MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK – Spirit On A Mission (2015)
If proof were ever needed that certain things get better with age, then look no further than to Michael Schenker, as his re-emergence over these last few years with his MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK band is nothing short of staggering.
“Spirit On A Mission” is the latest album from the combo and as before, he is joined by former Rainbow singer Doogie White, 7-string guitarist and keyboard player Wayne Findlay, plus 2 ex- Scorpions; drummer Herman Rarebell and bass player Francis Buchholz.
The opening track, ‘Live And Let Live’ shows the power and passion this man still has, the main riff explodes and is joined by some impressive double bass drums. This is a fast paced rocker with great melody and chorus, a great starter.
‘Communion’ has more of a bluesy feel to it, with Doogie White sounding great, even more so when you consider his age. I swear he is sounding better than ever.
The first single / video ‘Vigilante Man’ is one of my favorites on the album, hard and heavy. For those who saw the last tour, yes, this is the new track they played and it went down a storm.
The pace quickens for ‘Rock City’ which has some rather impressive drumming from Herman ze German, once again a man who is defying age and is playing better as a young hungry man.
‘Saviour Machine’ is a slower track, a chugging riff which leads into a quiet mid-section before rebuilding to the main riff, Schenkers guitar playing is exceptional on this, while Dougie’s singing add’s more melody to the songs structure.
A long intro featuring only Schenker and Rarebell is the basis for “Something of the Night” before Doogie and the rest of the band joins in and we end up with a pretty much straight forward hard rock track, bags of energy from the band with Schenker’s guitar tone really standing out.
‘All Our Yesterdays’ takes things down a different path, as this track has a far Eastern feel to it, the keyboard flourishes from Wayne Findley are superb, adding a further layer to an otherwise great track.
Rarebell is back at the helm of the next track ‘Bulletproof’ but is joined by Francis Buchholz this time, as the pair create a monster of a rhythm section that never lets up during the whole track.
Doogie really excels himself on ‘Let The Devil Scream’ as Michael weaves his magic all around him, while ‘Good Times’ is just that, a reflective track full of Michaels soulful guitar playing.
‘Restless Heart’ and ‘Wicked’ round off the album, these two fast paced stompers make you think just how good this album really is, with the whole band playing exceptionally tight.
As long as the eponymous ‘mission’ is combining the ‘70s and ‘80s Hard Rock vibes and modern, huge sound into one, there couldn’t have been a title that’s more appropriate for this album’s content. Tastefully seasoned with tints of Blues, almost literally drenched in fine melodies and laden with instrumental prowess, “Spirit On A Mission” by Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock is a clear example of how the veterans of the Hard Rock scene can continue to compete with the new generation and, perhaps, even win in the end.
01. Live And Let Live
03. Vigilante Man
04. Rock City
05. Saviour Machine
06. Something Of The Night
07. All Our Yesterdays
09. Let The Devil Scream
10. Good Times
11. Restless Heart
Michael Schenker – Guitars
Doogie White – Vocals
Herman Rarebell (Scorpions, Herman Ze German) – Drums
Francis Buchholz (Scorpions, Dreamtide) – Bass
Wayne Findlay – 7 String Guitar, Keyboards
thanks to David Farrell