Michael Schenker Group Premieres ‘Under Attack’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker Group debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band unveiled the lyric video for its new single, ‘Under Attack’ Friday, the same day that the band released its new album, Universal. The song’s musical arrangement is a solid composition that expertly blends elements of vintage rock and hard rock with a modern leaning for a whole that will certainly keep audiences engaged and entertained.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme. In listening to the song’s lyrics and reading them on screen, one is left to assume it is about an alien attack, of all things. At the same time, that approach could well also be an allegory of sorts about the conflict constantly going on in the world, hinting that there are greater things to worry about and that because of that, we need to stop fighting. That is all just this critic’s interpretation.

The lyric video for ‘Under Attack’ features the song’s lyrics on what is meant to look like a video display on an alien spacecraft. Various alien spaceships are also presented as part of the whole.

‘Under Attack’ is the third single from Universal. The record also produced the singles, ‘Emergency‘ and ‘A King Has Gone.’ The latter of the songs featured a guest appearance by Helloween front man Michael Kiske.

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker Group announced last month, a tour in support of Universal is scheduled to launch Sept. 27 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The tour is scheduled to run through Nov. 6 in Tulsa, OK and to feature performances in cities, such as Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH and Ft. Wayne, IN.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

MSG US Tour 2022 w/ Eric Martin, Images Of Eden:

9/27/2022 The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, CA

9/28/2022 Goldfield Trading Post – Roseville, CA

9/29/2022 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA

10/01/2022 Saban Theater – Los Angeles, CA    

10/02/2022 Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV

10/04/2022 Oriental Theater – Denver, CO

10/06/2022 Pop’s – Sauget, IL

10/07/2022 Des Plaines Theater – Des Plaines, IL

10/08/2022 Arcada Theater – St. Charles, IL

10/09/2022 Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI

10/11/2022 The Art Theater – Hobart, IN

10/12/2022 Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN

10/14/2022 The King Of Clubs – Columbus, OH

10/15/2022 Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH

10/16/2022 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI

10/17/2022 Jergels – Pittsburgh, PA

10/19/2022 The Vault – New Bedford, MA * MSG only

10/20/2022 Flying Monkey – Plymouth, NH

10/21/2022 Cabot Theater – Beverly, MA

10/22/2022 Sony Hall – New York, NY

10/23/2022 Newton Theater – Newton, NJ

10/25/2022 Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA

10/26/2022 Tally Ho – Leesburg, VA

10/27/2022 Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA

w/ Damon Johnson & The Get Ready, Images Of Eden:

10/29/2022 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH

10/30/2022 Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville, TN

w/ W.A.S.P., Armored Saint:

11/02/2022 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX

11/03/2022 Concrete Street Pavilion – Corpus Christi TX

11/04/2022 Eaton Arena – San Antonio, TX

11/05/2022 Amplified Live – Dallas, TX

11/06/2022 Tulsa Theater – Tulsa, OK

Universal came Friday, less than two years after the release of MSG’s latest album, Immortal, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records.

More information on MSG’s upcoming album release and tour is available along with all of Michael Schenker’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Michael Schenker Group’s Latest LP Will Appeal To Rock, Metal Fans Across The Musical “Universe”

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker is clearly one of those individuals who does not rest easily on his own laurels.  Between working with Scorpions, UFO, and his own projects, Temple of Rock, Michael Schenker Fest, and Michael Schenker Group, Schenker has constantly had something new on his proverbial plate throughout his career.  Most recently, his Michael Schenker Group project has kept him most busy.  That project released its second album in less than two years Friday in the form of Universal.  It released Friday through Atomic Fire Records, not even a year and a half after the release of the group’s then latest album, Immortal.  Which released in February 2021 through Nuclear Blast Records.  Schenker’s latest MSG album is a presentation that most audiences will agree is a welcome follow-up to Immortal, too.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany that musical content makes for its own interest and will be examined a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album another strong new MSG offering that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.

