"Temple of Rock" (Inakustik; 2011)







"Adventures of the Imagination" (Shrapnel; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

At best, I've only been vaguely aware of Michael Schenker's music throughout my life. My exposure to Michael Schenker's work was basically limited to what I'd heard on the radio (some U.F.O. and a little MSG in its various incarnations). I'd also managed to see MSG during the Mitch Perry days no less in concert opening for Rush back in the late '80s, but I remember very little about it.

In the Summer of 1999 I got to see the tour that Vinnie Moore and Michael Schenker did together and it renewed my interest in Schenker's body of work. It wasn't long before I found "Adventures Of The Imagination" and simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to see if this all instrumental disc could hold my interest.

All of the familiar Schenker sound and stylings are in copious helpings on "Adventures Of The Imagination." Sometimes it's nice to hear rock'n'roll as it was meant to be heard - with a solid beat and melodies that can linger in the mind for days. 

However, the gems of "Adventures Of The Imagination" are the two epic tracks that capture and expand upon the legendary status of Schenker's long and illustrious career. "Three Fish Dancing" is simply fantastic; it's a voyage for the musical soul. To hear Schenker rip through this hard rock extravaganza with confidence and ease is remarkable. In a similar vein, "Aardvark In A VW Smoking A Cigar" runs for nearly twelve minutes without sending the listener into fits of boredom. The subtle changes in melody and upbeat backing rhythms are a killer combination.  Are these two epic tracks self-indulgent? Hardly! Each of these tunes showcase Schenker's skill as a crafty melodic guitarist with no equal. 

A couple of tracks are average at best. "Achtung Fertig, Los" is too similar to some of the blusier efforts most hot shot gunslinger guitarists are up to these days and the ballads are OK. "Open Gate" and "Old Man With Sheep On Mars" are solid, if unspectacular, contributions to the instrumental genre. 

Michael Schenker enlisted the support of John Onder on bass and Aynsley Dunbar on drums. Onder has played with Artension, Craig Erickson, and Joey Tafolla while Dunbar has played with Journey, Jeff Beck, and Moog-Way. 

For more information visit http://www.michaelschenker.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2020 15:25:36 -0400.