All good things must finally come to an end. That is the case of the lengthy career of the Scorpions. Sting In The Tail is the seventeenth studio album by German heavy metal band Scorpions. It was released on March 19, 2010 in Europe and was released on March 23 in North America. It is likely their last studio album, as the band members have earlier stated that they would retire once the tour supporting this album was done.
According to guitarist Rudolf Schenker, if you take the best song elements from the ’80s albums, and put these on one album, you come up with the Sting in the Tail album. It was a case of trying to re-invent the Scorpions sound from the ’80s, using the same DNA after putting in a modern twist, to make it sound like today’s music. First week sales in the United States were 18,500 copies sold placing it at No. 23 on the Billboard 200. In Germany the album debuted at No. 2, but fell in its second week to No. 3, in France at No. 16 and in Greece at No. 1. The album also peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard Rock Charts.
The album kicks off with the anthemic Raised On Rock, perhaps a biographical statement by the band or heck they could be singing about us Scorps fans. The riffs & solo breaks are good enough to get the heart pumping and the fists thumping in the air. The title track Sting In The Tail is weird; the guitar parts starts off as mid-tempo but singer Klaus Meine’s vocals start off like he is a singer for a Black Metal band! WTF?, and it isn’t one of their strongest songs at all. The guitar riffs are a lot prominent than ever, as evident in Slave Me, which is a hard rock version of sexual love, with a semi-rap attempt in between!! We finally slow things down for the 4th song; remember that very few bands can do a power ballad as well as the guys in Scorpions can. The Good Die Young is no exception although I am not digging the tone of the vocals for the verses. But musically I can’t complain; it’s about as good as it gets. The song also features the vocals of Finnish symphonic metal singer Tarja Turunen.
No Limit reminds me a lot of Big City Nights, especially the opening riffs. This song is about going all out to achieve your dreams and not to hold back. Rock Zone follows and maintains the heavy feeling throughout the album. I think Klaus vocals are superb in this song, stretching it out to a hard rock classic vocal style a la Meine. We get the love ballad Lorelei, a lament of love lost. This is probably one of Scorpions best songs ever. A man on a mission to Turn You On – a good riff rock number. Just like all the other songs, James Kottak does a fine job of laying down a string drum foundation.
Sly‘s opening rhythm guitar riff sounds a lot like Holiday but other than that these two ballads have little in common. This song deals more about death. Scorpions seem to have moved backwards in time and rediscovered their love for rock music – Spirit Of Rock is the third song that deals with this theme. And it’s a very enjoyable tune. We hit ballad town once again as the album ends; well not a complete ballad. The Best Is Yet To Come, ironically titled for the last song that is recorded and placed for us to hear in their long career. And with that we come to the end of Scorpions recording career and as they hit the towns & cities on their final world tour, the fans get the ominous feeling of seeing them live for the last time.