 Universal, the latest album from Michael Schenker Group, is another positive offering from the group and its namesake founder.  Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  From beginning to end, the arrangements each take audiences back to the days of big riffs and even bigger hair and beyond.  The comparisons to works from the likes of Judas Priest, UFO, and so many other bands abound throughout the record.  At the same time, there is something about the arrangements that gives them just as much of a modern feel as a classic sense.  Case in point is the album’s opener, ‘Emergency.’  The richness and heaviness of the guitar line alongside the vocals here gives the arrangement such a modern hard rock sound.  At the same time, there is a subtle touch to that pairing (and the rest of the instrumentation and approach) that gives the arrangement a vintage hard rock sense.  That balance works so well here and makes the song a solid first impression for this outing.  On a completely different note, a song, such as ‘Wrecking Ball’ is full on vintage rock.  The whole of the vocals and instrumentation gives this arrangement a full-on sleaze rock sense.  It is hair metal to the nth degree.  That is not a bad thing, either.  In fact, it is quite infectious from beginning to end.  ‘London Calling,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of the importance of the album’s musical content.  This is another vintage style composition.  The thing is that it is more of a melodic rock style composition.  The pairing of the organ with the bass and guitar makes for a rich three-part harmony that will keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout the song.  The addition of the specific vocal approach adds even more interest to this arrangement.  All things considered here, they make this arrangement its own unique presentation that audiences will enjoy just as much as any of the album’s other works.  When all of the record’s musical content is considered together, it leaves no doubt as to the importance of said content to the album’s overall presentation.

The musical content featured in Universal is just on part of what makes the album engaging and entertaining.  The lyrical themes that accompany that musical content are just as important to the overall presentation as the record’s musical arrangements.  That is because they present their own diversity.  ‘A King Has Gone,’ which is the album’s latest single, — for instance – is a tribute to legendary singer Ronnie James Dio.  It does this through mentions within the song of his work with Heaven & Hell, Rainbow, and even Black Sabbath, as well as his own solo work, while also stating that “you gave us rock/You made us roll.”  The song is a wonderful tribute to the life and legacy of a man who while short in stature, was a huge personality on record and on stage.

On a separate note, the bonus track, ‘Turn Off the World’ is a socially conscious statement.  It is that familiar commentary on the state of the world.  The role that politicians play in everything happening is there, as are the call to action and unity among the people.  The song begs people to “Find the answers/Before it’s too late” along the way before Schenker uses his guitar to sound like an alarm going off, accenting that statement.

‘Long, Long Road’ is yet another example of the diversity in the record’s lyrical themes.  The theme here is just as familiar as those in the other songs examined here, and in the record’s other tracks.  The theme comes across as one of pushing on through life’s obstacles.  It even reminds audiences that there will be a happy ending and that a broken heart will mend in no uncertain terms.  The simple, straight forward way in which the theme is delivered is certain to engage and entertain audiences just as much as the message itself.  When this theme and the others examined here are considered with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole makes clear why the album’s lyrical themes are just as important to its whole as its musical content.

As much as the album’s lyrical themes and musical arrangements do to make the record appealing, they are just part of what makes the album worth hearing.  Its production rounds out its most important elements.  The production is important because it plays directly into the album’s general effect.  As noted, the arrangements featured in this record blend vintage rock and hair metal elements with just as much modern rock influence from one to the next.  The ability of those leanings to all come through and balance as well as they do is due to the record’s production.  What’s more, the ability of the musicians’ performances to each be displayed equally from one to the next shows even more, the time and work that went into balancing each performance.  The end result of the painstaking efforts taken to balance all of the performances and at the same time balance the vintage and modern sounds and styles creates an aesthetic that is just as certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained as the record’s content.  When that content is considered along with the album’s production, the whole therein makes Universal a record that will appeal to rock and metal fans across the musical universe.

