Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records
Michael Schenker Group will release what will be its first album in more than a decade next year.
The announcement was made Monday through a press release from Nuclear Blast Records. The document stated Schenker (ex-Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Fest) is in the last stages of working on the album, titled Immortal. Additionally, it states the album’s release is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2021 through Nuclear Blast Records, more than a year after Schenker released his latest Michael Schenker Fest album Revelation.
“It’s going very well,” said Schenker of the progress on the album’s work. “We have a lot of guest musicians, who will undoubtedly help to make it an exceptional success. First of all I want to say that I am very grateful to any musicians that have helped to create a fitting tribute to my long career on this special release. I want to thank all of them for their incredible contribution.”
Nuclear Blast Records Founder Markus Staiger said in his own comments, he was looking forward to Schenker’s forthcoming MSG album.
“I am really looking forward to releasing this brand new MSG album, after the two excellent Michael Schenker Fest records,” he said. “At the age of 14, the self-titled MSG debut completely blew me away and helped to shape my taste, since then I’ve followed and loved his music and unique compositions. Those ten new tracks are pure magic!”
Immortal was recorded primarily at Kidroom Studio in Germany with Schenker’s longtime partner Michael Voss. Voss co-produced the album with Schenker and provided vocals for two of the album’s songs.
Schenker praised Voss for his work.
“It is always a pleasure to work with Michael Voss, who works around the clock and is a phenomenal musician and producer,” he said. “He was composing the melody and lyrics for a power ballad I had written the music for, and he ended up singing along. It turned out so amazing, I did not think anyone else could have done a better job for this song. Truly great.“
Voss is just one of the individuals who will provide vocals for Schenker’s new MSG album. Ronnie Romero (Rainbow) will provide vocals along with Voss, Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), and Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Deep Purple). Joining the group for the album are musicians Steve Mann on keyboards, Barry Sparks (Dokken) on bass, and Bodo Schopf, Simon Phillips (ex-Toto), and Brian Tichy (Phill Rocker, ex-Godsmack, ex-Whitesnake) sharing drumming duties.
Schenker spoke highly of Tichy as he talked about the album’s lineup of musicians.
“Brian was thrilled to be part of it,” he said of Tichy’s involvement in the album. “He is a master of groove and ended up playing on six songs. I could not believe it: This man is something else. He is a true natural and very original. With his input, it made the album very solid and complete. So guess what – I am very happy.”
Also joining the collective for Schenker’s new MSG record is famed keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Alice Cooper). Schenker said of Sherinian’s performance on the album’s opener,”Derek and myself trading solos, it sounds unexpected and beyond my expectation. Absolutely fantastic!“
Immortal will feature 10 songs, including one composition that Schenker created when he was a child, titled ‘In Search of the Peace of Mind.’
Schenker spoke at length about the song during his recent interview.
“I wrote this song when I was 15 years old, it was my first ever written piece of music which I recorded with Scorpions on our first studio album Lonesome Crow in 1970, getting released in 1972 – when I had already left Scorpions to join the British rock band UFO in June of 1972 – when I was 17,” he said. “We re-recorded this song for my 50th anniversary as a celebration and it turned out to be an epic; with an extra extension at the end of the song, which turned out absolutely fantastic with Simon Phillips on drums, doing his usual amazing stuff.“ The result is a true highlight and features even more surprises: “Gary Barden sings the first verse, continued by Ronnie Romero – and in the end we have Ronnie, Doogie White, and Robin McAuley screaming their heads off, as a tribute to my 50th anniversary. Absolutely amazing. Thanks to the guys for doing this!“
Immortal will release as a standard CD and a limited edition expanded edition complete with the Michael Schenker Fest live recording Bang Your Head. Schenker said of the recording, which was recorded two years ago in Balingen/Germany, “Unfixed, raw, pure and great! There’s a couple of small mistakes, but because the show and recording went so well, I decided to keep it the way it went on the night. It’s live, magic and pure.“
More information on Immortal is available now along with all of Michael Schenker Fest’s latest news and more at:
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