Album Review: MSG – Michael Schenker Group (Universal – Atomic Fire)

Legendary rock guitarist Michael Schenker returns with his latest solo offering from the Michael Schenker Group (MSG for short). Self-titled, it will be released via Atomic Fire Records on 27 May 2022 under the all-encompassing moniker of Universal.

For this album, Schenker has once again enlisted a number of prestigious fellow musicians for the recording of his new studio production, among them, as main vocalist, Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, Vandenberg), who will also be MSG’s frontman on their upcoming tour, Michael Kiske (Helloween) and Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), drummers Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Foreigner), Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow) and Bodo Schopf (Eloy), as well as legendary bassists Bob Daisley (Black Sabbath), Barry Sparks (Malmsteen, Dokken) and Barend Courbois (Blind Guardian, Zakk Wylde), with Tom Carey as a very special guest.

The whole ‘you know what you’re getting’ statement should never underplay the enjoyment of something when that familiar thing is done so well. This is mentioned because it applies to this album. You know what you’re getting with Michael Schenker Group but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a rock banger that isn’t wholly entertaining.

Eleven tracks of entertaining, enjoyable and addictive rock music (plus two bonus tracks), MSG is a Schenker album through and through. Where the guitar is God but doesn’t stand alone thanks to an incredible array of talented musicians. Who all help make this album a resounding success.

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Of course, his name is the band so the focus is always going to be on Michael Schenker and for good reason. The man’s talents are inimitable and once again, he proves to be on another level here. Delivering a ripping selection of riffs, high-powered soloing and hooks a-plenty. From Emergency to A King Has Gone, to Wrecking Ball, London Calling and Au Revoir, Michael Schenker delivers everything fans expect and then some.

Then there are tracks like The Universe, melodic and epic sounding, and Sad is The Song, which is moody and dark, that really stand out. Mainly because the guitar sings just as high and grand as the vocals.

It’s very cool too, that this is not just an album of ‘going through the motions’. Nor is it ‘age-based’ music. Michael Schenker is still giving it his all here and it’s not just for the older generation that grew up on him. The modern lyrical content, the modern groove and the ageless rocking sound is something that everyone can enjoy, regardless.

It’s not going to set the rock world alight, but it’s not supposed too. It’s supposed to entertain, it’s supposed to get you rocking along, it’s supposed to make you feel and on all those fronts, it absolutely delivers.

MSG – Michael Schenker Group Full Track Listing:

1. Emergency
2. Under Attack
3. Calling Baal
4. A King Has Gone
5. The Universe
6. Long Long Road
7. Wrecking Ball
8. Yesterday Is Dead
9. London Calling
10. Sad Is the Song
11. Au Revoir
12. Turn Off the World (Bonus Track)
13. Fighter (Bonus Track)




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MSG - Michael Schenker Group (Universal - Atomic Fire)
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