Universal, the latest album from Michael Schenker Group, is a certified successful offering from the band.  That is due in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements are of note because of the way in which they balance vintage rock and metal influences with more modern leanings.  From one song to the next, they give listeners the best of the past and present, making each song fully engaging and entertaining.  At the same time, they each also boast identities separate from one another along the way.  All of this together ensures the important role of the album’s arrangements.  The lyrical content featured throughout the album are also of import because they are so accessible and unique from one another, too.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It ensures the record’s aesthetic is just as positive as its content.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered they make the album in general another successful new entry from Michael Schenker Group.

Universal is available now through Atomic Fire Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Michael Schenker Group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Michael Schenker Group Pays Tribute To Rock Royalty In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker Group premiered the second single from its forthcoming album Friday, along with the song’s companion lyric video.

The single comes in the form of ‘A King Has Gone.’ The song, which is the second single from MSG’s forthcoming album, Universal (due out May 27 through Atomic Fire Records) behind ‘Emergency‘ and its video, is a tribute to legendary rock front man Ronnie James Dio.

As part of the tribute Rainbow keyboardist Tony Carey, who also played on Rainbow Rising, recorded the song’s synth intro, ‘Calling Baal,’ which is a direct reference to the introduction to Rainbow Rising‘s ‘Tarot Woman.’ Additionally, the original Rainbow rhythm section of Bobby Rondinelli and Bob Daisley also took part in the overall composition.

As if the additional of the Rainbow members is not enough, the vocals for the new single were recorded by Helloween’s Michael Kiske.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘A King Has Gone’ is a fully engaging power metal composition that harkens back to the songs that made Rainbow so great (and that continue to make the band so beloved). Kiske’s rich vocals pair with the teaming of Schenker and company to make the overall composition fully engaging and entertaining.

As noted, the song’s lyrical theme is a tribute to the legendary Ronnie James Dio.

The song’s lyric video places the song’s lyrics over the backdrop of what looks like that area just above a fire in which the embers lift and fly. A picture of the group’s new album is presented in the bridges.

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker Group announced last month, a tour in support of Universal is scheduled to launch Sept. 27 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The tour is scheduled to run through Nov. 6 in Tulsa, OK and to feature performances in cities, such as Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH and Ft. Wayne, IN.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

MSG US Tour 2022 w/ Eric Martin, Images Of Eden:

9/27/2022 The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, CA

9/28/2022 Goldfield Trading Post – Roseville, CA

9/29/2022 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA

10/01/2022 Saban Theater – Los Angeles, CA    

10/02/2022 Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV

10/04/2022 Oriental Theater – Denver, CO

10/06/2022 Pop’s – Sauget, IL

10/07/2022 Des Plaines Theater – Des Plaines, IL

10/08/2022 Arcada Theater – St. Charles, IL

10/09/2022 Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI

10/11/2022 The Art Theater – Hobart, IN

10/12/2022 Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN

10/14/2022 The King Of Clubs – Columbus, OH

10/15/2022 Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH

10/16/2022 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI

10/17/2022 Jergels – Pittsburgh, PA

10/19/2022 The Vault – New Bedford, MA * MSG only

10/20/2022 Flying Monkey – Plymouth, NH

10/21/2022 Cabot Theater – Beverly, MA

10/22/2022 Sony Hall – New York, NY

10/23/2022 Newton Theater – Newton, NJ

10/25/2022 Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA

10/26/2022 Tally Ho – Leesburg, VA

10/27/2022 Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA

w/ Damon Johnson & The Get Ready, Images Of Eden:

10/29/2022 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH

10/30/2022 Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville, TN

w/ W.A.S.P., Armored Saint:

11/02/2022 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX

11/03/2022 Concrete Street Pavilion – Corpus Christi TX

11/04/2022 Eaton Arena – San Antonio, TX

11/05/2022 Amplified Live – Dallas, TX

11/06/2022 Tulsa Theater – Tulsa, OK

Universal will come less than two years after the release of MSG’s latest album, Immortal, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records.

More information on MSG’s upcoming album release and tour is available along with all of Michael Schenker’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Derek Sherinian Offers Update On New Album

Courtesy: InsideOut MUsic

Famed keyboardist Derek Sherinian is scheduled to release his new album, Vortex, this summer.

