Despite Michael Schenker’s infamy as a member of the Scorpions, UFO, and MSG, he seems to have put his demons behind him. On this new album, Schenker is a clean, mean, guitar-playing machine. Continuing the fiery trajectory of 2011’s Temple Of Rock, he reunites Scorpions bassist Francis Buchholz with current drummer Herman Rarebell.
Adding former Rainbow vocalist Doogie White on the mic, Wayne Findlay on keys and guitar, and a guest appearance by Don Dokken on “Faith,” Bridge The Gap is Schenker at his most fully conceptualized. Eschewing his signature notchedwah lead tone for a more contemporary sound, he displays a wider soloing palette on this group effort.
“Where The Wild Winds Blow” mixes dark gothic themes, heavy chugging, and a surprising acoustic guitar solo. Exemplified by “Horizons” and “To Live For The King,” the album leans stylistically toward Rainbow, Rising Force, and Dio. Schenker is a melodic tour de force throughout with absolutely no fat in his playing. Produced by Schenker and Michael Voss, Bridge The Gap is a strong record with a mighty rhythm section and a tip of the hat to Ronnie James Dio.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2014 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.