Review: Michael Schenker Fest – “Resurrection”

By Andrew Catania

Michael Schenker is a changed man. With a career stretching back to 1969, the German guitar virtuoso is an artist for whom the term ‘volatile’ has sometimes seemed invented. Recorded with singers and musicians associated with Michael in previous decades, the aptly-titled Resurrection sees Schenker embracing his past to build something fresh and exciting.

In 2016, Schenker put together MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST, a tour featuring former MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP vocalists Gary Barden and Graham Bonnet, plus Robin McAuley of the McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP. Instrumental back-up emphasis by former M.S.G. bass player Chris Glen and drummer Ted McKenna, plus guitarist/keyboard player Steve Mann, also of the McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP. These shows were so rapturously received by audiences across Japan and Europe that it seemed only logical for the protagonists to make new music together. The decision to bring in Doogie White, singer of Schenker’s TEMPLE OF ROCK, adds even more substance to Michael’s assembly.

Resurrection is an inspired work that manages to make use of its cast of characters and play to their strengths – not to mention good performances. Each of the vocalists gets their chance to shine here — with White singing lead on three tunes and the others getting two apiece. A couple of tracks, Warrior and the stirring finale “The Last Supper,” feature all four taking turns on lead and then joining together for massive choruses.

“Kirk is a fan [of mine], that’s well known, but he has also become a friend,” explains Schenker. Hammett’s parts were recorded by the album’s co-producer Michael Voss-Schoen at the METALLICA man’s studio in Hawaii.

While the concept behind it and the gathering of these talented musicians coming together once again will warm the lonely hearts of many MSG fans. The songs are hit or miss.  The production isn’t what it should be.  I’d expect more emphasis on the guitar parts, but Schenker has always been liberal with his vocalists.  The best tracks on the album feature Graham Bonnet on vocals.
One hopes that for the next album there will be less focus on the production and more focus on the songs. Maybe Schenker can make amends with members of the Scorpions and UFO and bring them on for the next album.  7.5/10 Stars

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