The maverick Mad Axeman has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent years but now a clean minded and sober Michael Schenker delivers his best album since those classic MSG LP's from the early 80s.
Armed and ready with a new band that has toured throughout Europe for the last two years, Schenker now presents 'Temple Of Rock' which features the rhythm section of former Scorpions members Herman 'ze German' Rarebell on ze drums and bassist Francis Buchholz who haven't appeared on vinyl with Schenker since The Scorpions 'Lovedrive' album in 1979.
Completing the line-up is long stayer Wayne Findlay on the keys and guitar plus Scottish vocalist Doogie White who is no stranger to working with some of the very greatest guitarists including Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen.
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Produced by Michael Voss and Michael Schenker himself, 'Bridge The Gap' is an album full of tumultuous tracks that will bend the ear drums with Schenker's fluid stunning and six string work oozing out of the speakers and begging the listener for repeated listens with tracks that ingrain themselves into your brain from a time when audio was king.
The album has a classic rock feel and is full of melodic delights from a mature line-up who know exactly what their game is.
Herman ze German plays heavier and faster than ever before, Schenker is at the top of his game and Doogie White takes hold of all the songs and stamps a Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio era, blueprint over these classics.
There are far too many songs full of quality to mention here but tracks such as the speaker blowing opener 'When The Wild Winds Blow', the Celtic majestic touch of 'Lord Of The Lost And Lonely', the Dio-esque 'To Live For The King' are among my personal favourites but that list changes with every listen.
There's plenty to discover here and this is an album where Schenker holds his Flying-V higher than anybody out there can in this field. Nobody is performing better than him at the moment.