REVIEW: MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST – “Resurrection”
What started out as a special reunion show of the Michael Schenker Group / McAuley Schenker Group in Tokyo has blossomed into a new album called ‘Resurrection’ from Michael Schenker Fest. Michael Schenker Fest is the band assembled by Michael Schenker featuring former MSG vocalists Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley with current Michael Schenker Temple Of Rock vocalist Doogie White. The group also includes Steve Mann (guitar/keyboards), Ted McKenna (drums), and Chris Glen (bass). All of whom have jammed within the venerable MSG.
The title of ‘Resurrection’ is appropriate for the music on this album as it is a revival of the influential songwriting and guitar playing that has made Michael Schenker a legend. Listening to the album evokes a feeling of possibility, of celebration, and triumph.
The album opens with the quick pace of “Heart and Soul”. This song immediately gives you that heroic power metal feel. It also features guitars solos by Schenker and special guest Kirk Hammett (Metallica). Kirk is an avid fan of Schenker and does a magnificent job paying homage to his guitar hero.
‘Resurrection’ makes the most of all the vocal talent on the album. Each vocalist has a song where they are primary with the others adding chorus backgrounds. The real gems in this recording are the songs “Warrior” and “The Last Supper” which features all four vocalists trading versus and chorus segments. Combined with the emotive guitar solos of Schenker, this makes for a music performance that raised the hairs on my arms.
The instrumental song “Salvation” allows Michael Schenker and the band to explore sonic highways. The patented wah-wah pedal and classically inspired riffs are all there. This song is less about guitar histrionics as it is nuanced phrasing that gives the impression of the guitar singing.
The overall production on ‘Resurrection’ is in top form. The mix is crisp and wel defined. The album highlights all of the great performances captured on this recording. Fans of Michael Schenker will enjoy this album immensely. I personally can’t wait to hear and see this band perform live now that I’ve tasted ‘Resurrection’.
Michael Schenker Fest ‘Resurrection’ delivers a dazzling sonic montage from one of the most influential musicians in rock and metal music. Michael Schenker has assembled an all-star cast including the talents of vocalists Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White to create sweeping vistas of triumphant power metal and hard rock. The end result is an album that will rank high in the legendary catalog of Michael Schenker.