We were looking and looking for someone who had that, the added X ingredient, and there it was, right in front of us…. The blonde bomber turned up’. Phil Mogg (UFO Vocalist)

There aren’t many guitar players that have the pedigree of the German maestro Michael Schenker. From Scorpions to UFO to MSG, the axeman has paved the way for every guitarist that set ears on his hugely influential body of work. The likes of Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, Dimebag Darrell and George Lynch have all cited him as an inspiration for picking up a six string. The image of Schenker and his trusty flying V is truly embedded in hard rock and heavy metal history.

His latest offering Immortal is the 11th released under the @ moniker and it certainly won’t disappoint his legions of loyal fans. Schenker has assembled an all-star cast with vocal duties shared by Ronnie Romero (Rainbow), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) as well as Barry Sparks (Dokken) on bass, Steve Mann on keyboards, and drum stool duties are shared by drumming royalty: Simon Phillips (Toto, Judas Priest, The Who), Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, The Dead Daisies) and Bodo Schopf (The Sweet).  Michael Voss has returned as producer and delivered a punchy and bottom-heavy sound that certainly delivers the goods in the most part.

Opening track ‘Drilled to Kill’ kicks the album off with style, a crunchy riff, thunderous double bass drums and a fist-pumping chorus along with some Jon Lord style keyboard flurries certainly grabs your attention. The melodic lead guitar work adds layers to the song and the dueling keyboards and guitar at the climax are very impressive.

‘Knight of the Dead’ is another highlight with Ronnie Romero showing why he is very much in demand with a fantastic performance on vocals. Another powerful track with the whole band firing on all cylinders. There’s plenty here for classic rock and metal fans to get their teeth into with more fantastic musicianship on show.

We have an obligatory power ballad with ‘After the Rain’, producer Voss takes over vocal duties on this one. There’s a nod to the eighties with this track, it certainly wouldn’t have sounded out of place on one of those ‘Soft Metal’ compilations from the time. There are some decent vocal melodies and of course, the guitar work is great but there’s nothing particularly memorable about it.

There is some filler material as well, unfortunately, with the likes of ‘Devil’s Daughter’ with its dated and inappropriate lyrical content – ‘super-high stilettos’ and ‘lady of the underworld in a red hot dress’ Oh dear….

‘Sail the Darkness’ brings the quality back with a Maiden-style gallop and a catchy punch along chorus. ‘The Queen of Thorns and Roses’ has a great nod along riff with more fantastic guitar work from Schenker. He really knows how to elevate a song with his inimitable style.

Another stand-out moment is ‘Come on Over’ with Romero doing his best Coverdale impersonation with more standout riffs and some superb drumming. It’s hard to believe that Schenker is 66 years of age. His playing is outstanding. MSG have some UK dates penciled in towards the end of the year, let’s hope they go ahead. This album deserves a live airing.

Final track ‘In Search of the Peace of Mind’ is a reworking of a track from the Scorpions debut album ‘Lonesome Crow’ that Schenker wrote when he was 15 years of age. It’s a decent version in all fairness and it brings everything full circle for an artist that has survived 50 years in the music business and is still releasing some strong material. That is a testament to a fascinating character and a legendary career.

Immortal indeed.

Buy ‘Immortal’ Here

Author: Kenny Kendrick

Rock photographer Bill O’Leary has a book Featuring over 175 full color concert images from the ’70s through ’90s of icons like Van Halen, Rush, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Pink Floyd, Zappa, and more Available Here
During his career, photographer Bill O’Leary took pictures of some of rock’s biggest names at the peak of their powers – Van Halen, Rush, Judas Priest, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Queen, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, etc. And now, he has opened his archives for the first time ever – assembling a collection of not only his best images, but also, offering stories and recollections behind concerts he shot over the years. Indeed, this book is comprised of over 175 full color, live concert images photographed primarily from the late 1970’s through the 1990’s.

