Schenker / Returning In Style With A Little Help From His Friends

21 January 2021

The Rock world really would be a cold and sterile place without the magical fingertips of Michael Schenker. When you look at the calibre of guitarist that the German legend influenced and the music they subsequently produced, his genius should never be taken for granted.

From Adrian Smith to Randy Rhoads, Dave Mustaine to Slash and Kirk Hammett to the late great Eddie Van Halen, they all view the former UFO and Scorpions axeman as a monumental inspiration.

MSG – Immortal (Nuclear Blast)

Release Date: 29 January 2021

Words: Brian Boyle

After two superb albums under the Michael Schenker Fest banner, ‘Immortal’ sees the resurrecting of the MSG name and in turn celebrating 50 years as a musician.

And to help him do it in style is a mouthwatering ensemble of guests who most likely raced out of the traps to join the great man.

Cover of the MSG album Immortal

As Schenker told us here: “We have a lot of guest musicians, who will undoubtedly help to make the album an exceptional success. First of all I want to say that I am very grateful to any musicians that have helped to create a fitting tribute to my long career on this special release.

“I want to thank all of them for their incredible contribution.”

In on the act are such headbanging royalty as Joe Lynn Turner, Doogie White, Robin McAuley, Simon Phillips, Ronnie Romero and the animalistic Brian Tichy who assaults his Tom-toms on six tracks.

The album bursts to life with the assaulting ‘Drilled To Kill’ which features a titanic duel between Schenker and Keyboard god Derek Sherinian who, in this form, truly is the closest thing to the late great Jon Lord.

Joe Lynn Turner has worked with some pretty handy guitarists in his eventful career, namely the ‘ever placid’ Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen. It may be only guessing that recording the complex sounding ‘Don’t Die On Me Now’ was a much more wholesome experience, but his performance gives off a vibe of a man just been told to let fly.

Photo of German guitarist Michael Schenker
Michael Schenker. Photo: Sally Newhouse

Without doubt one of the finest Rock/Metal vocalists to emerge in recent times is the Chilean powerhouse Ronnie Romero and you will hear why on the free-wheeling ‘Knights Of The Dead which is detonated with a classic Schenker riff.

Michael Voss, Co-producer and Schenker’s’ brother from another mother, majestically takes the reins on the arena worthy ballad ‘After The Rain’ backed up by his buddy’s regally sounding guitar tones.

Just like he did on the opener, Primal Fear’s front of house Ralf Scheepers is in demonic form on the gung-ho ‘Devil’s Daughter’, swiftly followed by another Romero masterclass on the stomping ‘Sail The Darkness’.

Romero told MetalTalk: “A soon as I listened the ‘Sail The Darkness’ demo I got the feeling that this would become a a great song, because it sounds like the great old Hard Rock songs and the riff is just Michael Schenker at his best!

“And to me it is even more special because I had the chance to write the lyrics. I am pretty sure the fans are gonna love this one!”

Joe Lynn Turner returns to give the very Eurovision-like ‘Sangria Morte’ the full treatment and proves after 69 birthdays he is still a supremely silky Rock vocalist.

It has been near on 50 years since a 16 year old Schenker made his recording debut with the Scorpions on the ‘Lonesome Crow’ album. And a song he wrote in his mother’s kitchen ‘In Search Of The Piece Of Mind’ gets the mother of all reworkings, with a salivating frontline of vocal prowess.

Romero as usual makes his presence felt, but it is the trio of past MSG vocalists Gary Barden, Doogie White and Robin McAuley and a titanic Schenker solo that make this version something overwhelmingly special.

‘Immortal’ is a sumptuous collection from one of Rock and Metal’s most precious gems.

Pre order: nblast.de/MSG-Immortal

Immortal

01.Drilled To Kill
02. Don´t Die On Me Now
03. Knight Of The Dead
04. After The Rain
05. Devil’s Daughter
06. Sail The Darkness
07. The Queen Of Thorns And Roses
08. Come On Over
09. Sangria Morte
10. In Search Of The Peace Of Mind

Michael Schenker | Guitar, Vocals
Ronnie Romero I Vocals
Ralf Scheepers I Vocals
Joe Lynn Turner I Vocals
Michael Voss I Vocals
Barry Sparks I Bass
Steve Mann | Guitar, Keyboard
Bodo Schopf | Drums
Simon Phillips I Drums
Brian Tichy I Drums
+ Guests:
Gary Barden | Vocals
Robin McAuley | Vocals
Doogie White | Vocals
Derek Sherinian I Keyboards

Photo of German guitarist Michael Schenker
Michael Schenker. Photo: Mick Burgess
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