RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock – Spirit on a Mission 
inakustik
http://www.propermusic.com/label/Inakustik-5981

Rating: B


Michael Schenker is back with the third studio release from his project Temple of Rock.  The blond-haired guitarist, best known as the German guitar god who played in the early days of the Scorpions, then UFO and finally The Michael Schenker Group, is a living Phoenix who has risen from the ashes of his own self-destructive behavior.  The title of his new album, Spirit on a Mission, sums up all one needs to know about Schenker as he pushes into a new phase of his career. 

Name of the band aside, his rhythm section is a living-breathing temple of rock!  Former band mates in the Scorpions, Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass, give this album a giant heartbeat! This marks the first time these three men have entered the studio since the classic 1979 Scorpions’ album Lovedrive!  Joining the trio of rock icons is guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay and ex-Rainbow vocalist Doogie White. 

The album was recorded at Kidroom Studious in Schenker’s homeland of Germany, and was engineered and co-produced by Michael Voss along with Schenker.  The heaviness of the group is kicked up a notch by Findlay’s use of the seven-string guitar, yet the focus is still firmly on Schenker’s six-string soloing. 

As he has done time and time again throughout his career, Schenker has released an album that features his hard rocking guitar playing over songs co-written with his vocalist,  this time around being White. 

"All songs were co-written by Doogie and myself," recalls Schenker. ”Wayne co-wrote five songs. I originally wanted to write the album as a group effort, but I had this concept that needed to be focused on differently. However, Herman and Francis did very well by adding their amazing 'Rock You like a Hurricane' rhythm section parts that gave it all it needed."

Schenker recalls how he came up with the name of his latest release, “"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’. After the Bridge the Gap Japan tour in March 2014, I started to put new material together for what was to become the Spirit on a Mission album," says Schenker. “I went to the recording studio in June 2014 to put down the song arrangements and we finished recording in November."' 

There are no weak moments on the album.  It is heavy, melodic and well produced.  It sounds like what you want a hard rock album to sound like.  Instead of me telling you about the songs, let’s let Michael do it himself, “I love 'Live and Let Live' because it has everything. I love 'Vigilante Man' because it's heavy and melodic with a great tempo and sound. 'Something Of the Night' turned out to be a fantastic outcome, especially with that spooky Howler sound I developed awhile ago. 'Savior Machine' is an epic. 'Rock City', 'Bullet Proof', 'Restless Heart' — I love the fast melodic stuff, and the other seven-string songs with a touch of '70s rock."

He is correct in his summation; however, he skipped two of the best rockers.  “Communion” is the best ‘crank it up’ tune on the album, as the chorus has that special something that keeps you coming back to it.  “All Our Yesterdays” is an emotional rocker that demonstrates how the band is able to look backward as they forge ahead with their musical vision. 

Look for the band to tour the world with this one—including the United States!  This is one album and tour that will rock you like a hurricane in a most Michael Schenker sort of way! 


 

01. Live And Let Live
02. Communion*
03. Vigilante Man
04. Rock City
05. Saviour Machine*
06. Something Of The Night
07. All Our Yesterdays
08. Bulletproof*
09. Let The Devil Scream*
10. Good Times
11. Restless Heart
12. Wicked*
13. Searching For Freedom (instrumental) (bonus track on deluxe edition + vinyl edition)

All songs are written by:
Music - Michael Schenker
Lyrics - Doogie White
Except* music and lyrics by Michael Schenker, Doogie White, Wayne Findlay

By Jeb Wright

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