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The Judgement

Company: Massacre
Release: 2015
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton

  • European theatrics

  • Make no bones about it, this is not the Scanner line-up that released pivotal German power metal staples like "Terminal Earth" (1989) and "Hypertrace" (1988). Those remarkable albums were a cornerstone for the genre alongside other mid-tier heavyweights like Heaven's Gate, Reactor and Squealer. While "The Judgement" isn't as tenacious as earlier works, this isn't the same Scanner that released the somnolent Scantropolis record in 2002. In fact, the only member left after 2002's complete overhaul is the founder, guitarist Axel Julius. Many would agree that the band removed themselves from traditional form with their last album thirteen years ago. The Judgement seeks to better that stale predicament with a record that sees the band return to their early roots with a headlong escapade into speedy German pageantry. Meticulous runs through double-bass overtures, galloping speed picking and operatic vocals are all vigorous reminders that Scanner are back on track, perhaps delivering their best work in nearly twenty years, yet something still seems somewhat suppressed. Where "Terminal Earth" and "Mental Reservation" had more of a roistering Teutonic sound (Grave Digger, Running Wild), this new album sacrifices the gritty pound-for-pound strokes for more European theatrics that wouldn't be out of place in the Italian or Greek scene. This 2015 version of Scanner has more in common with Freedom Call than dauntless acts like Accept. I'm not sure I am completely on board with this band's continued identity crisis.

    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Scanner:
    Eric Compton2/20/2003
    The JudgementScanner
    Eric Compton3/20/2015

    All interviews for Scanner:

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