‘Rock Believer’ Will Keep Audiences Believing In Scorpions

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records/Vertigo Records/UMe

A wait of more than seven years for new music from Scorpions officially ended Friday when the band released its new album, Rock Believer.  Released through Spinefarm Records and Vertigo Records (a subsidiary of Universal Music Group), the 16-song record is a presentation that the band’s established audiences and rock fans in general will agree is a mostly successful new offering from the band.  That is due in part to the album’s featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical content adds to the album’s interest in its own way and will be discussed a little later.  The production rounds out the album’s 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 Rock Believer a record that will keep audiences believing in Scorpions.

Rock Believer, the 19th (yes, 19th) new album from veteran rock act Scorpions, is a presentation that audiences will agree is mostly successful.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are of note because for the most part, they continue to present the hard rock sound that first made the band a hit back in the 80s.  At the same time, the stylistic approach that the band took in each arrangement also clearly exhibits the band’s ability to evolve with the times while still staying true to its musical roots.  Case in point is the arrangement featured in the late entry, ‘Shoot For Your Heart.’  The production, which will be discussed later, comes fully into play here.  The band’s 80s rock sensibility is here.  That is fully evident.  At the same time, there is a certain edge to the arrangement that fits just as well into today’s rock community as it would into the scene back in the 80s.  It makes for its own interesting presentation.

On another hand, the blues-based rock sound of the album’s opener, ‘Gas in the Tank’ is another example of that ability of the band to so expertly balance elements of old and new.  The choruses in this song and even portions of the verses display plenty of classic rock sounds.  At the same time, the aforementioned edge that the band incorporated into so much of the album is just as much on display here.  It ensures the song (and album) will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  In turn, it keeps the band just as relevant today as it was in its early days.

‘Peacemaker,’ the album’s lead single, is yet another example of how the band has continued to evolve while maintaining its identity.  The hard rock approach taken here (which is very bass heavy) would fit perfectly into any modern, active rock radio programmer’s play list.  The heaviness and related depth to the instrumentation and its sound shows the band can still hold its own alongside any of today’s veteran and young, new acts.  When it is considered along with the other arrangements examined here and with the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole of that content shows fully why this album’s musical arrangements make it worth hearing.  They are just part of what makes the record successful.  The album’s lyrical content makes for its own share of interest.

The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content are important because of their accessibility.  From start to end, the album’s lyrical content touches on a wide range of topics, all of which will find appeal.  Right from the album’s outset, the band presents a positive message that perhaps is reflective of the uncertainty that the band went through following the release of its then latest album, Return to Forever, and the tour that followed.  The clear declaration in the song’s chorus, “Let’s play it louder/Play it hard/Laid back and a little dark/Give me a dirty riff, my friend/There’s gotta be more gas in the tank” does well to lead to such inference.  The additional mentions of hammer riffs and that “best friends will never part” continues to infer the noted theme.  It all collectively comes across as a first statement to audiences that even with what it went through after celebrating its 50th anniversary, is still going strong.  On a deeper level, that overt sense of determination inferred through this content could encourage others who might be going through tough times to push on through in their own situations.  To that end, it makes this song just one example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important to the record’s presentation.

‘Call Of The Wild’ is yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  In the case of this song, it is sung from the standpoint of a man trying to get a woman to stay with him.  This is clear right from the song’s outset as the lead verse states, “Hear the call of the wild, girl/I wanna spend the night, yeah/Right by your side.”  The attempt to win the woman over continues later in the statement, “Getting lost in the jungle, babe/In the shade of the night/You’ve got the funky rhythm, girl/I’ve got the rocking drive.”  It is pretty obvious what is happening here.  The man is trying to tell the woman how well they “move” together.  This is more of that attempt to flirt so to speak and get her to stay with him.  The bluesy approach taken to the song’s musical arrangement adds even more to the engagement that these lyrics (and the topic) ensure.  Overall, it is one more example of why the record’s lyrical content is so important to the album’s presentation.

