Review Summary: A masterful piece of hard rock with very few flaws.
By 1975, it is remarkable to think that the Scorpions had been formed already 10 years before. Their early years were turbulent ones, with multiple lineup changes and steps towards many open-ended directions. However, with the release of their third album, In Trance
, the Scorpions were finally starting to establish their base sound, and with masterful execution.
With their previous releases, the band had been influenced by psychedelic and progressive influences. Compositions such as “Lonesome Crow”, “In Search of the Peace of Mind” and “Fly to the Rainbow” display this perfectly. Enter In Trance
, these influences have been mostly ditched. Shorter and more concise songs dominate the album. Similarly to “Speedy's Coming” off of Fly to the Rainbow
, tracks such as “Dark Lady”, “Top of the Bill” and “Robot Man” are fun and easy to listen to, and easily grasp any listener's attention with fast-paced rhythm and amazing guitar work by Roth and Schenker.
Despite this, progressive structure is still present in some tracks. The title track and “Evening Wind” clearly change throughout their course. In particular, the title track benefits from this immensely, when it changes from an acoustic ballad, to a stellar solo by Roth, and finishes with an emotionally driven chant by Meine, accompanied by powerful instrumentation from the entire band.
Other power ballads on the album shouldn't be overlooked, however. The likes of “Life's Like a River” and “Living and Dying” are great tracks, and fully flesh out Meine's impressive vocal ability and the amount of emotion he puts in.
If there was ever one thing that made the Uli Jon Roth era iffy, it was Roth's vocals. Roth's voice is nasal, and deepened by his accent, making it go frequently out of tune. His vocals on “Dark Lady” aren't so bad, because of the blaring sound of all the instruments, as well as Meine taking over the high-pitched yells during the chorus, but it ruins “Sun in My Hand”, who's minimalistic rhythmic approach brings all ears to his vocal flaws, which is unfortunate, because otherwise that track has great soloing.
As for the other band members, Buccholz plays his best bass lines of his career, and is the driving force for songs such as “Longing for Fire” and “Life's Like a River”. Their new drummer, Rudy Lenners, isn't as impressive as Jurgen Rosenthal, but manages to keep up to the beat. These two make up the stellar rhythm section of the album and perfect its pace, making for hardly ever a dull moment.
is an extremely high note in the Scorpions' career, and is probably their best work with Roth. It has masterful guitar work, powerful vocals by Meine and perfect pace. What more could you ask for from a hard rock album?
Klaus Meine – vocals
Uli Jon Roth – guitar, vocals
Rudof Schenker – guitar
Francis Buccholz – bass guitar
Rudy Lenners – drums