The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK SPIRIT ON A MISSION REVIEW 2015

 

MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK

SPIRIT ON A MISSION

IN-AKUSTIK

MARCH 23 2015

 

 

After playing with Rock giants Scorpions and UFO earlier in his career, MSG, Michael’s next band produced some damn fine Hard Rock in the eighties. Whilst as a musician he has never really been dormant it’s great to see such fine work especially over the last few years.


In 2011 the Temple of Rock concept was created that Schenker has always maintained is the sort of vehicle that one day may not rely on him, thankfully in 2015 it is very much part of his legacy. So far that band has produced three releases – the first eponymous album from 2011 that rocked us all, the 2011 ‘Live in Europe’ release and 2013’s ‘Bridge the Gap’ which, well, let’s face it did far more than just bridge the gap till now.


These days see Schenker in rare form, and particularly productive since he has reunited with the Scorpions Lovedrive-era backline of Rarebell (drums) and Buchholz (bass). And this new album is perhaps the best from Temple of Rock yet…


What we get is twelve tracks of finely honed Hard Rock the way only Schenker can deliver, and it’s immediately obvious that over a few short years these guys have gelled beautifully. Doogie White (Rainbow and others) is on fine form vocally and the rest of the band delivers a performance that reeks class.


Whilst this is the sort of album that not only bears repeated listens, but also chronological listens there are some tracks that just have to be heard, and if you are unsure turn your attention to these gems!


If you like your rockers then ‘Vigilante Man’ should probably be the first stop with its foot to the floor tempo; but there is so much more here. Opener ‘Live and Let Live’ set’s out the stall beautifully with a real burst of life that may well evoke  a certain place and time, but is so damned good it transcends fleeting tastes and tags.

 ‘Communion’ that follows throws a slight curve-ball with its biblical zeal; and ‘Roc City’ is just damn good no-frills Hard Rock fun; whilst ‘Saviour Machine’ is a little darker with an almost Sabbath-like groove and intent.


We’re not yet half way before you realise that this could well be the best we’ve heard so far from the Temple of Rock. ‘Something of the Night’ that follows is one of our many highlights taking aboard sonically what Schenker refers to as his ‘howler’ sound he developed a while back. ‘All Our Yesterdays’ by contrast seems to play it a little safe; whilst ‘Bulletproof’ storms in on some killer drums by Rarebell and proceeds to blow you away.


‘Let the Devil Scream’ drifts in on soft keys before a meaty riff with a bluesy flavour drives us forwards again with an almost ‘doomy’ Sabbath taste. ‘Good Times’ by contrast stutters in before it turns into one of the most unadulterated melodic rock constructs here more than ably executed by White.


The album closes strongly with the supercharged Classic Rock ride of ‘Restless Heart’ and the psychedelic-tinged riff ride of ‘Wicked’ which makes you just want to press play again…
This is one to savour…   

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK SPIRIT ON A MISSION REVIEW 2015