Scorpions – The Sails of Charon


Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

If I were to make a silly list of Top 5 heavy metal bands, Scorpions would make the list every time. Not for their 80’s hits that are known by almost everyone and helped the band rocket to 100 million total albums sold. No, the records that solidify the band’s stature for me are the 5 studio albums cut from years 1972 to 1978 – the latter 4 featuring guitarist Uli Jon Roth. Inspired by Jimi Hendrix and adopting neo-classical shredding that in turn inspired the next generation of guitar heroes, Roth’s contributions to the mid to late 70’s Scorpions cannot be overstated. 1978’s Taken By Force would be the last album to feature him, and it boasted a handful of musical masterpieces. “The Sails of Charon” has a deep groove that seems to grow in power with each verse – the menacing vocals by Klaus Meine might be a pleasant surprise for those of you who’ve only heard the 80’s hits. The band locks into the rhythm, impressive considering this was the 1st record featuring Hermann Rarebell on drums. Founding member Rudolf Schenker’s performance on rhythm guitar is easy to overlook, but without it Uli Jon Roth wouldn’t be free to offer up his melodic and complex lead guitar solos. This track is a perfect hard rock / heavy metal song and the killer guitar riffs will stick with you. Francis Buchholz’s bass work keeps the whole thing from falling apart, giving it a steady – almost disco – vibe.  A track rooted in mysticism with the final verse offering hope “Keep on! For the Kingdom of light / There is no darkness  / And there is no night.”

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