|MSG Arachnophobiac||Mascot Records|
M 7081 2
This review is not an attack on Michael Schenker's talents, or his impressive body of work. But this album is about as flat and uninspired as you could expect any "legend" to put his name to.|
The volatile guitarist has long established himself as a ground breaking musician and a performer of immense talent.
But his on stage antics with UFO have received more publicity in recent years. His body of work is unquestioned, but when past albums are held up against this album, I doubt any fan could say this was amongst his better records. I have played this album a dozen times at least, trying to make some headway into it, but it's just not possible. This is a dull record.
I thought the last album was average, but this is even worse. So I'm bound to attract a few hate mails for this, but seriously folks – the average Schenker fan, or melodic rock fan in general is going to find this equally boring.
To open the album with a track as lifeless as Evermore shows just how bad things are going to get. Where is the zest? Where is the urgency? Where is the Schenker that ripped on classics like Perfect Timing and UFO's brilliant Walk On Water?
Illusion briefly picks up the pace, but the title track is just woeful. And what about the mid-tempo ballad Over Now? There is just no passion or heartfelt sentiment there to cling to.
If you make it as far as track 11 – Fatal Strike puts the nail in the coffin.
As with the last album I find it impossible to warm to vocalist Chris Logan. His vocals are as bland as the music they are put to.
And what makes things worse is the production quality. A man as talented and experienced as Mike Varney should have been able to drag a better sound out of this line-up. The recording is stripped right back to base basics – which is fine in itself – but it sounds like it was recorded in one take and is little better than demo quality in places.
Naturally the devoted Schenker die-hards will see this as a personal attack and respond in kind, but the fact is that Schenker's best days seem to be long gone. He would be better advised to spend a bit longer making his next album, work with a better songwriter and hire a new producer.
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