• Tue. May 28th, 2024


Michael Schenker has long been one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. The sheer amount of albums the former Scorpions and UFO albums the Mad Axeman has been releasing in recent years speaks for itself. Be it Michael Schenker Group, McAuley Schenker Group, a solo album, Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock, or Michael Schenker Fest, the man is that rare musician who has continued to keep busy, churning out a ton of new material that’s shockingly good.

And he’s back with another new album!

UNIVERSAL is the latest from Mr. Schenker, who seems unlikely to stop recording albums anytime soon. But if they’re this good, is that a bad thing? Schenker has assembled a band this time around that features Ronnie Romero on vocals, Bodo Schopf on drums, Steve Mann on keyboards and guitars, and Barend Courbois on bass. One thing’s for sure; no matter what band Michael plays with, he’s always got an all-star band of musicians backing him up. The UNIVERSAL album is no exception.

While I don’t know that UNIVERSAL will take a place in my all-time favorite recordings Schenker has ever played on or even if it’ll stand the test of time the way those older records have, what I won’t deny is that this is a damn good record with some fantastic players. The riffs of opener “Emergency” will melt the listener’s face, prepping them for what’s to come. “A King Has Gone” is the latest in a long line of Ronnie James Dio tribute songs those admired him have been cranking out, and certainly one of the best of the lot. “London Calling” (surprisingly NOT a cover of the Clash song) is a great anthem dedicated to English rock. “Au Revoir” has some great riffs that are reminiscent of the classic instrumental “Captain Nemo” from the old MSG days, albeit with lyrics this time around. From start to finish, fast and slow, heavier and more melodic, it’s never a boring record.

Bless the Mad Axeman for never letting up when it comes to delivering the goods musically. Michael Schenker is still on fire, and fans won’t be disappointed in his latest effort. Highly recommended!

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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