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Scorpions

Unbreakable (Sanctuary)

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Most metal aficionados would agree that the Scorpions ceased to be relevant after the release of At First Sting in 1984. Each subsequent effort -- with the exception of 1985's World Wide Live, a disc that adeptly captured the shining moments in the first half of the outfit's lengthy career -- helped the act earn equity in the bargain bin. Now twenty years later, it's hard to say what's more astounding: the fact that the Scorps continue to churn out albums, or that Unbreakable isn't utterly unlistenable. A nod to past glory, the record deftly marries the power pap and balladry of yesterday with the down-tuned muscular axwork of today. And Klaus Meine's seasoned tenor sounds as good as ever. Even so, other than appeasing diehard fans, Unbreakable makes it painfully clear that there's no one like youth. These days, Klaus and company are closer to rocking a chair than rocking anything remotely like a hurricane.

 
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