‘When Tomorrow Comes’ is yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  In the case of this song, the band has opted to go socially conscious.  This is made clear as front man Klaus Meine states in his spoken word style approach, “Good morning, world/How do you feel/Sometimes I think you’re gonna stop turning ‘round/Who’s to blame but us/When half the planet caught on fire/And one more spark seems enough/To burn it down/Good morning, world/How do you feel/You look so sad/The clock is ticking/And precious time will fade away/Oh, the cyber war/A dirty ocean/The climate change/When tomorrow comes/We’ll pay the price.”  The song’s chorus adds even more to the clarity in the message as Meine and his band mates sing, “See the writing on the wall (The future calls)/Can I trust fate anymore (The world is yours)/Young is old and old is young (You are the ones)/Call me when tomorrow comes (When tomorrow comes).”  This is a familiar way to address a familiar topic.  In other words, it is fully accessible and shows even more, the diversity in the album’s lyrical content.  It also shows the depth of the record’s lyrical content.  When this is considered along with the themes in the other songs examined here and with that of the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes clear, the importance of the album’s lyrical content. 

The musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of Rock Believer obviously does plenty to make the album worth hearing.  They are just part of what makes the album successful.  The album’s production puts the finishing touch to the presentation.  The production is important to note because of its impact on the album’s general effect.  From start to end, the production ensures that no one part of the songs’ instrumentations overpowers the others.  At the same time, it ensures that the band’s ability to balance its vintage rock sound with more modern influences cuts through just as clearly.  What’s more, the vocals are just as well balanced with the instrumentations, topping off the positive impact of the production.  All things considered here, the album’s production does just as much to make it engaging and entertaining as the album’s content.  To that end, all of the album’s noted elements make it an easy candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock albums so far this year.

Rock Believer, the latest album from Scorpions, is a positive new offering from the veteran rock band.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements continue to exhibit the band’s familiar vintage 80s hard rock leanings while also displaying the band’s ability to evolve and adapt to the current rock scene without losing anything in either end along the way.  The lyrical themes featured throughout the album add their own appeal to the presentation.  That is because of their diversity and accessibility.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the presentation, ensuring its general effect is just as positive as its content.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Rock Believer a record in which Scorpions’ established audiences and rock fans in general will believe.

Rock Believer is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of Scorpions’ latest news at:

Website: https://the-scorpions.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scorpions

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scorpions

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

Scorpions Announces New Album Details; Debuts Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Veteran rock band Scorpions is scheduled to open the new year with a new album.

The band is scheduled to release its new album, Rock Believer Feb. 25 through Spinefarm Records. The announcement was made through a news release distributed Thursday. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Peacemaker‘ Thursday.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Peacemaker’ is a composition that any guitar rock purist will appreciate. Its bass line is most prominent here while the lead guitar plays more of a supporting role. The steady time keeping and vocals work with the bass and vocals to give the arrangement in whole a sound and stylistic approach that is comparable to some works from the likes of Iron Maiden, believe it or not. At the same time there is also plenty of general classic guitar rock flare added to the mix to enhance the song even more.

Front man Klaus Meine, in talking about the song’s lyrical theme, stated that the song’s theme is a commentary on the state of the world.

“The first thing that came to my mind was the hook line,” he said. ‘Peacemaker, peacemaker / Bury the undertaker.’ I was just playing around with those words. At a time when so many people have died and are still dying of COVID, from devastating wars and other senseless crimes, it makes you feel that the undertaker must be working overtime. In a peaceful world after the pandemic, it will be time for the peacemaker to rule… that’s an image that really appeals to me.”

More information on Scorpions’ new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.the-scorpions.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Scorpions

Twitter: https://twitter.com/scorpions

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 ‘In Search Of The Peace Of Mind’ Video; New LP Released Friday

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

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

The band kicked off the weekend by debuting the video for its new single ‘In Search of the Peace of Mind‘ Friday. The single and its video are the fourth from the band’s brand new album Immortal, which released Friday through Nuclear Blast Records. The debut follows that of the album’s other singles, ‘Sail The Darkness,’ ‘Drilled To Kill,’ and ‘After The Rain.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘In Search of the Peace of Mind’ is at times brooding and at others quite heavy, yet still controlled in its delivery. The overall sound of the overall instrumentation is likened to works from Judas Priest and even some of the bands with whom the band’s namesake has worked, including the prog-metal influence of U.F.O.

Schenker discussed the song during a recent interview.

