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Michael Schenker Fest: 'Resurrection' (Nuclear Blast)

andy rawll
Words: Andy Rawll
9th March 2018

michael schenker fest

Having spent the current decade crafting his Temple of Rock with three successive releases of increasing quality, the architect of some of finest edifices of the Metal era blasts into 2018 with nuclear intent.

In fact, 'Resurrection' is a bit of a misnomer. With Easter just around the corner, those of you expecting a miraculous second coming, will find that the stone was rolled away quite a few years ago.

The truth is he's not the Messiah and he's not really been a naughty boy for a very long time. His live performances over the past ten years have been astonishingly consistent, his playing as inspired and inspiring as ever.

Best of all, the icy trance and static stance that characterised his on-stage demeanour at the height of his 70s and 80s success has been replaced by the wide-eyed, joyous soul and wonderful communicator of recent years.

Make no mistake, this latest album is superb, but that should really come as no surprise, as Temple Of Rock songs like 2011's 'Before The Devil Knows You're Dead' and 2013's 'Land Of Thunder' proved that Schenker's rousing rifforama and lead guitar assault remain potent weapons.

What's different here is the sense of celebration in the music, represented by the presence of the three vocal musketeers, Barden, Bonnet & McAuley, that contributed so much to the now mild-axeman's first decade as a band leader, together with his most recent vocal foil Doogie White.

Despite its extended cast list, 'Resurrection' is perhaps Michael's most cohesive album, with a dynamic and diverse set of songs, that play to the strengths of each vocalist.

Gary's warm expressive voice and languid style is perfect for the AC/DC meets SAHB 'Messing Around'. Graham still reaches heights where other singers fear to tread on 'Everest', and recalls his time in Alcatrazz.

Robin's still impressive range and power are perfect for the samurai swift opening track 'Heart And Soul', that's full of scorpion sting. Doogie's bonnie Clyde-side roar on 'Take Me To The Church' is richly hued with all the colours of the rainbow.

Of the two tracks featuring all singers, the eight-legged beast that is 'Warrior' certainly has the most fight, as well as featuring a superb closing guitar solo.

Schenker's playing is as inspired as ever, weaving achingly beautiful melodies with that inimitable rich tone and masterful vibrato, in particular on captivating instrumental 'Salvation' and the exceptional solo on 'The Girl With The Stars In Her Eyes' which easily ranks alongside his very finest work.

There's something for fans of every phase of Michael's career on this great album. Better still, with Doogie now added to the expanded line-up on the current US tour, it's only a matter of time until the eight-man-band returns to Europe and the UK.

Last year's London show was fantastic, yet based on reports of the first US shows (29 song set-list), the 2018 shows will be unmissable.

You wanted the Best? You got the Fest!

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MSF singer Doogie White talks you through every track from 'Resurrection' on MetalTalk radio this week and also gives an insight into the writing process, the meaning behind the songs and lots more on this unique band with four top vocalists.

You'll hear tracks from this superb album for the very first time and quickly come to realise why 'Resurrection' is already being heralded as a main contender for Album Of The Year 2018:

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