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Michael Schenker Fest - Resurrection

Michael Schenker Fest
by Jon Conant at 06 March 2018, 6:50 AM

Before I knock Michael Schenker’s new album billed under the MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST, I want to acknowledge how legit he is as an artist and a metal/rock icon. He is a brilliantly talented instrumentalist and singer, and it shows in his latest effort “Resurrection.” The vocal lines are delivered with veteran precision, and the guitar work is rock solid. There is plenty of groove and chunk that gets a bit heavier than expected at times, which is a welcome surprise. Granted, there are a number of other artists playing on this album even including on vocals, and some bits are performed better than others, so who knows. But ultimately, the album also finds itself pretty derivative and unimaginative, which sometimes even the talent of the musicians playing isn’t enough to overcome.

After a talent filled but horribly forgettable and boring opener that drags on, we get two songs that are actually pretty solid. “Warrior” followed by “Take Me To The Church” both do still ultimately fall into the derivative category of old school rock metal as well, which can leave a bored feeling. But, they do find a more modern presentation of the old school sound here which helps freshen it up. Topped up with a nice rhythm guitar chunk and two highly catchy choruses, things are pretty solid. "Warrior" in particular has an excellent groove and perfectly used of synth.

After that, other choice numbers include track 9 “Anchors Away,” one of the most creative and emotionally delivered songs on the album. The melody is melancholic and introspective and a welcome departure from the cheesy upbeat feel of the rest of the album, and the chorus is fucking rad. The guitar gets a lot more proggy and thoughtful, and the synths layered in the background are perfectly done, aiding the right moments and backing off when they need to. It strongly reminds me of Gary Moore’sOver The Hills And Far Away” which is about as high of a compliment as I’m willing to give someone these days. Not as good, for sure, but it does reminds me.

Other choice numbers include track 10 “Salvation,” an experimental and instrumental guitar piece devoted to synth backed melodies and wailing on a good axe. I’ll mention closer “The Last Supper” as well only because that’s a baller title to name a last track. Musically, not much to write home about.

And other than that, the album is really a lot of monotony in the form of old school rock metal. Nothing terrible, there are some production moments that induce a bit of cringe, it’s solid all things considered.  But, it gets pretty boring to listen to unless you’re into the very specific subgenre of cheesy 80s choruses and guitar riffs. And I don’t know who is these days, that shit is worn thin.

But I’ll give Michael Schenker credit where credit is due: he is a highly talented musician who put together a solid crew and made a decent album to continue his long career. It’s great he’s still making music, and everything here is done quite well from a musical standpoint. I may actually give “Anchors Away” a few more listens, that was a great song.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Heart And Soul
2. Warrior
3. Take Me To The Church
4. Night Moods
5. The Girl With The Stars In Her Eyes
6. Everest
7. Messing Around
8. Time Knows When It’s Time
9. Anchors Away
10. Salvation
11. Living A Life Worth Living
12. The Last Supper
Michael Schenker - Guitars, Vocals
Gary Barden - Vocals
Graham Bonnet - Vocals
Robin McAuley - Vocals
Doogie White - Vocals
Chris Glen - Bass
Ted McKenna - Drums
Steve Mann - Guitars, Keyboards
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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Edited 05 February 2023

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