“‘In Search Of The Peace Of Mind’ had to be my 50th-anniversary celebration song,” he said. “It means so much to me because it was my very first musical composition I wrote at the age of 15. And it was also the first song I had ever put on a record, also at the age of 15.
 
In addition, this song from the original ‘Lonesome Crow’ Scorpions album, the very first album the Scorpions had ever recorded, has a solo on it that that was so perfect I would never change a note in 1000 years,” added Schenker. “I have no idea where it came from, alongside the other solos on “Lonesome Crow”, where you can hear that I am an amateur, young and developing as a kid. But this lead break came from somewhere else. I have no idea how it happened.
 
Schenker continued, stating, “I wanted to re-record this song for “Immortal“, making it an epic, and put an additional long solo at the end of the song, which turned out so amazing. The sound describes my 50-year journey expressed on lead guitar. Again it ended up so amazing, like an inner conversation throughout my life – questions and answers; making choices expressed on lead guitar.”
 
He concluded, noting, “With Gary Barden, Ronnie Romero, Robin McAuley, and Doogie White making a contribution to my 50th anniversary, it turned out complete. Not to forget the amazing contribution of Simon Phillips on drums, Barry Sparks on bass, as well as Steve Mann on keyboards. Fantastic.”

In 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.

Michael Schenker Group Debuts New Single, ‘Sail The Darkness,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

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

The band debuted the single ‘Sail The Darkness‘ and its companion lyric video Friday. The song is the third single from the group’s forthcoming album Immortal, which is scheduled for release Jan. 29 through Nuclear Blast Records. Immortal was originally scheduled for release Jan. 8, but that was pushed back to Jan. 29.

The premiere of ‘Sail The Darkness’ follows that of the album’s first two singles, ‘Drilled To Kill‘ and ‘After The Rain.’

The lyric video for ‘Sail The Darkness’ features vocalist the band members performing their respective parts to the song in front of a watery background as the song’s lyrics are presented next to each member. The song’s operatic, power metal style musical arrangement plays over the video in the process.

Vocalist Ronnie Romero, who handles vocals on this track, talked about the composition during a recent interview.

Since I listened the demo I got the feeling that this would become in a great song, because it sounds like the great old Hard Rock songs and the riff is just Michael Schenker at his best!,” said Romero. “And to me it’s even more special because I had the chance to write the lyrics. I’m pretty sure the fans gonna love this one!”

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement comes across as delivering a message of hope. It comes across as a message of pushing on through the difficult times in life.

In 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 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:

Websitehttp://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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 Reveals ‘Immortal’ Cover Art

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Audiences are getting to see the artwork for this week for the next Michael Schenker Group record.

Schenker (UFO, Scorpions, Michael Schenker Fest) revealed the cover art for MSG’s forthcoming album Immortal Friday.  The artwork, created by Zsofia Dankova (Powerwolf) shows Schenker atop what looks like a mountain, guitar in hand atop the mountain and amps just below and a flag flying behind him in the wind.  The artwork seems to hint at Schenker being that proverbial “king of the mountain.”

The debut of Immortal‘s cover art comes less than a month after the announcement of the album’s release date an general specifications were made.  According to that announcement, Immortal is scheduled for release Jan. 8, 2021 through Nuclear Blast Records.  Its release will come more than a year after Schenker released his latest Michael Schenker Fest album Revelation.

The most recent information available states that as of Friday, Schenker has finished recording Immortal.

“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:

 

Websitehttp://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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 Announces Release Date, Specs For New Michael Schenker Group Album

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:

 

Websitehttp://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/michaelschenkerrocks

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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 Fest Debuts New Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Michael Schenker Fest debuted the video for its new single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘The Girl With The Stars in Her Eyes‘ on Tuesday.  The song is featured in the band’s debut album Resurrection, which was released last year through Nuclear Blast Records. The band is named after its founder, former UFO/Scorpions guitarist Michael Schenker.

The video features a young woman dancing in a variety of settings, such as a dimply lit club, an open space with flaming twirlers and against a starlit background.  The song itself boasts a very 80s influenced hard rock sound while its lyrical theme obviously is about a young woman.

