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Friday, February 16, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Michael Schenker Fest more than just reliving the past on Resurrection

MANY years ago a few mad fuckers saw MSG play in Belfast's Ulster Hall, Baal et al over-indulged and rocked like only teenagers can, fuelled by booze, hormones and a love of damn fine rock and roll.

When Michael Schenker Fest launched last year's album, DVD and Blu-Ray it was a lovely trip down memory lane, but what next for the German maestro of the Flying V?

It would have been easy for Mr Schenker to tour the shit out of past glories, accompanied by his compadres of yesteryear. And, to be honest most of us would have been happy with that.

But, all hail Schenker, Barden, Bonnet, McCauley, White and the band because they have pulled out all the stops and produced an album in the shape of 'Resurrection' that adds a new definition to the word sublime.

It is 52 minutes to wallow in, love and on just the first play you may want to resist, but like the teenager that first saw Michael you are singing along and dreaming that you have that iconic Flying V in your hands.

'Heart and Soul' kicks off frenetically, Steve Mann riffing along as Schenker plays like only he can - some of the licks will leave your jaw drooping on the floor. A certain Kirk Hammett also puts in a guest spot...

But what is most important about this album is while it is so multi-dimensional and songs are its core. Yes Michael's guitar work is head and shoulder above most - but each track has a narrative.

And, a certain Mr Blackmore could listen to 'Warrior' and learn a few lessons...

And, when the organ gives way to the full-on blast of 'Take Me To The Church' it is as close t orgasmic as those of a certain can achieve outside the bedroom without Viagra.

Originally Schenker had certain plans about who would sing each song but with the evolution of recording it became clear that the layered approach worked on 'Warrior' and ''Last Supper'.

And, 'Night Moves' is the perfect sequel to Bonnet's 'Night Games'..

By all the rock gods 'The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes; is an MSG song pure and simple.

Schenker fans will flock to this release - but they shouldn't be alone. Anyone, and we mean anyone who appreciates hard rock and guitar playing par excellence will greedily add this to their collection.

The playing on 'Everest' and 'Salvation' will have all comers salivating. At times sounding languid, at times flourishes flow with an ease that Zakk Whylde himself will bow down in awe such is the expressiveness of Schenker's playing.

There are so many facets to 'Resurrection' that the 50-odd minutes fly by.

It is such a complete set of  song-driven hard rock by experienced players that this release will endure.

It is such a well balanced album that it may eclipse the so-called classics when aired live. Just go and listen and revel in it.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

Resurrection is out on Nuclear Blast on March 2nd

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