MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST's Japanese record company, Ward Records, has unveiled the cover artwork of the band's upcoming second album, "Revelation". Due on September 20, the disc, which will be made available in the rest of the world via Nuclear Blast, features an oil painting-style cover that recreates the ancient crucifixion scene. Michael Schenker, as Jesus, is crucified on a giant Flying V guitar. As the Romans raise the legendary German axeman, his bandmembers, filling in for the Apostles and dressed in full metal regalia, are being held back by the Roman warriors.
"Revelation" was produced by Michael Schenker and Michael Voss and was recorded and mixed by Voss at Kidpool Studio Greven & