Sadly by this stage, Krokus had run its course for the time being. That said I find this a more enjoyable romp than later Storace albums which would follow in the decade.
Written by: Dangerzone
SERIAL: P 81060
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Switzerland
LINEUP: Peter Tanner – vocals * Fernando Von Arb – guitar * Manny Maurer – guitar * Tony Castell – bass * Peter Haas – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Stampede * 02 Electric Man * 03 Rock N Roll Gypsy * 04 Shotgun Boogie * 05 Nova-Zano * 06 Street Love * 07 Good Times * 08 She Drives Me Crazy * 09 In The Heat Of The Night * 10 Rhythm Of Love * 11 Wasteland * 12 You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
WEBLINKS: Site Link
The ever fading fortunes of Krokus in the late 80’s led Fernando Von Arb to reshape the band, to the point he was the only member left from 1988’s ‘Heart Attack’, which was actually the band’s best album since ‘Headhunter.’ In place of Marc Storace came Peter Tanner, who in a reversal of direction was a Brian Johnson styled vocalist.
Von Arb apparently decided that Krokus had better keep up with the current AC/DC lineup. That’s not to say ‘Stampede’ is a bad album by any means. In fact it is heavier and better produced than anything since ‘Headhunter’. Unfortunately the damage had been done for Krokus and without Storace they lost their identity.
The title track is the band’s heaviest moment metal wise in years and it seemed they had been listening closely to Judas Priest. The riffs are brutal and if you ever wanted to know what Brian Johnson would sound like singing for Priest then this is the evidence, Tanner very impressive. ‘Electric Man’ is better than almost anything off AC/DC‘s ‘The Razor’s Edge’.
But that being said ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Gypsy’ has to be heard to be believed. Such is the Brian Johnson imitation from Tanner that on first listen I was reduced to tears of laughter. The riffs are there however and it’s a good time romp from Krokus. There’s more of the same with ‘Shotgun Boogie’ and honestly these guys were rocking harder than Angus and co in 1990.
There’s little redeeming about ‘Nova Zano’, which is the most blatant ‘Kashmir’ rip off of all time, but still has a memorable chorus. This is a lengthy album, but everything is listenable enough and there’s even a stab at a Whitesnake like epic, ‘In The Heat (Still?) Of The Night’, complete with atmospheric breakdown and clocking in at seven minutes.
Also running at this length is ‘Wasteland’, where the Priest comparisons arise once more especially in the guitar solos, where Von Arb and Maurer trade licks in an obvious ‘Painkiller’ clone. Tanner still sounds like Johnson though. The remake of BTO‘s ‘You ‘Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ is an attempt to recreate the Storace cover days of ‘American Woman’ and ‘Stayed Awake All Night’, but really falls flat. Tanner sings normally here, losing all the Johnson mannerisms and it sounds like a totally different singer. Honestly I prefer the imitation.
An album that went nowhere fast despite the attempts to upgrade the sound. Realistically the loss of Storace was too much to overcome, as would prove the case in 1999 when Carl Sentance joined for ‘Round 13’. Maurer, Castell and Haas would all put in further stints with the band over the next decade and more.
It was obvious with ‘Stampede’ Von Arb was chasing every popular trend of the day in the hope of making a quick buck, but sadly Krokus had run its course for the time being. That said I find this more enjoyable than later Storace albums, particularly the pairing of ‘Rock The Block’ and ‘Hellraiser’.