Michael Schenker has traveled down a long, sometimes bumpy road on his way to being recognized as one of the premier guitarists in hard rock. Make no mistake, however: There is nothing ambiguous about Bridge The Gap. Schenker’s latest album has the potential to be recognized as one of the best efforts of his career, hands down.
For this album, Schenker has reunited with his old Scorpions rhythm section band mates: Francis Buchholz on bass and drummer Herman Rarebell. Rounding out the group is guitarist/keyboard artist Wayne Findlay, and lead vocalist Doogie White. White, who co-wrote the songs with Schenker, is a worthy foil to Schekner’s guitar prowess in that his vocals match up quite well to Schenker’s fluid, melodic guitar work. White has such a powerful, classic “hard rock” voice that on several songs his style is reminiscent of the late, great Ronnie James Dio. Yes, that’s a tall comparison. Yes, White is that good.
Temple Of The Holy is one of the standouts on the album. White’s multitracked harmony vocals soar on the chorus, and Schenker’s dark, mysterious outro solo fits the theme of the song perfectly. Bridges We Have Burned shows how White can reach deep into his soul and pour out heartfelt emotions in his expressive vocals. Two of the strongest songs are the final two on the album. Black Moon Rising is a reminder of something that is often overlooked—how sometimes, simple things can make the heaviest impact. In the chorus of the song, slowly stroked guitar power chords doubled by Buchholz’s bass line create a dramatic, crushing wall of sound. In contrast, Dance For The Piper has a much more complex, wandering chord structure, but the impact is just as powerful.
Those are but four of the songs on Bridge The Gap. Truth be told, every song is a keeper. The album is one of those rare records in which the “repeat” button gets worn out, and “skip” gathers dust.
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