‘The Girl With The Stars in Her Eyes’ is just the latest single to be spawned from Resurrection.  The album has also spawned the singles ‘Take Me To The Church,’ ‘Warrior‘ and ‘Heart and Soul.’

Michael Schenker Fest will release its sophomore album Aug. 23 through Nuclear Blast Records.  According to Schenker, the album’s title is Revelation.  He talked about that and the album in whole in a recent interview.

“Based on the fun that we had recording Resurrection, the success of the album and the surrounding tours we undertook that were just fantastic, I was deeply inspired to make a start on writing new songs for a new Michael Schenker Fest album,” Schenker said.  “It is even a step up from Resurrection, with amazing input from all singers and all musicians.  I could not ask for a better result.  The songs are blazing, snappy, energetic, melodic, and with drummers like Simon Phillips and Bodo Shopf we got amazing results.  this time we even managed to record three great mid-tempo songs with all singers involved, singing their hearts out.”

Schenker added, “The album title and cover concept expresses things that have happened in my past as well as what is still happening at the present time.  It’s about passion and purity versus greed and corruption.  There is much to say.  It’s about time I let people know about some of this.”

Revelation was co-produced by Schenker and Michael Voss.  It was mastered by Christoph ‘Doc’ Stickel for CS Mastering/Vienna, Austria.

 

Courtesy;Nuclear Blast Records

The video’s debut comes as the band has launched a new string of live dates.  the latest tour schedule launched Monday and is set to run through May 18 in Austin, TX.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Confirmed MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST North American dates are:

4/15/2019  Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/16/2019  Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/17/2019  Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/19/2019  Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA
4/20/2019  Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
4/21/2019  Revolution Hall – Portland, OR
4/22/2019  Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC
4/24/2019  The Palace formerly Flames Central – Calgary, AB CANADA
4/27/2019  Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
4/28/2019  The Truman – Kansas City, MO
4/30/2019  Bourbon Hall –  St Louisville, KY
5/03/2019  The Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
5/04/2019  Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
5/05/2019  Lafayette Theater – Lafayette, IN
5/07/2019  Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
5/09/2019  The Egg – Albany, NY
5/10/2019  The Palladium – Worcester, MA
5/11/2019  Irving Plaza – New York City, NY
5/12/2019  The Space at Westbury – Westbury, NY
5/14/2019  Ram’s Head Live 20 Market Place Baltimore, MD
5/15/2019  The National – Richmond, VA
5/16/2019  Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
5/18/2019  Empire Garage – Austin, TX

A promo video for the trailer featuring Schenker is streaming online here.  Meet and Greet packages are available here.

More information on Michael Schenker Fest’s upcoming tour dates, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

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

 

Stray Train Debuts ‘Give It Away’ Video

Courtesy: Train Station/SAOL

Stray Train’s new video is officially here.

The Slovenian blues-rock outfit debuted the video for its latest single ‘Give It Away‘ on Nov. 30.  The song is the latest single from the band’s most recent album, 2017’s Blues From HellThe Legend of the Courageous Five. The band debuted the album’s debut single and video for ‘Heading For the Sun‘ on Nov. 17, 2017.

The video for the album’s second single, ‘Blues From Hell‘ followed seven months later on March 30, 2018.  The director’s cut of the ‘Blues From Hell’ video is streaming here.

The band said in a collective statement that the video was filmed as a recap of its recent tour with Poison and Nickelback in Europe.

“Hi friends and fans in the virtual world. We have a special treat for you,” the band said.  “We’re very happy to announce our new single called ‘Give It Away.’  Pay attention to the lyrics and tell us what you think!  A lot has happened for us this year.  Among other concerts, we played in Russia with Nickelback and with Scorpions in Slovenia in our hometown.  We appreciate every fan we have, and since a lot of you weren’t able to see us on those big shows, we decided to put together a video recap, so you can experience what we got to experience.  So turn your speakers up, sit down, press play, and enjoy it!”

 

Courtesy: Alpha Omega Management

Stray Train is scheduled to join Audrey Horne and The New Roses Dec. 12 – 15 for the latest leg in Stray Train’s tour in support of Blues From Hell: The Legend of the Courageous Five.  The weeklong tour take the groups across France From Strassbourg to Lyon to Limoes and then to Paris to finish the run.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

December 12 – Strasbourg @ Laiterie
December 13 – Lyon @ Bloggg
December 14 – Limoes @ Xmass Festival
December 15 – Paris @ L’Empreinte

More information on Stray Train’s new video, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.straytrainband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StrayTrain

 

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

Michael Schenker Fest’s “Debut” LP Proves The Magic Is Still There Between Schenker And Co.

