Today we’ll give you our review of Michael “the Blond Bomber” Schenker record, dropped on March 2, 2018 called Resurrection, but first a little background history on who these guys are, and where they come from. Schenker is a German metal guitarist known for his times with U.F.O., Temple of Rock, the Scorpions, and the Michael Schenker Group (MSG), and now the new handle, the Michael Schenker Fest, a band of many moving parts, mostly vocalists. The premise of the record was to unite the three lead singers who had worked with MSG during the 80s, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin MacAulay, plus the former singer with the Temple of Rock project, Doogie White. Four singers for the price of one, simple, right? It was all conceived during “a gathering” as Schenker puts it, they were having a monster jam, and thought it was good enough to record 12 tracks. The rest of the band comprises Chris Glenn on bass, Steve Mann on guitars/keyboards, drummer Ted McKenna, and a couple of invited guests, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, and former SMG keyboardist Wayne Findlay.
The album blasts open with Heart and Soul and has MacAulay taking the lead on vocals backed by Hammett on guitar that cooks this hard driving number at high speed with riffs that fly off his axe effortlessly over Glenn’s hard thumping bassline, typical of MSG material back in the day. Track 2 Warrior showcases the four singers taking turns at the mic, which is unique, yet, truth be told, some of the boys have aged better than others. Schenker shreds his signature Dean V Retro here like a ‘warrior’, true to form. Take Me To The Church, playing off the record title theme, has a galloping grove that features White’s velvet voice on this classic 80s-sound rocker. It’s one of the best songs of the collection, along with Night Moods, which captures the feeling of the tough city streets of the 70s and 80s. Other fast-paced tunes with the speed metal vibe are Everest, and Time Knows When It’s Time, the latter has a riff that will hunt you down, and foreboding lyrics warning of impending death.
Resurrection is aptly named for what is essentially a revival of Schenker’s complete body of work, “A celebration of my life”, he declares in an interview. From when he started playing at 16 with his Gibson Flying V recording with the Scorpions, a guitar he has used practically his whole career until the love affair with Dean Guitars, a brand that has honoured his legendary style with several signature V models: the Michael Schenker Custom Flames, MS Festival, Ms Yin Yang, and many more. On the instrumental Salvation, Schenker makes good use of the wah wah pedal telling a fast-running story without words. The album closes with the decidedly named The Last Supper, which again features all 4 singers for a final full circle, completing the set to perfection. The title of the song is also portrayed on the album cover, with the band sitting around a table with a Dean V Retro guitar as the centerpiece; the cherry on top, to be sure.
Resurrection doesn’t reinvent the wheel with this new release, but rather fills the old wheel with air, producing a collection of fresh, gritty, crisp songs that certainly reaches for the stars and does just that. And there’s more!, a little something extra for those die-hard fans: a CD/DVD Digipak containing a video of the studio recording of Warrior, a documentary on Schenker, interviews with the band, and live footage of the guys playing at the 2017 Loud Park Festival in Japan. What’s not to like? This is a remarkable record, with remarkable players, and one for the Hard Rock archives!