The album is scheduled for release July 1 through InsideOut Music. The record’s release will come more than two years after the release of his then latest album, The Phoenix. That album produced the singles,  ‘Empyrean Sky,’ ‘Dragonfly,’ and ‘Them Changes‘ (a cover of the Buddy Miles classic).

Sherinian announced last March, that he had started work on the album. He said at the time, drummer Simon Phillips would return for the album, which has been confirmed for this album. Also making guest appearances at Steve Stevens, Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne band, Black Label Society), and Michael Schenker (Temple of Rock, Michael Schenker Group, Michael Schenker Fest), all of whom he has worked previously.

Sherinian made a guest appearance on Schenker’s latest Micheal Schenker Group record, Immortal, last year, while Wylde has previously appeared on some of Sherinian’s early solo releases. Also making appearances this time out are the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather (Toto), and his Sons of Apollo band mate Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.

The track listing for Vortex is noted below.

Tracklisting:
1 The Vortex feat. Steve Stevens
2 Fire Horse feat. Nuno Bettencourt
3 Scorpion
 4 Seven Seas feat. Steve Stevens
5 Key Lime Blues feat. Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather
6 Die Kobra feat. Michael Schenker, Zakk Wylde
7 Nomad’s Land feat. Mike Stern
8 Aurora Australis feat. Bumblefoot

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Michael Schenker Group Debuts New Album’s Lead Single, Video; Live Dates Planned

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Only days after announcing a tour in support of its new album, Universal, Michael Schenker Group debuted the album’s lead single and video.

The band debuted its new single, ‘Emergency‘ and its video Friday. The single features a driving, guitar-centered arrangement that will appeal just as much to any guitar rock purist as to the band’s established audience base. It is a high-energy composition that does well to help establish the mood set by the song’s title.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the premiere of the new single and video. The lyrics provided with the video hint at the theme being about someone battling his or her own inner demons. That is just this critic’s interpretation.

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker Group announced early this week, a tour in support of Universal is scheduled to launch Sept. 27 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The tour is scheduled to run through Nov. 6 in Tulsa, OK and to feature performances in cities, such as Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH and Ft. Wayne, IN.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

MSG US Tour 2022 w/ Eric Martin, Images Of Eden:

9/27/2022 The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, CA

9/28/2022 Goldfield Trading Post – Roseville, CA

9/29/2022 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA

10/01/2022 Saban Theater – Los Angeles, CA    

10/02/2022 Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV

10/04/2022 Oriental Theater – Denver, CO

10/06/2022 Pop’s – Sauget, IL

10/07/2022 Des Plaines Theater – Des Plaines, IL

10/08/2022 Arcada Theater – St. Charles, IL

10/09/2022 Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI

10/11/2022 The Art Theater – Hobart, IN

10/12/2022 Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN

10/14/2022 The King Of Clubs – Columbus, OH

10/15/2022 Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH

10/16/2022 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI

10/17/2022 Jergels – Pittsburgh, PA

10/19/2022 The Vault – New Bedford, MA * MSG only

10/20/2022 Flying Monkey – Plymouth, NH

10/21/2022 Cabot Theater – Beverly, MA

10/22/2022 Sony Hall – New York, NY

10/23/2022 Newton Theater – Newton, NJ

10/25/2022 Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA

10/26/2022 Tally Ho – Leesburg, VA

10/27/2022 Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA

w/ Damon Johnson & The Get Ready, Images Of Eden:

10/29/2022 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH

10/30/2022 Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville, TN

w/ W.A.S.P., Armored Saint:

11/02/2022 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX

11/03/2022 Concrete Street Pavilion – Corpus Christi TX

11/04/2022 Eaton Arena – San Antonio, TX

11/05/2022 Amplified Live – Dallas, TX

11/06/2022 Tulsa Theater – Tulsa, OK

Universal will come less than two years after the release of MSG’s latest album, Immortal, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records.

