February 26, 2018 Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection (Album Review)
A man of many projects, Hard Rock Guitarist Michael Schenker returns under the moniker – Michael Schenker Fest – as the bands debut album Resurrection is set to drop Friday, March 2, 2018 thanks to the good people at Nuclear Blast Records.
For over 40 years, Schenker has notably become one of the most renowned guitar players in all of Hard Rock thanks to his signature grooves that have made all his endeavors a success with Rock fans around the globe.
Working with veteran Producer Michael Voss-Schoen, Michael Schenker Fest is unlike most bands or supergroups, as Schenker has taken a path many artists would not even consider, bringing in all three vocalists who have sang for the Michael Schenker Group – Gary Borden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley, plus vocalist for Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock, Doogie White. Not to be forgotten, backing up the band are Michael Schenker Group members Steve Mann (guitar/keyboards), Ted McKenna (drums), and Chris Glen (bass). Even better, Schenker has recruited some amazing special guests such as Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and former Michael Schenker Group Guitarist/Keyboardist Wayne Findlay.
Fans may be wondering how this new project came to fruition. Well, according to Schenker, it started out as one big party, a gathering he called, Michael Schenker Fest. After bringing together all the aforementioned vocalists for an all out jam, before they knew it, twelve new tracks had been written and produced – thus gifting fans Resurrection.
The rise of Resurrection begins, intense, with “Heart And Soul,” featuring Hammett on guitar, in a cut about giving your all to someone and getting the same in return. “Warrior,” the first song to have a music video shot, comes in with an ominous groove and the video intriguingly showcases the band in the studio recording the track, one of only two songs on Resurrection featuring Barden, Bonnet, McAuley, and White performing in unison like warriors. Keeping the theme of the album title, “Take Me To The Church” rescues with some of the most classic sounding vocals before “Night Moods” portrays the aura of walking tough city streets during the 1970s or 1980s.
The stalking riff of “The Girl With The Stars In Her Eyes” is played alongside the vocals of White, very telling of a runaway girl all alone on the bad side of town. Next, the profound bottom line in “Everest” wants to know if you would reach for the stars if you knew today was your last day. If you listen closely, the spirit of The Doors can be heard inside the melodies of “Messin’ Around” as the catchy lyric “The Clock Goes Tick Tock Tick” echoes throughout the song.
If you have always wanted to hear a riff that chases you down, “Time Knows When It’s Time” will feed that hunger with a lyrical side dish warning you to beware of death. Shipping off into the sunset, “Anchors Away” leaves fate in the listener’s hands before the instrumental “Salvation” tells a high speed, melodic story minus words, and contains a fun wah-wah pedal effect.
From there, “Livin’ A Life Worth Livin'” has a consummate message conveyed by the brotherhood of Michael Schenker Fest who take their time to tell the story of a person who, in the end, makes it all worthwhile (“When You Take Away The Business The Magic Still Is There”). “The Last Supper” completes Resurrection, and with all four vocalists, furnishes a good ending about coming full circle. The song title is also portrayed on the album cover with all the band members sitting around a dinner table as Schenker stands tall in the center.
Overall, though Resurrection may not be the most innovative of Schenker’s work, the guitar hero has brought forth a solid collection of classic sounding Rock music that never falls flat and always reaches for the sky. The arrangement of vocals by Barden, Bonnet, McAuley, and White is a cunning and unique concept as all four classic vocalists strongly come together in their individuality all the way through.
But wait, there is more! A bonus for the die-hard fans, Resurrection will also be available in a CD/DVD Digipak, as the DVD portion features the music video for “Warrior,” a Documentary of Michael Schenker Fest, an interview with the band, and live footage of Michael Schenker Fest at the 2017 Loud Park Festival in Japan. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Resurrection 3.5 out of 5 Stars.