The Scorpions dropped their 17th and final studio album this month. While there may be more compilations or live material to come, the Scorps plan to retire after this record and its subsequent 3-year world tour. So the question is do the band still retain that Sting in the Tail after 45 years of rocking our collective asses off? Yes, they do. The band have laid down a final classic in the Scorpions’ massive catalog. Songs that will stand the test of time, and remind fans why they fell in love with German rockers to begin with. This is by no means the band’s best work, nor is it an epic release, but it does do their legacy justice.
Sting in the Tail kicks off with the arena anthem, “Raised on Rock” which is perhaps a template for the band’s 80’s metal sound. Clean crisp guitars, Klaus Meine’s indelibly unique signature vocals, and a sweet hooky chorus. Guitarist Matthias Jabs slips in some voxbox work as well. Interestingly, the song was penned by producers Mikael “Nord” Andersson and Martin Hansen.
“Slave Me” could have fit in comfortably on any of the band’s heaviest albums of years gone by. While the “Good Die Young” features the haunting voice of Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish), and features the emotionally sonic guitar work of the Scorpions slower bygone ballads.
As you listen to the dozen tracks on the CD, you can’t help but envision them performed on the big stage, guitarists Rudolf Schenker, Matthias Jabs, and vocalist Klaus Meine, swaying back and forth in synchronicity. The Scorps have always had a knack for building songs that lend themselves to live performance. Songs like “No Limit,” and “Turn You On” are prime examples. It’s all about the rock for these metal legends, as the album’s song titles might suggest; “Rock Zone,” “Raised on Rock,” “Spirit of Rock,” and “Let’s Rock!”
Drummer James Kottack and bassist Pawel Maciwoda are as solid as Herman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz used to be. Kottack is also as amply insane as the skinmeister he took over for in 1996.
If you are a Scorpions fan you should be amply satiated with Sting in the Tail, as all fans of classic 80’s metal should be. Is this truly the last new material we’ll hear from the aging rockers? They say yes, but their final song, the “Winds of Change”-type ballad, “The Best is Yet To Come,” alludes to a door left open. “I know you know, that we’ve only just begun.”
A bonus track, “Thunder and Lightning” is also floating out there somewhere.