Scorpions - 'Sting In The Tail'

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Scorpions - 'Sting In The Tail'

The German legends’ celebrated career draws to a venomous conclusion with the long-awaited ‘Sting In The Tail’.

Showy hooks and riffs ride atop a seething undercurrent of aggression, producing a catchy though well-structured series of stadium rock titles. ‘Slave Me’ is one such irresistible offering with its sleazy grooves wrapped up in Klaus Meine’s charismatic vocal sections. Mirroring the urgency of his caterwauling tones, the bass guitar snarls like an angry beast alongside a succession of bluesy melodies and pummelling percussion.

While diehard glam rockers will revel in this glittering display of showmanship, newcomer listeners may find the whole affair a tad generic. With a clichéd combination of good-time anthems and weepy balladry, ‘Sting In The Tail’ relies heavily upon textbook, though nevertheless entertaining rock ’n’ roll. Enhanced by the vocal talents of ex-Nightwish soprano Tarja Turunen, ‘The Good Die Young’ is a moving standout forged from expert songwriting and raw emotion. Perhaps the finest product of Scorpions’ melancholic moments, ‘…Die Young’ showcases a unique magnetism that lingers somewhere between euphoria and sorrow. Despite a rather lengthy time-span, ‘SLY’ remains compelling from keyboard-laden intro to explosive ending, featuring an extravagant mix of orchestral ambience and titanic power chords. Tinged with a hint of the late Freddie Mercury, Meine demonstrates an agile range as his crooning notes soar to an astronomical climax. Crammed with atmospheric, instrumental sections, these iconic pieces are also tailor-made for live performance, boasting a wealth of blistering solos and shredding.

Though scarcely treading any fresh ground, ‘Sting In The Tail’ deserves due attention as a well-executed slice of authentic, bicep-flexing rock. Beneath a crowd-pleasing gloss of glam trappings, this grand finale is as rich and raw as a measure of fine, single malt whisky. Aged over three, glorious decades, Scorpions’ seasoned expertise is truly a wonder to behold.

Faye Coulman

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