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The magic is still with us.  That simple statement is exhibited in a window on the rear cover of the booklet included in Michael Schenker Fest’s debut album Resurrection.  It is a fitting statement (and placement) for that message to include in this record.  That is because while it may be the new super group’s debut album, it is hardly the first time that the group’s collective members – Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Group), Graham Bonnett (Graham Bonnett Band, Rainbow, Alcatrazz), Gary Barden (Gary Moore, Praying Mantis, Statetrooper), Robin McAuley (Grand Prix, Far Corporation, McAuley Schenker Group), Doogie White (La Paz, Praying Mantis, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow), Chris Glen (The Michael Schenker Group,  The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, John Martyn) and Ted McKenna (The Michael Schenker Group, Rory Gallagher, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) – have ever performed together.  Each has performed with one another in one way or another more than once throughout each man’s career, and that familiarity and friendship shines through here.  The result of that long-running friendship is, in this latest effort – the debut LP from Michael Schenker Fest – another positive offering from the group.  This is proven throughout the record in its musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  Its lyrical themes do just as much to make it enjoyable, and will be discussed a little later.  The bonus DVD that comes with the record’s expanded edition puts the final touch to its presentation.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Resurrection.  All things considered, they make Resurrection not only another solid effort from Schenker and company, but a record that shows without any doubt, that magic truly is still with each member of Michael Schenker Fest.

Resurrection, the debut album from Michael Schenker’s new super group (of sorts), Michael Schenker Fest, shows itself to be another solid offering from Schenker and company.  It also shows without any doubt that the magic that has been with the longtime friends and fellow musicians, is indeed still present in this album.  That is proven in part through the dozen total arrangements that make up the body of the record.  The album’s opener, ‘Heart and Soul,’ is one way in which those statements are supported.  The song’s arrangement boasts a sound that will appeal to fans of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and other similar acts from the so-called “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” thanks to Schenker’s talents.  The added talents of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett in the song’s “guitar jam” (as it is listed in the booklet) adds even more of that touch to the song’s whole.  The addition of McKenna’s solid time keeping and McAuley’s powerhouse, operatic vocal delivery and Glen’s low-end fills out the arrangement and pull listeners completely into the up-tempo rocker.  It’s just one of the works that proves the importance of the arrangements to this record.

The full-on instrumental track ‘Salvation’ is another way in which the record’s arrangements prove pivotal to the album’s whole.  Whereas the album’s opener was a tribute (intended or not) to the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal,” this more light-hearted arrangement is more akin to fellow guitar great Joe Satriani’s best works than any metal tune.  McKenna’s time keeping and Glen’s low-end once again do their own part to play into such comparison, with McKenna’s time keeping having a certain, almost jazzy bounce and Glen’s bass line keeping right in time with McKenna’s beat on the bass drum.  All things considered here, the group has crafted a work that shows even more why this record’s arrangements are so critical to its overall presentation.

As if ‘Salvation’ is not enough example of the importance of the records’ arrangements, ‘Night Moods’ shows in its own way, why the arrangements are so important.  Where the album’s opener was a decidedly 80s British metal style composition and where ‘Salvation’ could easily be compared to compositions from Joe Satriani as recently as the 90s, ‘Night Moods’ presents in its arrangement, a sound that blurs the line between the guitar-driven rock and roll of the 1970s and the more hair rock sound of the early to mid 80s.  That is thanks not only to the song’s instrumentation, but also to singer Graham Bonnett’s vocal delivery style.  Bonnett’s delivery is full on 80s hair metal style even in the arrangement’s more 70s rock and roll moments.  The pairing of the two sides makes this song another standout work that exemplifies once more the variety of the record’s arrangements.  When that variety is considered in the bigger picture of the album’s whole, it becomes even clearer why the record’s arrangements are so important to its presentation.  Of course the record’s musical arrangements are only part of what makes Resurrection proof that the magic is still there among Michael Schenker Fest’s members.  The album’s lyrical themes do just as much to support that statement as the album’s musical arrangements.

