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Quality Commercial Metal - 89%

SweetLeaf95, May 13th, 2018

If it isn't obvious already, Love At First Sting is widely seen as the most successful record by the bad boys running in Germany. By 1984, they had built a strong reputation of amazing records one after another, back to back ever since Fly To The Rainbow. Subtle changes would carry through the years, winding up with the one that would bring them the most radio airplay and singles. Moreover, it also made for a very clean production, pop-metal garnishings on a lot of the tracks, and very accessible tunes, making it easier to broaden their audience. What do all of these things produce? A record that has strong delivery, yet could shatter the fragile ego of many a metal-goer.

Admittedly, "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "Still Loving You" are pretty played out, and seldom would I ever choose to listen to these tracks on their own. However, as part of the record, they're extremely fitting and fall right into place with the beauty of the rest of the album. The gritty force that was the main attraction of the '70s records is now gone, and replaced by catchier riffs, that still have a nice bite to them. "I'm Leaving You" is a killer clash of heavy rhythms and clean guitar licks working as a team to create one of the finest tunes on here. The bass-lines in this one are pretty stellar as well. Don't let the lack of Uli Roth fool you either, because the load doesn't all fall on the creative instincts of Rudolf Schenker. Matthias Jabs rips just as well, just has a different playing style. Rather busting out bouncy, classical influenced bridges and solos, there are instead a greater abundance of shredding solos and fret tapping complexity that was becoming essential at the time. And of course, there are no more Roth fronted tracks, which goes without saying. Klaus is in complete control, and sounds amazing as ever.

"Bad Boys Running Wild" is another one of the greatest tracks here, as this displays Jab's ability right from the start, delivering a strong, all-over-the-fret-board type solo. "Big City Nights" sticks a pop overtone into this, yet holds the same quality. Plus, '80s pop is pretty good, and if anything works as a great compliment to the songs on here. Slower, calm moments work wonders on this record. The intro to "Coming Home" gives it a nice build-up before breaking into one of the heaviest, and also strongest tracks on the entire record. "Crossfire" is another slow one that does not disappoint. The drum beat in this one is rather fascinating, too. Sex appeal plays a large role in this entire release across the board (if that isn't obvious). Like many of the other factors, this was a fairly prominent feature of the time period. It's no wonder that this has always been a go-to record with the ladies.

Simply put, Love At First Sting was the album that brought the ideas that were beginning to show in Blackout into full from. Really, even since Lovedrive you can sense a change into this direction, likely due to that one being the first non-Roth album. As amazing as everything before that was, it would have likely gone stale had there not been some style shifts. Poppy does not mean bad. This is packed with shredding solos, powerful vocals and riffs, soothing clean guitars, and bouncy bass-lines galore. Yeah, the really huge songs get old, but what are you gonna do?