Scorpions - Rock Believer (2022) - Album Review

By Paul Rigg

Still Screaming ‘n’ Stinging  

Incredibly Rudolf Schenker formed the German heavy metal outfit
Scorpions in 1965, and the screaming woman with a tattoo on her tongue on the cover of Rock Believer (22 February 2022; Spinefarm Records) signals that the band still seeks to sting.

Scorpions have shifted over 100 million records since their inception and on this, their nineteenth studio album, they have found new energy in part by replacing drummer James Kottak with ex-Motörhead hide-basher Mikkey Dee. Further, the pandemic meant that they could not record in LA as planned, so they stayed in their hometown of Hanover, and seemingly collaborated more as a result.


With Klaus Meine on vocals, Matthias Jabs on guitars, and Pawel Maciwoda on bass, they have taken longer than ever to release this studio release, but as Schenker said: "We [have been] waiting for a moment for inspiration to do another album, like
Judas Priest and Metallica did, [but] you have to wait until the time is right.”

The quality of the new material was flagged when the band dropped the first single, Peacemaker, which was released on 4 November 2021 and featured Schenker’s famous Flying V on the accompanying video. Jabs contributes a soaring guitar solo on an anthem that harks back to the band’s glory days, and its lyric: “If we don't change,we're gonna crash […] Forever love, stop the war,” could hardly be more appropriate for the disturbing times we are currently living through.


The opener however is Gas in the Tank, which seems like a statement of intent from the senior rockers. “Who is up for a deadly sting?” sings Meine in a song that features another great solo. Roots In My Boots and Knock ‘Em Dead’ maintain the accelerator pedal hard on the floor, and smoothly help set up the humming title track, Rock Believer.

Shining Of Your Soul
features a strong beat and a cheerful message, while the mood shifts and the pace slows right down at the start of Seventh Sun, before building to a crescendo.


When I Lay My Bones to Rest
, written by Jabs, is a thundering track with a refreshing sound, which is followed by the aforementioned Peacemaker. Call Of The Wild features more exceptional guitar work, a dirty sound and a fine melody. The album closes appropriately with the ballad single release, When You Know (Where You Come From).

A number of the tracks will be familiar in style to Scorpions fans, but this will please many as the quality is high. Dee has quickly found his place in the five-piece outfit, and the edge in Meine's voice and in the guitars happily persist.