‘Warrior,’ Resurrection’s lead single, is one example of what makes the album’s lyrical themes so important.  Penned by Michael Voss-Schoen, the song seems to be a tribute to those military forces who put their lives on the line every day to keep the free world free.  This is inferred as Voss-Schoen writes in the song’s lead verse, “If you open the book/Turn the page-take a look/You’ll find the truth right between the lines/Read the story all in one/How it all just begun/We’ll admit it’s one of a kind/Giving protection with love and affection/Standing for honor and pride/Every now and then/It will always be the same/Born to follow and walk a fine line.”  He goes on to write, “You’re born into this world/To you/Believe in mankind’s destiny/Marching on the path of glory/When misery is all you see.”  This comes across as a statement about someone who serves no matter what.  As if that doesn’t infer that tribute enough, Voss-Schoen seems to drive the message home even more as he writes, “Under fire and attack/You hear a never-ending battle cry/the unsung hero stands alone/Waiting for the day to die.”  Soldiers, warriors, are those unsung heroes who give that protection even with misery all around them.  Keeping that in mind, one can’t help but figure Voss-Schoen was indeed paying tribute to those men and women who put it all on the line (including their own lives) to protect freedom and the free.  Sure, it’s not the first time that any act has ever crafted a song that seems to pay tribute to the military.  Even with that in mind, it still is just as moving and powerful here as in any other case.  It’s just one of the songs included in this album that points at the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  ‘Everest,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of the importance of the record’s lyrical themes.

Also penned by Voss-Schoen, ‘Everest,’ seems to use Mount Everest as a metaphor for something far deeper.  This is inferred as Voss-Schoen writes, “Holy mountain in the east/High up there where spirits meet/And the shiny clear horizon/Pretends to be the one/Find your destination/Now your trip has just begun/If you knew there was no tomorrow/Would you climb up to the sky?”  It’s as if he is writing here about someone trying to reach something perhaps unattainable and whether someone would try to attain that unattainable goal.  This is especially the case as Voss-Schoen writes in the song’s second verse that reaching Everest’s peak is called by some a “victory of the human spirit/Satisfaction guaranteed.”  He notes that it may be that, though in reality so much might not have been attained.  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.  It’s definitely an interesting lyrical work that regardless of what Voss-Schoen was trying to get across, this song certainly adds its own depth to the record’s presentation.  It isn’t the only song that succeeds at creating so much engagement.  ‘Messin’ Around’ is yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.

‘Messin’ Around’ is the polar opposite of ‘Everest’ and Warrior’ in regards to its lyrical content.  Where the two aforementioned songs are deep and certain to generate plenty of discussion, ‘Messin’ Around’ comes across as something far more light-hearted.’  Co-crafted this time by Voss-Schoen and Gary Barden, this song is a celebration of life so to speak very much in the vein of Motley Crue.  This applies not only musically, but lyrically, too.  Voss-Schoen and Barden prove that as the pair writes, “Some might say I’m nasty/Some might say I’m a fool/But life’s a fight just to stay alive/So I forgot all the golden rules/The clock goes tick tock tick, tick tock tick/So come on guys, gotta get some action now.”  What more need be written for the song’s message to be pretty obvious?  The song continues, “So I’m cruising down to main street/Checking out the loverly dives/Give me a wall of sound/In this rock and roll town/It’s good to be alive.”  The song continues on lyrically in similar, upbeat fashion, and when that upbeat lyrical vibe is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical mood, the whole makes the song in whole another great addition to the record, and more proof of the importance both of the record’s musical and lyrical content.  When this is considered along with the lyrical content of the other songs noted here, and those not directly noted, that material in whole shows clearly the importance of the record’s lyrical themes.  When that importance is considered along with the record’s musical content overall, the two elements do plenty, collectively, to prove again, that indeed, the magic is still with the members of Michael Schenker Fest and that this record is another solid offering from Schenker and company.  Of course, it still is not the last of the record’s most important elements.  The bonus DVD that comes with the record’s expanded edition supports those noted statements, too.

