Right out of the box, the heaviness on Bridge the Gap is in your face. Thankfully, we are spared the party-hearty, hair band-type songs, like last album’s “Saturday Night” — which was by far the worst song Schenker has ever recorded  (yes, it was that bad. Brutally bad, in fact). “Bridge the Gap,” it turns out, is one of Michael Schenker’s best albums to date.

Fronted by vocalist Doogie White, all the songs on Bridge the Gap are armed and ready (sorry, pun intended). White is from the ’70s Dio/Rainbow school (listen to the song “Shine On” to confirm this) that is easy to love — and a remarkable match to Schenker’s blistering guitar. No offense to vocalist Michael Voss (who engineered and produced Bridge the Gap), but, hopefully, White is Schenker’s full-time frontman from now on.

All of  Bridge the Gap’s songs have teeth, truly bridging the gap between hard rock and heavy metal. “Rock n Roll Symphony,” “Land of Thunder,” and the brilliant Communication Breakdown-esque fury of “Because You Lied” being the most driven — foot on the gas, get out of my way, full speed ahead. Wonderful stuff.

A 5-star review is a rarity for this reviewer (at least, it’s a goal). But as far as relevance, this one gets that rating. The Temple of Rock crew have gotten it right this time. On “Bridge the Gap,” Michael Schenker doesn’t mess around.


Label: inakustik