Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection
2018, Nuclear Blast Records
- Heart and Soul
- Take Me to Church
- Night Moods
- The Girl with the Stars in Her Eyes
- Messin’ Around
- Time Knows When It’s Time
- Anchors Away
- Livin’ a Life Worth Livin’
- The Last Supper
Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley & Doogie White – Vocals
Michael Schenker – Guitar
Chris Glen – Bass
Ted McKenna – Drums
Steve Mann – Keyboards, Guitar
Kirk Hammett (“Heart and Soul”)
Michael Schenker Group, Michael Schenker, Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock, Michael Schenker Fest (wankerfest?)… What’s it going to be today, Michael, and does it even really matter? I’ve never been able to keep up with Michael Schenker. His bands, his music, his sobriety… it’s all over the place. I wouldn’t have even bothered to check this album out had it not been for the involvement of McAuley Schenker Group vocalist Robin McAuley (yes, another band with “Schenker” in the title) and short-term Michael Schenker Group vocalist Graham Bonnet.
I guess the idea behind this project was to reunite Michael Schenker with all of his “Schenker Group” vocalists. Doogie White has never recorded an MSG album, but I think he’s toured with Schenker under that band name? Sorry, Michael Voss. I guess Michael Schenker doesn’t think highly enough of the Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock project to include you.
To me, Doogie White seems out of place. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I’ve never been impressed with his vocals given the previous singers he was following in the footsteps of or who he is surrounded by on this album. He sang for Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow in the mid ’90s, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force in the early ’00s, and M3 (a band formed by original Whitesnake members Micky Moody/Bernie Marsden/Neil Murray) in 2004. He eventually started working with Michael Schenker in 2011. It seems like Doogie is the guy you call when you can’t, or aren’t willing to, reunite with your original legendary classic rock singer(s).
Anyway… it’s no surprise to me that I find the McAuley and Bonnet songs to be the most enjoyable. “Heart and Soul”, with McAuley vocals, is classic sounding McAuley Schenker Group-era song… plus it has the added bonus of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett soloing!
Two of my favorite rock vocalists and their voices still hold up for the most part. Graham Bonnet and Gary Barden’s voices show signs of wear ‘n’ tear, but they still sound pretty good. And I do enjoy the tracks where all the vocalists share duties.
For an album I wasn’t expecting much from, Resurrection turns out to be a fun surprise. Schenker is on fire during this album, which is full of great ’70s and ’80s melodic hard rock riffs. It’s cheesy at times (such as “Warrior”), but it’s an entertaining listen for anyone that is a fan of the bands these guys have been a part of over the years.
Highlights: “Heart and Soul”, “Night Moods”, “Everest”, “Messin’ Around”, “Salvation”