart years now!
In 2022 we’ve got a new Scorpions release! It’s 50 years since their first album and they are back with incredible energy, new songs from scratch, since as they said this time they didn’t use anything from older unreleased material from their vaults, so it was challenging to see where they were composition-wise. Although they’ve scheduled the making of a new album the pandemic gave them even more time to work on the songs even more, since there was no time restrictions, as there was no touring obligations. The three singles that were released gave us an idea of the album, but listening to the album start to finish the surprise and the joy multiply. The first song puts the listener “in the zone” instantly with its energy, freshness and enthusiasm that runs through the entire album. Klaus warns us: “The king of riffs is back in town Who is up for a deadly sting”… they had a great time in the studio and that leaves its mark on the record. Both lyrically and musically this album is dedicated to the great career of Scorpions in hard and heavy rock music, hence the title “Rock Believer” isn’t accidental. Finally, I wouldn’t like to mention any songs, because for me this work is flawless. Not because they wrote the best album in their career, or they topped their golden years, but because they made an album we can’t get enough of and is on repeat, all the time, so actually it’s judged by the result.