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Personnel (Also including guest appearances.): Michael Schenker (guitars), Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White (vocals), Steve Mann and Wayne Findlay (guitars and keyboards), Michael Voss-Schön and Kirk Hammett (guitars), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums).
The iconic hard rock guitarist Michael Schenker has in collaboration with Michael Voss-Schön gathered 4 of his former and current vocalists and additionally a couple of other musicians in order to put together a new record. With such a seminal and pioneering catalogue in his pocket, which includes a large number of classic albums and songs written and recorded in primarily the '70s and the '80s, there's always substantial pressure on him and I reckon also vivid dreams from his fanbase about bringing forth some extraordinary music once again.
So, can he stand the heat and, first and foremost of course, is he successful in making those loyal dreams from his fans come true? Well, I would say that he reaches almost halfway up the hill on the hard and winding route of attaining an outstanding creation. There are definitely some sections over the record that make my heartbeat quicken a little bit and that are able to send a stream of excitement through my body, yet there are also a fairly large number of parts where most stuff seems to only go on and on without increasing the temperature to a comfortable level and songs like Everest and Messing Around are just so gray and bland.
In my opinion Mr. Schenker himself doesn't sparkle in a self-pretentious way with his guitar playing, besides in the instrumental track Salvation and perhaps occasionally by means of some characteristic solos, and this record is to me more a team effort rather than a clear solo album that would basically set a much greater focus on the guitarist personally. From time to time I think the melody in the songs even outdo the actual music around it and that too, more than anything, indicates an intension to make the album together as a group.
Initially, maybe the first couple of times I heard this material, I couldn't grasp more out of it than pretty much a single bit here and there, but considering a lot of records start off as a shrug of the shoulders I thought that this one would possibly grow quite a few steps along the road, but after listening to it repeatedly now for a couple of days I realize that it doesn't have the capacity to pass the point of more than just being a decent composition when push comes to shove. There's simply put just way too many ups and downs when looking at the songs overall and therefore this record doesn't really have what it takes to deliver the goods properly.
with Michael Schenker