In Trance


RCA, 1976

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


It is understood that not every musical act comes out of the gate knowing exactly what their sound is going to be for the bulk of their career. It is also understood that it may take several albums – and changing of key personnel in the band – before that sound is finally captured.

In the case of In Trance, the third album from Germany's Scorpions, one quickly hears that this is a band still uncertain of just what they want to be when they grow up. Unfortunately, it makes for a very difficult – and, at times, dull – listen.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first disc following the departure of Michael Schenker (as well as featuring new drummer Rudy Lenners), the now scaled-back quintet tries to power through ten songs, only they often forget to bring the actual power to the music. Ulrich Roth's guitar solos are fairly uninspired, and the group constantly seems to teeter-totter between ballads with a little muscle behind them and semi-rockers that have about the same punch as a wet noodle to the face.

The whole first half of In Trance suffers from this sub-average performance. Many songs, such as “Life's Like A River,” “Living And Dying” and the title track are listenable – but barely. Where their previous effort Fly To The Rainbow featured some actual power behind performances, here it really sounds like Klaus Meine, Roth and crew are merely phoning it in.

In fact, only two tracks stand out on the whole disc. “Robot Man” is the first evidence that the Scorpions hadn't forgotten how to deliver the power behind their music, both in terms of performance and vocals. Likewise, “Longing For Fire,” while on the poppy side, just has a charm to it that you can't deny.

The sad thing is that In Trance ends up being a step down from the progress that the Scorpions made on Fly To The Rainbow – and that's a shame, really. Granted, the constant changes in the band's lineup weren't helping them gel together as a unit (and they were, by no means, done), but at some point the light has to go on and the band has to say, “Aha! THAT'S the sound we've been looking for!” 'Cause simply, on In Trance, it just ain't there.

Oh, make no mistake, I do like the Scorpions – and they obviously would find the formula that worked for them on future albums. But In Trance is still an album of band growth – only this time, it sounds like that growth has been stunted.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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