More information on MSG’s upcoming album release and tour is available along with all of Michael Schenker’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Michael Schenker Group Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Michael Schenker Group has a new album and tour on the way this year.

The band recently announced it is scheduled to release its new album, Universal, through Atomic Fire Records. In celebration of the album’s release, the band is scheduled to launch a supporting tour Sept. 27 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The tour is scheduled to run through Nov. 6 in Tulsa, OK and to feature performances in cities, such as Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH and Ft. Wayne, IN.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

MSG US Tour 2022 w/ Eric Martin, Images Of Eden:

9/27/2022 The Coach House – San Juan Capistrano, CA

9/28/2022 Goldfield Trading Post – Roseville, CA

9/29/2022 Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA

10/01/2022 Saban Theater – Los Angeles, CA    

10/02/2022 Count’s Vamp’d – Las Vegas, NV

10/04/2022 Oriental Theater – Denver, CO

10/06/2022 Pop’s – Sauget, IL

10/07/2022 Des Plaines Theater – Des Plaines, IL

10/08/2022 Arcada Theater – St. Charles, IL

10/09/2022 Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI

10/11/2022 The Art Theater – Hobart, IN

10/12/2022 Piere’s – Ft. Wayne, IN

10/14/2022 The King Of Clubs – Columbus, OH

10/15/2022 Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH

10/16/2022 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI

10/17/2022 Jergels – Pittsburgh, PA

10/19/2022 The Vault – New Bedford, MA * MSG only

10/20/2022 Flying Monkey – Plymouth, NH

10/21/2022 Cabot Theater – Beverly, MA

10/22/2022 Sony Hall – New York, NY

10/23/2022 Newton Theater – Newton, NJ

10/25/2022 Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA

10/26/2022 Tally Ho – Leesburg, VA

10/27/2022 Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA

w/ Damon Johnson & The Get Ready, Images Of Eden:

10/29/2022 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH

10/30/2022 Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville, TN

w/ W.A.S.P., Armored Saint:

11/02/2022 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX

11/03/2022 Concrete Street Pavilion – Corpus Christi TX

11/04/2022 Eaton Arena – San Antonio, TX

11/05/2022 Amplified Live – Dallas, TX

11/06/2022 Tulsa Theater – Tulsa, OK

Universal will come less than two years after the release of MSG’s latest album, Immortal, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records.

More information on MSG’s upcoming album release and tour is available along with all of Michael Schenker’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Established Acts, Up-And-Comers Alike Offered Hard Rock, Metal Fans So Much To Enjoy In 2021

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

And then there were two.  Phil’s Picks is officially down to two year-ender lists on the music side as the countdown to the year’s end itself continues.  The first of this year’s last two music year-ender lists comes today in the form of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. 

This year’s list is packed with content from so many established and new acts.  From up-and-coming hard rock act Antisaint to veteran thrash band Exodus to guitar virtuosos Gus G. and John 5 and more, this year has seen so many great hard rock and metal records.  Suffice it to say there has been so much great hard rock and metal this year that it has been extremely difficult to compile this list, but it was created. 

As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the year’s top 10 new releases and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Those honorable mention titles are just as deserving of applause as the other featured works.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums list.

PHIL’S PICKS’ 2021 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

1. Accept – Too Mean To Die

2. Atreyu – Baptize

3. Exodus – Persona Non Grata

4. Michael Schenker Group – Immortal

5. U.D.O. – Game Over

6. Artillery – X

7. Gus G. – Quantum Leap

8. John 5 – Sinner

  1. The Three Tremors – Guardians of the Void
  1. Antisaint – Vaticinate
  1. Bullet For My Valentine – Bullet For My Valentine
  1. A Killer’s Confession – Remember
  1. The CEO – Redemption
  1. Tremonti – Marching in Time
  1. Skarlett Riot – Invicta

That’s it for this year’s hard rock and metal albums.  While even the hard rock and metal community has wrapped things for this year, things are already gearing up for 2022, with new releases already coming from the likes of up-and-coming hard rock act Bloodywood, veteran acts Hammerfall and Annihilator, and even from Saxon and Stabbing Westward.  That’s all just in the first quarter of 2022, too. 

