Bridge The Gap Album Cover
After spending what seems like an age of continually pressing the self-destruct button, Michael Schenker has finally risen once again from the flames and has thankfully got his career back on track. Schenker has been very shrewd with his selection of musicians who now surround him to make up his Temple Of Rock Band. It comprises the ex-Scorpions Herman Rarebell (drums), and Francis Buchloz (bass), ex-Rainbow vocalist Doogie White and Wayne Findley (guitar, keyboards). With Schenker, they make up this five-piece powerhouse of a band. To say that Schenker’s decision in putting this band together was a masterstroke would simply be an understatement. After years of extensive touring and performing the outstanding highlights from Schenker’s 40-odd year career, this band has rightly taken their place at the very top of the rock pile.

Unlike Schenker’s first Temple Of Rock album, which featured a variety of players and numerous different vocalists, all of whom had previously worked with Schenker during his formative years; this album now features a settled and stable line-up and boy, does that shine through. As soon as you play this album, two things hit you right between the eyes. Firstly you hear exactly how accomplished and polished Doogie White’s vocals are and secondly, it becomes abundantly clear to you that Schenker is at top of his game and that he is really enjoying himself.

One of the highlights for me on his latest album, Bridge The Gap, is Horizons which is driven by a typical thumping Schenker riff, ably supported along its way by some outstanding bass drum work from Rarebell. Schenker then slows the pace down with Lords Of The Lost And Lonely which not only showcases White’s outstanding vocal range but also features what can only be described as classic Schenker, complete with an eastern twist to it.

My review copy of Bridge The Gap only features 13 tracks in total; however keep your eyes peeled because there is another version available which includes the bonus track, Faith, featuring vocals by Don Dokken, which I have to say is worth the purchase price alone (sorry Doogie). However if it is simply quality that you are looking for then frankly it doesn’t matter which copy of this album you buy, the quality continues throughout.

Having spent more than the last two years out on the road performing together, this band has now become a very tight-knit unit which becomes even more obvious and easy to appreciate the more times that you play this album. Take a listen to Wayne Findley’s superb Hammond playing on Rock ‘n’ Roll Symphony which at times is simply breath-taking, whilst Land Of Thunder heavily features Rarebell and Buchholz as they play off one another to great effect.

Bridge The Gap shows that Schenker is back to his very best and is on course to once again, take on the mantle of rock god, and a true legend in his own lifetime. I feel that everything fits within the current Temple Of Rock line-up and with a new album release just around the corner, together with another onslaught of touring, I don’t think that we have heard the last of Michael Schenker. Long may it last.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)