MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST – Resurrection (2018)
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST is the new project from legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker, and the first album “Resurrection” will be released next March 2. Including all-new new songs, the album featured all the former MSG vocalists reunited again.
The disc, which was produced by Michael Voss-Schön, was recorded in four different locations over a five-month period and features guest appearances by METALLICA’s Kirk Hammett, Wayne Findlay and Michael Voss-Schön, along with contributions from three original MSG (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP) singers — Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley — plus Doogie White, who plays with Michael in MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK.
Also appearing on the album are Doogie White, and talented Steve Mann (LIONHEART) on guitars & keyboards, while the rhythm section is the classic MSG combo of Ted McKenna (drums) and Chris Glen (bass).
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 metal feel and bombast with great solos by Schenker and special guest Kirk Hammett. Kirk is an avid fan of Schenker and does a magnificent job paying homage to his guitar hero.
On vocals, McAuley’s wail in full effect. No wonder, the gleeful exaltation of “this one’s for you” is at its heart.
“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.
But although this record is mostly necessarily overblown, it is not averse to a proper metal chug. “Take Me To The Church” is just that and there won’t be a fist not in the air when it is played live, and “Night Moods” which finds Graham Bonnet doing what only he can do, has the air of Judas Priest covering Deep Purple, and Doogie White performance on “Girl With Stars In Her Eyes” brings back shadows of classic Rainbow.
Bonnet is back on “Everest” which not only soars high, but also is an impressive example of Schenker’s skills, while Gary Barden is on the fun and frolics of “Messin’ Around.” A little like UFO – let’s not deny it – it would sound like filler in other hands. Here, it just sounds like everyone had fun.
“Time Knows When It’s Time” is the sound of metal. Pure and simple, and “Anchor’s Away” combines the impressive ambition of sounding like it is from a film score, with the gloriousness of a life on the ocean waves. “Living A Life Worth Living” – another of the Barden contributions – is very commercial, boasting a huge chorus that belongs in Eurovision.
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 classic hard rock.
Kudos to Schenker, because this project it is perhaps testament to the star quality of the man himself that he isn’t the centre of attraction, and that MSF is very much a band. Only once, on “Salvation” does he afford himself the luxury of an instrumental, which takes in everything from bluesy shuffle, to orchestration. It is a timely reminder that Schenker is still one of the greatest. But most importantly, one with a grand vision to match his incredible talent.
The end result is an album that will rank high in the legendary catalog of Michael Schenker.
01. Heart and Soul (feat. Robin McAuley & Kirk Hammett)
02. Warrior (feat. Gary Barden, G. Bonnet, R. McAuley & Doogie White)
03. Take Me to the Church (feat. Doogie White)
04. Night Moods (feat. Graham Bonnet)
05. The Girl with the Stars in Her Eyes (feat. Doogie White)
06. Everest (feat. Graham Bonnet)
07. Messin’ Around (feat. Gary Barden)
08. Time Knows When It’s Time (feat. Robin McAuley)
09. Anchors Away (feat. Doogie White)
11. Livin’ a Life Worth Livin’ (feat. Gary Barden)
12. The Last Supper (feat. G. Barden, G. Bonnet, R. McAuley & D. White)