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Scorpions bet this time on a concept that is not new in the heavy metal world, as it was already exploited by Deep Purple in a much better fashion and would be exploited by many bands and genres in subsequent years. This collaboration with the Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra features various of their classics and a couple of new tracks. The fact that this album combines these two worlds in a single idea can sound attractive; however, rock and heavy metal in their most basic form is meant to be in their most basic form. Otherwise, the results can be awkward and even contrary to the spirit of a specific song.
Although Scorpions perfectly executed this symphonic rock concept, they failed to select the right tracks. “Hurricane 2000” (“Rock You Like a Hurricane” per its original title) and “Big City Nights” are traditional heavy metal songs with a good taste as to what partying and rock n’ roll mean, so the sole idea of adding symphonic music can result somehow weird, like music for a TV show. On the contrary, “Send Me An Angel” is precisely the type of song that can perfectly work with this concept, as much as “Crossfire” does, especially the latter, which results quite epic. These songs demonstrate that mixing ballads or low-paced songs with symphonic music provides excellent results. However, “Here in my Heart” is an absolute overkill that becomes an exception to the rule and sounds more like a track from a Disney soundtrack than something part of a Scorpions album.
In fact, the album displays, on the one hand, brilliant creative moments and acceptable song choices, but on the other hand, some ideas do not seem to work. Many bands have tried the concept with mixed results. Still, a lesson should indeed have been learned from this album: not all the music was made for the symphonic concept, and more so, adding the symphonic sound to already written metal songs ends up being awkward when all is said and done. In conclusion, this album is basically directed at those nostalgic and die-hard fans. If you want the good old hard-rocking sense of the songs, then this is a skippable part of the band’s catalog.
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