So I rediscovered Guitar God MICHAEL SCHENKER in late 2013 and before I knew it I was rocking out to MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK and their debut Bridge the Gap. That album wound up being one of my favorites of early 2014, and the subsequent follow-up Spirit On a Mission is even better. It’s also one of Mini-Amps’ favorites in his entire collection. This brings us to today and the man’s latest endeavor MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST has released their new record Resurrection, out now on Nuclear Blast Records.
This is a celebration of a decades-long career, and features not one, not two, but FOUR vocalists: three from the M.S.G. era in Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley, as well as TEMPLE OF ROCK singer Doogie White. The results are nothing short of AMAHHHZING!! Steve Mann (guitars, keyboards), Ted McKenna (drums) and Chris Glen (bass) round out the musicians playing on the disc alongside Schenker himself. Over the course of twelve tracks we are taken on an epic thrill ride that no amusement park can touch on its best day.
Schenker and Mann serve up a steady diet of high-voltage riffs and solos, but the best part of this album is the way that all four vocalists, for lack of a better way to put it, SING THEIR FUCKING ASSES OFF alongside the guitar madness. Opener and immediate standout “Heart and Soul” boasts a guest appearance from METALLICA’S Kirk Hammett, and as soon as that opening riff hits your ears you’ll be wrecking your neck for the entire song. “Warrior” is one of two tracks featuring all four singers, and like the previous tune is one of the record’s best, no question.
“Take Me to the Church” and “Night Moves” have really classic feels to them, musically and vocally, like something you’d hear back in 1981 or so, and for a nostalgic guy like me, that is A-OK. Another one of my favorites right away was “The Girl With the Stars In Her Eyes.” White does a fantastic singing job on this one, and the riffs and solo burn white hot. I also love “Everest” because it’s got such a soaring chorus that it just might inspire you to reach for the stars. And that’s what this music is supposed to do, innit? “Messing Around” is a fast-paced number with a honkytonk vibe while “Time Knows When It’s Time” is one of the record’s heavier tunes. It also boasts a very anthemic hook, so that’s another one in the win column.
“Anchors Away” has a thumping rhythm to go along with a great vocal hook, and instrumental “Salvation” is a barnburner from start to finish, showcasing some blazing guitar work from Mr. Schenker. The message in “Living a Life Worth Living” is very true, with lyrics like, “When you take away the business the magic is still there.” Closer “The Last Supper” again features all four singers, and each one does an absolutely smashing job. Man, this is such a fucking great album, but it’s more than that. This is a party, a celebration, a thing whipped up by men who’ve known each other for years, united in their love of rock and metal. I hope they do it again. You’re gonna love Resurrection. And I can’t wait till I see the March 11 show here in Philly!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM