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Michael Schenker

Rock Machine (vinyl picture disc)

Review by Gary Hill

While I know Michael Schenker is generally considered a heavy metal artist, I think most times he's more hard rock. I would include this compilation album, originally released in 2020 to be metal. This includes live recordings along with studio tracks. There are a couple UFO songs and a Scorpions piece included here. All in all, this works pretty well, although the recording quality is uneven and the live tracks seem to cut off abruptly at times. The picture disc looks great.

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Track by Track Review
Sice A
Assault Attack

Fierce, heavy and decidedly metallic, this is a real powerhouse. This definitely makes me think of early Scorpions in some way, but the guitar solo section takes it into some seriously technical zones.

Rock Bottom
We get a scorching hot live take on the UFO classic. The vocals and arrangement really take it more into heavy metal territory. I love the soaring, wandering instrumental section on this. Schenker really gets to show off along that road. That whole section really covers a lot of intriguing ground, getting rather proggy at times. This song really shows why people hold Schenker in such high regard. He is impeccable on this. The cut includes an audience singalong section late.
Doctor Doctor
The intricate introduction to this works very well. They take us out into the song proper from there with a lot of audience participation.
Side B
Rock You Like A Hurricane

This song is listed as closing the first side of the record, but it actually starts the second. It's played pretty close to the Scorpions version. The instrumental section later takes it firmly into Schenker solo style, and we get some more audience participation.

Searching For Freedom
The first studio track here, this seems proggy, but largely a guitar solo delivery system. It feels a little unfinished, but there is enough meat on the bones to satisfy.
Let The Devil Scream
Here we get some screaming hot metal in this studio stomper. This has some great riffs, and it's also got some interesting twists and turns. It's a killer rocker that works very well.
Bridges We Have Burned
I love the guitar riffing and sounds on this cut. It's another fierce metal screamer. I think I prefer the previous track to this one, but it's close. Both really rock like crazy.
Black Moon Rising
Another smoking hot metal studio tune. This has a lot of drama and style built into it.
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