Michael Schenker - Spirit On A Mission

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In Akustik Musik
Produced by Michael Schenker & Michael Voss

Spirit On A Mission is the latest release from Michael Schenker's current project Temple of Rock, and features the familiar line up of Herman 'Ze German' Rarebell, Francis Buchholz, Doogie White and Wayne Findlay.

When considering the attributes of this collective, it may be expected that this album will offer a slightly heavier sound than some of Schenker's previous endeavours, and this does indeed seem to be the case. For instance, on tracks such as the chugging Let The Devil Scream or the rumbling double bass of Bulletproof, there's a notably menacing touch to the song writing. That's not to say that Spirit On A Mission is a real departure from anything the German has done before, but it's the kind of sound that is well suited to Findlay's playing and White's vocals. In fact, with the regards to White, the heavier approach provides an excellent backdrop for the vocalist, in which his dark lyrics and projective voice can thrive.

Still, there are some very Schenker-like tracks on offer too, such as Live And Let Live, Vigilante Man and Rock City. While all being stand-outs on this album in their own right, the tracks could also all pass for numbers on previous MSG releases. They're warm, have great hooks and boast the kind of driving riffs that are behind so much of Schenker's material.

As a whole this album is a testament to the undignified fact that Schenker is such an underrated guitar player. His usual melodic approach to solos and brilliance at playing over chord changes is as apparent as usual, there's also not a poor a riff in sight. Something of The Night is particularly noticeable, with a middle-eastern inspired riff that flowers on top of a bed of Rarebell's double bass.

Spirit On A Mission certainly has the sound of a band who are working in the same direction, with each member bringing something to the table, as opposed to just a solo outing from Schenker. Furthermore, with the generally heavier and darker approach to song writing, it could be argued that Spirit On A Mission sits more in the genre of metal than hard rock. Yet with that being said, the heavier approach should in no way be a deterrent for fans of Schenker's melodic playing, given that this release proves rather difficult to fault.

Spirit On A Mission is a strong release from Schenker's Temple of Rock, and for any fans of the guitar player or metal in general, it's definitely worth a listen. It appears Schenker is back on his game.

“ such an underrated guitar player ”

Tracklist: Live and Let Live / Communion / Vigilante Man / Rock City / Saviour Machine / Something of The Night / All Our Yesterdays / Bulletproof / Let The Devil Scream / Good Times / Restless Heart / Wicked
Bonus Track: Searching for Freedom

Written by James Abel
More: 2015, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, ,

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