The Michael Schenker Group Neoclassical British Heavy Metal
by Jody Haskins for The Laguna Spectator
This release stands the test of time and it is a shame that so many serious hard rock and metal fans are oblivious to this fine album. The guitar playing mastery of Michael Schenker is one of the very best in the business. Michael Schenker has the perfect combination of emotion and technical mastery over his flying V.
This is Michael Schenker’s first and best solo album. Michael Schenker had something to prove to his old band mates from The Scorpions and U.F.O. and he proved it on this album.
Michael Schenker was very smart to gather a band of extremely accomplished musicians and a top notch rock producer for his first solo album. You can’t ask for a much better rhythm section than Mo Foster on bass and Simon Phillips on drums.
Michael Schenker found a real gem in lead vocalists and songwriter Gary Barden. Gary has a very unique vocal style. Some say it is reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and at other times he can remind the listener of Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Keyboards were handled by none other than the talented and once again vastly experienced Don Airey. The production duties were handled by Deep Purple bass player and producer Roger Glover. 35 years later Don Airey and Roger Glover are still recording and touring together in Deep Purple.
This album could best be described as Melodic Neoclassical British Heavy Metal similar to Rainbow, Dio, UFO and The Scorpions. If you are a fan of those bands or Iron Maiden and Judas Priest then this album will be your cup of tea.
Michael Schenker displays an uncanny ability to sustain a supernatural level of melodic intensity. The production by Roger Glover is clean and powerful. Another plus to this album is the cool cover design by Hipgnosis.
This album fell through the cracks in 1980 and received very little airplay. So rather than torture yourself trying to force yourself to listen to and like some new band, do what I do. Go back in time and grab a copy of this lost classic. If you have never heard it before it is new to you.
1. Armed And Ready
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Victim Of Illusion
4. Bijou Pleasurette
5. Feels Like A Good Thing
6. Into The Arena
7. Looking Out From Nowhere
8. Tales Of Mystery
9. Lost Horizons