Artists include…AC/DC, Albert King, The Allman Brothers Band, Anthrax, Blues Traveler, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, Dixie Dregs, Foreigner, Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull, Joan Jett, Judas Priest, Kiss, Marillion, Mercyful Fate, Michael Schenker Group, Molly Hatchet, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Outlaws, Overkill, Ozzy Osbourne, Pat Travers, Phish, Pink Floyd (The Wall), The Police, Queen, Rainbow, Reo Speedwagon, The Romantics, Rossington Collins Band, Rush, Scorpions, Slayer, Styx, Ted Nugent, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Triumph, UFO, Van Halen, White Zombie, XTC, Yes, Yngwie Malmsteen with Alcatrazz, and ZZ Top.

O’Leary says:
“Hard to believe that I have been shooting concerts for 4 decades now, beginning in the mid 70’s when I went to my first concert at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. I felt at home among the walls of speakers and the towering lighting rigs, I also immediately knew that leaving the show with a ticket stub, program and maybe a t-shirt would not be enough, so I had to capture the memory permanently. Within’ weeks I had traded my Sony home stereo system for a black leather jacket and my first Minolta SLR camera. After a brief learning period experimenting with the constantly changing lighting and vast array of colors, film speeds and the quick movements of the artists, I was told by many people that I was a “natural”. I have always felt that “knowing” the music deeply and being passionate about it as well, really was the “secret” to capturing the “moment”. With that confidence, I was soon shooting many concerts, 46 in 1980 alone. By then I was also being published in many major magazines as well. In the early days, I practiced “gorilla type tactics” to get my equipment into the venue’s. Later, I was forced to play the game of securing credentials in order to shoot shows. All too soon, promoter and band management rules and demands on photographers began to take the excitement out of shooting shows. Then the ” first 3 song” rule became common, NO more pictures after the third song. Pro concert photographers know that the “best” part of a shows production comes later in the event. In the end, I’m glad to have been a part of the glory days of concert photography.”

FOREWARD by Freddie Salem of The Outlaws:
“Bill O’Leary has played an extremely important part in the rock n’ roll world, as the consummate live performance photographer for over 40 years. As a professional musician, rock photographers are a part of the music scene – whether it be shooting promotional shoots, live concerts, or simply capturing life on tour. Bill first photographed us back in 1979 – a couple years after I joined the Outlaws, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. We were touring in support of our latest album, In the Eye of the Storm. Madison Square Garden is a big show for any touring band – as well as me personally, as a musician. A landmark venue. The following year, 1980, Bill again photographed me onstage – twice. Once at a Pat Travers Band show at the Palladium in Lower Manhattan in April, then again later that fall in November, as the Outlaws were touring in support of our latest album, Ghost Riders. This time, we were playing a smaller venue in Passaic, New Jersey, called the Capitol Theatre. Hundreds upon hundreds of marquis performers from all over the world have been captured on film by Bill – with the help of his trusty camera. I am surely anticipating the release of Bill O’Leary’s book, featuring his life’s passion and his iconic photography work. Looking at the thousands of live photos Bill has shot over the years one thing is very clear – he knows when to “pull the trigger.”
Rock The Coast Festival, which is set to take place in Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain on 14th and 15th June, 2019 at the spectacular site of Mare Nostrum have revealed the stage times for this year’s event.
The line-up is a healthy mix of metal, classic rock and prog featuring the likes of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Magnum, The Darkness, UFO, Opeth, Carcass, Mayhem, Aborted, Wardruna, Tribulation, Wintersun, Von Hertzen Brothers, Jinjer as well as RPM favourites Michael Monroe.

The final price for 2-days tickets is 130€ (+ expenses) and the single day ticket price is 80€ (+ expenses, each one, same price for Friday and Saturday).
A very special opening party takes place the night before the festival on Thursday 13th June which will feature an exclusive show from Norwegian music group Wardruna who will perform inside the stunning Sohail Castle. Capacity is limited for this separately ticketed event.

Fuengirola’s municipal area is one of the smallest in the Málaga province and it is virtually reduced to a coastal strip that the city and the district of Santa Fe de los Boliches take up. It extends along seven kilometres of coastline with plenty of excellent beaches. Fuengirola is also only a 20 minute drive from Malaga airport.