In other words, the first half of the new year is already gearing up to be very exciting for all the hard rock and metal fans out there.  Until then though, there’s still one more music year-ender list from Phil’s Picks this year before the attention turns over to the best of this year’s new TV and movie releases.  Stay tuned!

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Derek Sherinian Starts Work On His Next Album

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian is keeping himself busy as 2021 rolls on.

Sherinian announced Tuesday, he has started work on his next solo record. He announced through a press release that he is once again working with drummer Simon Phillips on the record and hopes to have the new album out in 2022. That would put the album’s release approximately two years after his 2019 album, The Phoenix.

The Phoenix produced the singles, ‘Empyrean Sky,’ ‘Dragonfly,’ and ‘Them Changes‘ (a cover of the Buddy Miles classic).

Sherinian followed up the release of The Phoenix with a guest appearance on Michael Schenker Group’s latest album, Immortal, which was released early this year. Now the band’s namesake, Michael Schenker will make his own appearance on Sherinian’s as-yet-untitled new album.

Sherinian talked about Schenker’s appearance on the record.

“To be working with Michael Schenker and Simon brings me back to 1980 when I was 13 listening to the first MSG record,” he said

Schenker added to the discussion.

“Derek and myself trading solos, it sounds unexpected and beyond my expectation, absolutely fantastic,” said Schenker.

Schenker is just one of the musicians expected to guest on Sherinian’s next record. More information on other participants will be announced soon.

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Michael Schenker Group Debuts Discussion Video For ‘In Search Of The Peace Of Mind’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Michael Schenker Group premiered a new video this week featuring Michael Schenker discussing one of his new album’s songs.

The label debuted a video Thursday featuring Schenker discussing the song ‘In Search of the Peace of Mind.’ The video is the sixth in a series of videos that the band has premiered featuring discussions on songs from MSG’s latest album Immortal. Other topics addressed are: Recording Schenker’s albums; MSG’s logo; Recording ‘After The Rain‘ (discussed by the album’s producer Michael Voss); Schenker’s 50th anniversary as a professional musician, and recording Immortal (again, a discussion by Voss).

‘In Search of the Peace of Mind’ is the fourth single from Immortal. The record has also produced the singles, ‘Sail The Darkness,’ ‘Drilled to Kill,’ and ‘After the Rain.’

In related news, Immortal officially entered the world music charts last week. The 10-song record, which was officially released Jan. 29 through Nuclear Blast Records, reached #14 on the U.S. Rock chart, #3 on the nation’s Hard Rock chart and #43 on the Top Current Chart.  The band’s 11th album, it has proven just as successful, reaching #3 in Japan, and #8 in Germany, Sweden, and Switerland.  Its results in other parts of the world have put it in Top 25 spots and so forth.

In other related news, Michael Schenker Group has announced a new live schedule in support of the album and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his career in music. Doro is scheduled to join the band for the first set of dates while the band is scheduled to handle the second half of the run by itself.

The first leg of the tour is scheduled to run from Oct. 28-31 in London and Wolverhampton. The second leg of the tour features dates in Madrid, Spain; Turin, Italy, and the Netherlands. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Michael Schenker 
“50th Anniversary – IMMORTAL” 
performed by the current MSG/Michael Schenker Group
 
with special guest DORO
28.10.2021 UK – Leeds, OAcademy                            
29.10.2021 UK – Newcastle, OCity Hall                             
30.10.2021 UK – Wolverhampton, KK Steel Mill                           
31.10.2021 UK – London, OShepherd’s Bush Empire   
 
Tickets: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/michael-schenker-tickets/artist/890401
 
Michael Schenker
“50th Anniversary – IMMORTAL”
performed by the current MSG/Michael Schenker Group


