After a decade of personal mishaps, Michael Schenker, the godfather of neo-classical metal guitar, has landed back on solid musical ground with the release of a new live album. Culled from material he used while touring to support 2011’s Temple of Rock, this CD/DVD set showcases Marshall-crunched performances from the U.K.’s High Voltage Festival and Tilburg, Netherlands’ 013 hall.
Fans are treated to a decade-hopping, A-list affair that feels like a celebration. Ex-Scorpions Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell are present, as are revolving vocalists Doogie White and Michael Voss. Schenker’s fingers are flawless on the classic Michael Schenker Group instrumental “Into the Arena,” and “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” is darkly melodic, founded on the uniquely Euro overtones Schenker has used to influence generations of metal acts from Megadeth to Nightwish.
Worthy of special mention is Schenker’s performance of UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” with brother Rudolf Schenker on guest guitar and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. Equally memorable is “Rock Bottom,” clocking in at over 12 minutes—a master class in stringed ecstasy.
Sounding savagely recharged and geared up to pass the six-string metal spark to a new breed of headbangers, this is Michael Schenker on “11.”
– Mark Uricheck