Released by: Nuclear Blast Records
Released Date: March 2nd, 2018
Genre: Hard Rock
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
As a band/musician builds up a legacy sometimes they will shun their past. I guess they feel like, “I’m still putting out new material and while I got my start with the early stuff I want to focus on the new.” In a day and age where new music is often overlooked (especially by bands that have had a long history) by the so-called fans, it’s shocking, to me at least, that one would want to distance themselves from where they came from. I get it, there are a lot of meathead metal fans out there that are stuck “back in the day” not giving a shit about your new record and the only way for them to check out the new stuff is if you basically shove it down their throats at a live show. The sad truth is, said meathead still isn’t going to give a shit about your album unless it is a carbon copy of your best work… in their mind at least, and then they’ll just complain that it sounds like <insert album here>. It’s a losing battle for sure.
I also get that sometimes you can’t pull off the old stuff. Your voice isn’t what it once was, your hands don’t respond as quickly, so you’ve adapted to that. Having said that, I have to give a tip of the hat to Michael Schenker. Not only is he embracing his past on tour with The Michael Schenker Fest, he’s got a new album featuring three of his most significant vocalists from his past: Gary John Barden, Graham Bonnet, and Robin Mcauley, plus his current Temple of Rock singer Doogie White, as well as his backing band extending into his past with Chris Glenn on bass, Ted McKenna on drums, and Steve Mann on keyboards and rhythm guitar from incarnations of MSG (Michael Schenker and Mcauley Schenker,) while the man himself handles all the lead parts.
When I first heard about the tour last year I was so hoping to make it to one of the shows, but sadly the closest one to me wasn’t do-able (maybe someday I’ll get to see him live.) So when I heard there was an accompanying album (Resurrection) of new material from the group I was pretty stoked. I’m gonna be honest: the first few spins left me underwhelmed and disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, everyone sounds great, the performances are stunning, it’s just the songs seemed phoned in. Man, I was so disappointed. I was so ready for this album that I was already formulating what I was going to write about. I decided to give it one more shot as really, how in the hell can this mega-talented group of guys not put out an amazing album. It finally clicked! It all started making sense why the album was the way it is. It’s not supposed to be the next evolution of MSG, but a celebration of MSG itself. There’s never a moment on this album that MSF tries to re-invent the wheel- the songs are structured around the period of where that vocalist came to be in the band and is just a kick-ass, old-fashioned, throwback classic hard rock album performed by masters of the genre. Not necessarily treading new water, but never blatantly copying their halcyon days, they’re simply doing what they do best and doing it better than ever.
I’m so glad I gave it another chance. I mean, it was inevitable that I would. I love Schenker so much, and these singers have been some of my favorites, that I was never going to fully give up on it. I’m just glad I came to my senses in enough time to write about it. Sure, it put me on a different path than I figured I would, but it’s just how it goes. Michael Schenker Fest’s Resurrection isn’t as great as some of the past albums (there’s my meathead coming out,) but it is still one I can see me pulling out from time to time, and likely discovering, even more, I love about it with each listens.
Written by: Chris Martin