Over the past several years, Michael Schenker albums have been pretty much hit or miss. There's no doubt, he is one of the greats, but like many of our heroes, he has let his demons get the best of him, at times. I think he turned the corner, with his last release, Temple of Rock. It was the best thing he had put out in years. Now he is back with a new band and a new record called Bridge the Gap. Joining Michael for the new album, are former Scorpions, Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass as well as the return of vocalist Doogie White.
Bridge the Gap builds on the momentum from the last album. This is probably the purest Schenker record in years, because it delves back into the guitarist's past and bridges it with the present sound of the band. It is a retro album of sorts, bringing back the classic feel of early MSG. The sound of the record, reminds me of classic 80's MSG mixed with Rainbow. A perfect example of this, is on the track Shine On. Slow, melodic and heavy.
I gotta say, that I was more impressed with White's vocals on this release, than anything else I've ever heard him sing on. The guy has a Dio vibe to his voice, that I have never noticed before. He is amazing on this release. Also, Schenker never ceases to amaze me either. He is playing like a man possessed on this release. It is some of the best riffage, he has given us in a while. Check out the solo in Beacuse You Lied, and you'll hear what I mean. Schenker showing why he is still one of the best ones out there today.
Bottom Line: Schenker is showing no signs of slowing down, by churning out two solid releases within a 3 year period. A solid set of classic tinged tunes all complete with some major shreddage.
Standout Tracks: To Live for the King, Black Moon Rising, Shine On and Bridges That We've Burned
-Ragman is liking the temple that Mr. Schenker and company have built.