Company: Massacre Release: 2015 Genre: Power Reviewer: Eric Compton
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 MaximumMetal.com 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