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Michael Schenker Group - Fest Live Tokyo album review

Hit and miss from the guitar great

Cover art for Michael Schenker Group - Fest Live Tokyo album

In theory this should be a stunning release. MSG on stage with their three best vocalists, in Tokyo, where Schenker himself is revered. And to some extent it is remarkable, because the the guitarist is in supreme form. And when he gets together with singer Graham Bonnet their rapport is obvious. The same when he’s with Robin McAuley. Gary Barden, though, is a disappointment. He sounds terrible, and a shadow of the man who was in such fine form on MSG’s 1982’s live album One Night At Budokan.

The idea of this double CD/DVD is a good one, reuniting Schenker with these three singers, spanning his distinguished solo career, but Barden’s performance blights much of it. Schenker’s playing, however, is magnificent, and the rest of the band also come across well.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.