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The Day Did Sneak Up On The Night - 98%

SweetLeaf95, May 7th, 2018

As per the previous review, In Trance is one of three flawless records by Scorpions put fourth in the '70s, along with Virgin Killer and Taken By Force. Being the first of the three, this was also the album that really brought the heavy metal formula that the boys from Germany were cooking up to a complete, ready for consumption. Not to say the records preceding it weren't metal at all, but they didn't implement the stylistics as thoroughly as they did on this record. But what really sets it apart from the others? The raw, crunchy production!

Being as stripped down as this is, it actually works as an advantage, as it gives the overall quality an echo-like reverberation that adds a layer of atmosphere. The title track shows this very well, and this record is one of the most vocally harmonic albums that they would ever put out. The chorus on this is absolutely fantastic, being led by a softer guitar lick. The hard riffs of the mighty "Dark Lady" also display some of the most intense emotion with the simplistic rawness of power chords, topped by vocals shared by Ulrich and Klaus alike. This certainly adds to the harmonic overload and sets the stage for the thickness present throughout. Plus, the fret tapping axe-work shown by Uli to separate the versus is pretty stellar! "Robot Man" is another one of the heavier tracks, dropping down and slugging us with one of Schenker's signature rhythms. Also noteworthy to point out the robotic touch that was added to the vocals on this; some may hate that, I think it's fitting.

Bass work stands out on this album more than ever, which is another standout factor to defining the heavy sound on here. I would go as far to even say that some of this is in the ballpark of Motorhead, but not quite as intense. You can certainly see influence from here in Motorhead's work in the years to come. Switching from minor to major keys is fairly prominent on In Trance, seeing that a lot of the tracks shift moods a lot, keeping the listener on their feet. "Life's Like A River" is a pretty good candidate to represent this, but even the guitar driven rocker "Sun In My Hand" does a fair amount of this. Roth does the vocals on that track as well, but the aim is to see the pure genius that lies within his instrumentation.

This was the start to a perfect run of records, and the start to this band's musical peak. No dull moments exist on this record. There's constant change throughout, it's raw and heavy, and loaded with harmonics that few bands of the time could come close to matching. Another absolute essential album in the realm of heavy metal.