Bridge The Gap
added: 4 Dec 2013
// release date: 2 Dec 2013 // label: Inakustik
reviewer: Andy Snipper
When he is at his best, Schenker is a force of nature – he needs to be given his head and allowed to be as excessive as he likes and on this album no-one seems to have thought of reining him in.
All through the album his riffs and soaring melodies are there, dark and doom-laden and underpinned by some great vocals from Doogie White (ex-Rainbow). He is back together with his old Scorpions chums Heman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz and having a rhythm section that is completely in line with his music is definitely allowing his music to soar. The band also includes Wayne Findlay on keys and his seven string guitar playing adds a remarkable layer to the sound:
"I wanted to combine the old with the new,” says Schenker. “That's why the album's called Bridge The Gap. With Wayne playing 7-string guitar we created some low, heavy modern sounds. Since I play and experiment on a regular basis, I always have some new, fresh sparks to share when I record a new album. I am inspired from within. It's infinite like a kaleidoscope."
The music is not too far removed from the stock German Euro-Metal except that the song writing is incredibly good and he manages to make songs like ‘Lord of the Lost And Lonely’ sound powerful and fresh while in weaker hands it definitely would be formula stuff – the rhythm section drives it brilliantly but it is really Doogie’s vocals that take it to another place.
‘To Live For The King’ slams its ponderous path while ‘Land Of The Thunder’ and ‘Temple Of The Holy’ take you on a path to a land of imagining and desolate mountainscapes.
It does touch on the softer and more melodic but not often – this is a rampage through your head by a man on a mission and when the band reach ‘Dance For The Piper’ you feel as though you have been pummelled by a UFC fighter with all his belts on the line.
One of the best Michael Schenker albums I can remember for many years and definitely one to listen to time and again in the months to come.
Photo Credit: © Steve Brinkman
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