The bonus DVD that comes with the album’s expanded edition is anchored by a lengthy behind the scenes look at the making of Resurrection as well as an interview held ahead of the band’s performance in Japan for its previously released live recording.  Both elements generate their own share of interest in part because of the humility exhibited by each musician.  Each man stresses again and again that there is no ego among the musicians.  That is made clear throughout the making of featurette.  Audiences also learn through this segment, how the album came together, from which vocalist would handle singing duties on which song to how arrangements came together and more.  Schenker even offers his own insight on how Michael Schenker Fest came to be, addressing rumors of band in-fighting with other groups playing into it and other items.  His Japanese interview offers its own interest, too, with Schenker talking about how Kirk Hammett came to be included in the new record and more.  The insights offered through each featurette itself collectively creates its own share of interest, just as does the album’s lyrical and musical content, and in turn insures even more, audiences’ maintained engagement in the album.  When this is considered along with the impact of the record’s musical and lyrical content, the end result is a record that once more proves why it is a solid new effort from Schenker and company, and why it also proves that the magic is indeed still among the group.  Keeping that in mind, the album in whole proves to be a work that fans of Schenker and his fellow musicians are certain to enjoy, and that they will also agree is deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

Michael Schenker Fest’s debut album Resurrection is a strong new effort from famed guitarist Michael Schenker and his fellow longtime musician friends included in the album’s creation.  Because Schenker and his fellow musicians are such good friends, it is obvious in hearing the album’s songs that the magic truly is with each man.  There is a certain magic in the album’s musical and lyrical content, too.  The bonus DVD that comes with the album’s expanded edition does plenty to show how alive that magic is among the musicians, too.  When this is considered along with the album’s musical and lyrical content, the album in whole proves without doubt why it is a welcome new offering from Schenker and company, and why it is arguably one of this year’s top new rock albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Resurrection is available online now along with all of Schenker’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.michaelschenkerfest.com, http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

 

 

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

Michael Schenker Announces New LP Specs, Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Fans of guitar great Micheal Schenker have a lot to celebrate this year.

The former Scorpions and UFO guitarist, who has had quite the success as a solo artist, too, will release his latest solo album next month with a support tour to follow its release.  Resurrection is currently scheduled to be released Friday, March 2 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The 12-song album will feature vocals from Schenker’s Temple of Rock front man Doogie White, and from Michael Schenker Group vocalists Gary Barden, Graham Bonnett and Robin McAuley.  Also taking part in the album’s creation were Steve Mann (guitar/keyboards), Chris Glenn (bass) and ted McKenna (drums).  Audiences can hear Resurrection‘s lead single ‘Warriors’ online now here.

Each vocalist will also join Schekner on his upcoming North American tour in support of the new record.  Because they will be part of the tour, it is once again being dubbed Michael Schenker Fest.  The nearly month-long tour is currently scheduled to launch March 6 in Silver Springs, Maryland and run through April 3 in Tampa, Florida with additional dates in Las Vegas, Nevada; Detroit, Michigan; Seattle, Washington and other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Courtesy: Chipster PR/Nuclear Blast Records

MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:

03/06/2018  The Fillmore – Silver Springs, MD
03/07/2018  Carnegie Music Hall – Munhall, PA
03/09/2018  Berklee Performance Center – Boston, MA
03/10/2018  Irving Plaza – New York, NY
03/11/2018  Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
03/12/2018  Club Soda – Montreal, QC CANADA
03/14/2018  Royal Oak Music Theatre – Detroit, MI
03/16/2018  Agora Theatre – Cleveland, OH
03/17/2018  Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
03/18/2018  Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
03/19/2018  Cabooze – Minneapolis, MN
03/22/2018  Neptune – Theatre Seattle, WA
03/24/2018  Events Center – San Jose, CA
03/25/2018  The Grove – Anaheim, CA
03/26/2018  Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ
03/27/2018  House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
03/29/2018  Cervantes Ballroom – Denver, CO
03/31/2018  Vibes Event Center – San Antonio, TX
04/01/2018  Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX
04/03/2018  The Ritz – Tampa, FL

Meet-and-greet packages are available online now at http://www.michaelschenkerfest.com.  More information on Schenker’s upcoming tour, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.michaelschenkerfest.com, http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

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