02.11.2021 NL – Zoetermeer, De Boerderij
03.11.2021 CH – Pratteln, Z7
04.11.2021 IT  – Turin, Audiodrome
05.11.2021 ES – Barcelona, Razzmatazz 1
06.11.2021 ES – Madrid, La Riviera

Tickets: https://www.dragon-productions.eu/bands/michael-schenker/

Immortal is available now 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:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Immortal’ Reminds Listeners Why Michael Schenker’s Influence, Popularity Are Themselves Immortal

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Michael Schenker’s latest Michael Schenker Group record Immortal officially entered the world music charts this week, and the numbers are promising.  The 10-song record, which was officially released Jan. 29 through Nuclear Blast Records, reached #14 on the U.S. Rock chart, #3 on the nation’s Hard Rock chart and #43 on the Top Current Chart.  The band’s 11th album, it has proven just as successful, reaching #3 in Japan, and #8 in Germany, Sweden, and Switerland.  Its results in other parts of the world have put it in Top 25 spots and so forth.  The album’s largely successful first week numbers should be no surprise, considering that Schenker has a record of succeeding in everything he does.  This record is no exception to that rule.  That is evidenced in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements builds on the foundation formed by that musical element.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation.  It brings everything together, completing the album’s presentation.  When it is addressed along with the record’s content, the whole of the elements makes the album in whole a presentation that rock and hard rock purists alike will enjoy just as much as Schenker’s established fan base.

Michael Schenker Group’s latest album – its 11th – is another successful offering from the group, which is just one of Schenker’s many projects.  It is a presentation whose appeal is far reaching.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements that fill out each of the album’s 10 total songs, give audiences elements of the rock sounds of days gone by alongside today’s pure guitar rock work.  ‘Drilled to Kill,’ which opens the album, is a prime example of that balance.  There is a clear Motorhead influence aligned here with Schenker’s own hard rock/power metal influences.  The powerhouse, operatic vocals of Primal Fear front man Ralf Scheepers add even more to that classic metal sensibility.  On yet another level, the use of the keyboards here lends itself to comparisons to works from Derek Sherinian, adding even more of that modern rock (and even prog) feel.  Simply put, the whole of the arrangement blends the noted elements of rock and hard rock’s past and present for a whole that hits hard.  It makes for a strong start for the album and an equally strong example of how much the album’s musical arrangements have to offer audiences.

Another of the entries that highlights the importance album’s musical content to its overall presentation is ‘Sail The Darkness.’  Rainbow front man Ronnie Romero’s vocal delivery joins with the work of Schenker and company to take listeners back to the age of big riffs and even bigger hair.  The use of the keyboards and the rich sound of the drums conjures thoughts of vintage Van Halen and Iron Maiden.  While the noted influences are clearly there, the arrangement in whole still features its own identity.  The result is that it presents a sound that will appeal easily to the noted audiences just as much as the arrangement featured in ‘Drilled to Kill’ and any of the album’s other works. 

As if ‘Drilled to Kill’ and ‘Sail the Darkness’ are not enough proof of the importance of the musical arrangements featured in Immortal, the arrangement featured in ‘In Search of The Peace of Mind’ takes listeners in yet another direction. The sound and stylistic approach taken in its opening bars are akin to works from the likes of Joe Satriani.  That approach soon gives way however, to more of a power ballad approach that itself then gives way to a sort of heavy, plodding Judas Priest style work.  The short and simple here is that what audiences get in this song is essentially a three-movement opus that lifts from influences within a wide range of eras.  The Judas Priest style work sounds like works that the band crafted way back in the 1970s while the Satriani-esque portion could have been just as easily from his 80s and  90s work as from his more modern works.  The other portion is clearly influenced from 80s greats, such as Dokken.  The whole of those influences makes the song in whole yet another interesting work that will reach a wide range of listeners.   When its appeal and variance in sound from that of the other works noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album’s musical  content leaves no doubt as to the importance of this record’s musical content. That overall content makes the album well worth hearing in itself.  It is just one aspect of what makes the album successful, too.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements makes the album even more engaging and entertaining.

