MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST - Revelation
Release date September 20/19 (Nuclear Blast)
I'm sure most of you know the background regarding the Michael Schenker Fest band, but let's spend some time bringing those who've been living under a rock up to speed. Michael Schenker built a reputation as someone who was hard to work with from his time with UFO and Scorpions, through to the many incarnations of his own Michael Schenker Group (MSG) vehicle. Innumerable lineup changes from album-to-album suggest that the reputation was more than justified.
The German guitar wizard has obviously matured/mellowed over time, so much so that he reached out to a number of his former bandmates a few years back for a Japanese concert celebrating his recording legacy. Things went so swimmingly that they decided to stick together and issue an album - 2018's Resurrection. Much touring ensued and we are now presented with the sophomore release from the band just one year later (perhaps knowing that time is not on their side given the age of some of the vocalists).
Truth be told, I approached Resurrection with much trepidation expecting a disjointed effort akin to Dave Grohl's Probot side-project. However, Schenker was able to pull off the unexpected, creating a cohesive set of tracks that resonated despite the myriad of lead vocalists approaching the mic (Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White).
Getting straight to the point, Revelation follows the exact same formula as its predecessor, eliciting a thumbs up from this reviewer. Track after track of high quality, varied hard rock is presented, with some excellent soloing (of course!) from our fave flying V guitarist, making this one of those few releases that you'll listen to from track one through to conclusion ... repeatedly.
The only negative that I would note is that there are no stand-out tracks; they are all of a high calibre, but there aren't those one or two unforgettable ditties required to push this into classic territory. Regardless, it's great to hear that Michael Schenker Fest seems to be an ongoing entity, not the one-and-done unit I expected it to be.