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You're A Demon! - 99%

SweetLeaf95, May 7th, 2018

Virgin Killer is one of the three back to back albums by Scorpions that I deem to be flawless, along with In Trance and Taken By Force. The latter of the two was touched on a few years back, so it's well overdue for me to praise and gush about the others. This record may not contain the sheer heaviness that their 1977 effort had, but it definitely has its harder moments, as well as being flooded with groovey hooks, pummeling riffs, and some of the coolest tracks that Schenker and co. would put out.

Advanced tune construction isn't a good enough description to detail this release, and it should be a given that that's one of the key factors on this monster. And they're all over the place! There's the disruptive raw energy of "Catch Your Train", immediately followed by one of the most tame, slow and soft tracks, "In Your Park". The similarity lies in the idea that both of them are constructed in a way that doesn't have any predictability, yet don't need complexity. "Catch Your Train" rides on a pretty simplistic rhythm with jam-packed energy, and some of Klaus's highest pitch, yet on point and with fierce vocal delivery! The other one shows the emotion they can deliver in a slower track that really doesn't have much change. It's quite soothing.

Along with the energy bestows some pretty hoarse and doom driven tracks, such as the mighty title track, or the instrumentation to "Crying Days". The guitars are even more heavily distorted and use bass kicks to top off this layer of fury. Of course, it wouldn't be a Scorpions record if it didn't contain a few rock n rollers that hone in strictly on rhythm, tight solos, catchy and harmonic choruses, and s general friendlier vibe. Tracks like the album opener "Pictured Life" use this to grab the listener's attention from the start, and sprinkling others in that use this same tactic, such as "Backstage Queen" and "Yellow Raven". Fans have mixed thoughts on Ulrich Roth taking vocals; some say he should stick to the guitar, and others, including myself, think he's great! He does the vocals for "Polar Nights" and "Hell Cat". Definitely a different feel to them, but a good one nonetheless. "Hell Cat" actually has a doomy touch to it, using heavier, chugged riffs during the chorus, where he delivers some of the catchiest lines, and displays a fair amount of attitude.

When all is said an done, the biggest thing that makes this so incredible is the way Scorpions take simplistic and catchy ideas, and turn them into unpredictable, musical gold. Rudolf Schenker is somewhat known for that, and this combined with Klaus Meine's ability to convey many emotions is pretty much unstoppable. This time period was the band's musical prime. Killer tunes were being banged out one after another, and this release falls right in the center of that streak. Absolutely an essential metal record.