The lyrical content that accompanies Immortal’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal because it is just as accessible as the record’s musical content.  From beginning to end, the record’s lyrical content presents themes and topics that any listener will find familiar.  No less than three of the album’s songs are lyrical works about women.  The come in the form of ‘Devil’s Daughter,’ ‘The Queen of Thorns and Roses,’ and ‘After The Rain.’  Each focuses on a different matter therein.  ‘Devil’s Daughter’ is a simple work about a woman who just drives men wild with her feminine wiles.  ‘After The Rain’ seems to focus on a man lamenting woman who has left him.  ‘The Queen of Thorns and Roses’ meanwhile comes across as being about a woman who isn’t quite what she seems.  These themes are familiar for so many rock and hard rock songs.  On another note, a song, such as ‘Sail The Darkness’ comes across as being a work that lyrically, is about making one’s way through life’s more difficult moment.  This is also a familiar topic, and just as welcome here as in any other act’s songs. 

On yet another note, ‘Drilled To Kill’ seems to broach the matter of how people are essentially institutionalized in so many ways.  From religion – the line notes, “Religion is the order/Stick right to the rules/Sail on sailor, anywhere/On this ship of fools/We are on a mission/Questions won’t be posed/Load your gun/We’re gettin’ there/Battlefield is close.” – to the very process of making young men ready for  battle  —  “Mute all emotions/Looking for the thrill/So close to overdosing/We’ve been drilled to kill/Who cares for the enemy?/Already on the hill/Say a prayer/A last will/’Cause we’ve been  drilled to kill/They say you are wanted/A wanted man/Come and sign the paper/Let me count you in/Well,  it looks like a holiday/But we protect the Earth/Sailing distant oceans/It’s all worth.” – the protest here certainly comes across clearly.  To that end, it is yet another accessible song and proves even more how that accessibility plays into the importance of the album’s overall lyrical content.  When it, the other noted lyrical themes here and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes are considered together, they leave no doubt as to the overall importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It is just as accessible as the album’s musical content.  Keeping that in mind, the content in whole does more than its share to make the album successful.  The overall content is just one way in which the   album shows its viability, too.  The production of that content brings everything together and completes the record’s picture.

The production that went into the creation of Immortal is critical to its presentation because of its impact on the presentation of the content.  Thanks to the solid production, no one aspect of the songs’ instrumentation overpowers the others.  At the same time, the vocals never get washed out.  This is especially important because washing out vocals can easily lead to either simple misinterpretation of lyrics or even a full inability to comprehend them without a lyrics sheet.  That applies in so many genres of the musical universe.  Sadly, so few acts take this into account when their records are produced.  On another level, there is a lot going on in each song.  Between the guitars, the vocals, the drums and other elements, the songs have quite a bit happening.  That means a lot of attention had to be paid to every aspect of each song.  Even in the softer, more reserved moments, the simplicity in those works had a lot to focus on in order to fully emotionally impact listeners.  The production succeeds even in those cases.  Simply put, the time and painstaking efforts that were clearly put into the album’s production paid off.  Those efforts made the album sound as good as it appears through its content.  It completes the musical picture painted here and makes the album a presentation that is fully deserving of its own spot on this year’s list of the best new hard rock and metal albums.

Michael Schenker Group’s new album Immortal is a presentation that succeeds just as much as Schenker’s most recent Michael Schenker Fest albums – Revelation and Resurrection.  This latest offering from Michael Schenker Group — its 11th – succeeds in part due to its musical arrangements.  The album’s arrangements will appeal to any rock and hard rock purist as well as any longtime fan of Michael Schenker.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content is just as accessible as the album’s musical arrangements.  The record’s production brings everything together and puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Immortal a record that reminds audiences of the immortality of Michael Schenker’s popularity and influence.  Immortal is available now.

More information on Immortal is available now along with all of Michael Schenker Fest’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.