Album Reviews

Michael Schenker – Temple of Rock Review

Released by: Inakustik

Release Date: October 11th, 2011

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com


Line Up:

* Michael Schenker – Guitar

* Michael Voss – Vocals

* Herman Rarebell – Drums

* Pete Way – Bass

* Wayne Findlay – Keyboards


Other featured musicians:

* Rudolf Schenker (SCORPIONS)

* William Shatner (Captain Kirk from “Star Trek”)

* Leslie West (MOUNTAIN)

* Michael Amott (ARCH ENEMY)

* Doogie White (ex-RITCHIE BLACKMORE, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN)

* Robin McAuley (SURVIVOR, ex-MSG)

* Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE)

* Paul Raymond (UFO)

* Simon Phillips (TOTO, THE WHO, JUDAS PRIEST)

* Carmine Appice (KING KOBRA, VANILLA FUDGE, ROD STEWART, JEFF BECK, OZZY OSBOURNE, BLUE MURDER)

* Chris Slade (MSG, ex-AC/DC)

* Chris Glenn (MSG, ex-ALEX HARVEY)

* Neil Murray (MSG, ex-WHITESNAKE, ex-GARY MOORE)

* Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE)

* Elliott “Dean” Rubinson (Owner of Dean Guitars)


Tracklist:

01. Intro

02. How Long

03. The End Of An Era

04. Saturday Night

05. Fallen Angel

06. Hangin’ On

07. With You

08. Miss Claustrophobia

09. Scene Of Crime

10. Lovers Sinfony-Speed

11. Stormin’ In

12. Speed

13. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

14. How Long (guitar battle version)

15. Remember (bonus track for Japan)


The mad axeman Michael Schenker has had an interesting career, sure we know him most notably at the main man in his early early sting with Scorpions, and then he elevated the sound of UFO and helped shape the sound of the band to make them a household name. When he started MSG his own group was really when he went on to build a solid wall of outstanding albums where he let his guitar do the talking, and even with the changing times the Schenker and the band still released solid material all through the 80’s and 90’s. To this day “One Night at Budokan” remains one of the best rock live recordings that I have ever heard, as it really shows the technicality of a great guitar player.

Even with the career accomplishments, there is always some personal issues that seem to take away from the person, but Schenker looks like he has successfully come back fully from hitting some dark times. Last year the German label Inakustik released “The 30th Anniversary Concert – Live in Tokyo”, which was filmed during a performance in Japan during a tour that Michael did to mark his return to the scene after a hiatus. While nothing there will blow you away, I could tell an album was soon to surface and I was right.

With the help from his friends in the scene, and there’s many Schenker comes back with a new studio album titled “Temple of Rock”. Produced by Michael Voss who doubles up on vocals as well filling in for the absent Gary Barden. But wait there’s more as the likes of Pete Way, Wayne Findlay, Neil Murray and Chris Slade contribute to the album as well. One of the biggest treats is his collaboration with the former Scorpions drummer, Herman “the German” Rarebell, as well as his brother Rudolf. You also have Doogie White, Super drummer Carmine Appice and Brian Tichy.

Well some famous names are there but you know that’s not always depicting of the music, although I must say skipping the first 2 tracks which to me are fillers, the album flows pretty solidly. The first strong track comes via the rock hammering “Hanging On”, a power groovy riff leads the way and Voss does a nice job on vocals here. I have never been the biggest fan of Michael Voss on vocals, I mean is nothing special his raspy vocals have a place in certain songs, but in others it may feel out of bent a bit.

The first singe “Miss Claustrophobia” is a tight effort, with a harder edgier rhythm and bass section, but doesn’t catch my ear that much even after I heard it a few times before hearing the record. Now we’re talking as we get into the more beat pouncing trail blazing tune “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead”, with Doogie White on vocals, a tight riff holds the back end of this metalish song together, and is well worth it because the song turns into one of the heaviest on the record and ohh yeah the guitar solo by the axeman is pretty cool too. Loved the vocals of Robin Mcauley on the song “Lover’s Sinfony”, it adds a modern touch to a more old school Hard Rock record.

I don’t know about you but after hearing “Storming In”, I think Michael should of reconsidered the first single, because this tune pretty much smokes, a steady fast up tempo runs amidst this storm-breaking of electric waves, and the Axeman wails all over the place with precision and freshness, hell of a tune man that ends too short for my liking.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical as usually I am with profile names and a mansion of other guest starring in this, and even Michael Voss on vocals which I’m not the biggest fan of, but the album really does well if you ignore a couple of the first tracks which are bit on the  filler side. The harder spiking tunes blasts some serious thunder here, and Schenker shines of course I mean the guy could play in his sleep if he wanted to. The drumming was especially good too, a nod to Herman the German for laying down some consistency on the kit. The production is well played as you could expect with a veteran like Voss handling it. A real surprise maybe in terms because I didn’t have think much of the album at first, but this is a strong return to the Rock Gods for a guy who seems to be in a better place, both musically and mentally speaking. Nice job Mad Axeman and Co…

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   8/10


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