Album Reviews
Band: Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock

Title: Spirit On A Mission

Label: In-akustik

 

'Spirit on a Mission' not only is that the name of the new Temple of Rock, but also the epitaph that would fit guitar legend Michael Schenker.

Michael remembers how he came up with the name of the album ... “A while ago I was asked how I wanted to be remembered, and I said ... as a spirit on a mission, spreading the joy of music from a place of pure self expression”

A fitting title for what is the second album from this now established line-up of Doogie White on vocals, the Scorpion legends Herman Rarebell and Francis Bucholz on drums and bass respectively, Wayne Findlay on keyboards and 7 string guitar as well as Schenker himself.

The album isn't one of those albums that takes over from their previous release 'Bridge the Gap', this time the band have gone for a more gritty Hard Rock sound and sees the main man return to the classic melodic hard riffing that he is renowned for.

The album kicks off with ‘Live and Let Live’, this one starts off with a little blues riff that soon breaks into a full blown all our rock sensation, with White delivering his almost immaculate vocals while the powerhouse rhythm section of Rarebell and Bucholz take up back to those 'Lovedrive' days, while laying down the foundation for the twin guitars of Findlay and Schenker, as they pair deliver more licks than a child in an ice-cream factory.

The heads down rock continues with the excellent ‘Communication’.  The bluesy riff is given a bigger staring roll on this one, before one of the tracks of the album, the storming ‘Vigilante Man’.  This one takes me those classic MSG days.

The tempo is brought to almost breakneck speed with the thumping high octane rocker ‘Rock City’.  The band show a darker moody rock edge with ‘Saviour Machine’, before bringing the fast paced rockers back with a bang with the almost ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ styled licks on ‘Something Of The Night’.

Then it's time to bring a touch of 70’s rock into the mix with the stunning ‘All Our Yesterdays’.  This one has that classic Rainbow feel about it.

The big riffing hard rock is brought back to the mix with the storming ‘Bulletproof’, which is where Rarebell delivers the goods as he pounds at the skins like Thor pounding his hammer.   

After the nuclear assault of the previous track it back to the dark moody riffs for ‘Let The Devil Scream’, this one has an almost Sabbathesque bass riff running through  it.  Then it's back to the traditional melodic hard rock for the excellent ‘Good Times’, before Schenker rips up a storm once more with the fantastic ‘Restless Heart’.

This superb album closes with a gritty finale 'Wicked’, which is a great mix of modern and classic rock to wrap up a great album.  With the band embarking on a UK tour early next year, I would love to hear a number of songs from this album on the setlist.  Yes we all want to hear the classic UFO, Scorps and MSG tracks, but this album is full of great rock tracks that deserve the place in the spot-light and played live.

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1. Live And Let Live 
2. Communication 
3. Vigilante Man 
4. Rock City 
5. Saviour Machine 
6. Something Of The Night 
7. All Our Yesterdays
8. Bulletproof 
9. Let The Devil Scream 
10. Good Times 
11. Restless Heart
12. Wicked 

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