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Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock
Spirit on a Mission
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Guitar legend Michael Schenker returns with his Temple of Rock project. For the third studio album, Spirit on a Mission, the band consists of Schenker (lead, howlee, and rhythm guitars), Wayne Findlay (keyboards, 7 string guitar), old buddies Francis Buchholz (bass) and Herman Rarebell (drums), and vocalist Doogie White.
Spirit on a Mission picks up right where the last two albums left off, so it’s safe to say that if you are already a Temple of Rock fan then you’ll enjoy this one as well. In fact, I would suggest that Doogie White, in particular, turns in some of his very best performances on this album. The plodding and edgy sound of “Saviour Machine”,” being one of them. The band try on a darker look for this track but keep the bluesy edge just below the surface. It breaks up the straight ahead rock and roll nature of the album, in my opinion, allowing the band spread their wings a bit. Schenker tears it up on the solo coming out of the break as Rarebell and Buchholz lock it all in place. “Wicked” offers a similar dark break, which takes the album out on an odd but powerful note.
The rolling “Restless Heart” is another highlight here, providing ample evidence that Buchholz and Rarebell can set still set the bar in an overcrowded musical landscape. White’s voice has an almost Bon Jovi feel to it, offering a bit softer tone in contrast to the driving music. “Vigilante Man” is a groove-oriented rocker and my personal favorite track here. The guitars are just awesome from start to finish, showing that Schenker still knows how to put the song before his virtuosity and White tears the house down with his vocal performance!
Three albums in, I’m sold. I enjoyed the last two albums immensely but I wasn’t convinced that Schenker could make this a long-term train of awesomeness. Spirit on a Mission is as good or better than anything that’s been released so far this year in the world of rock and roll. Don’t pass up the chance to pick this up in time to blast it all summer long!
Reviewed by Mark 1340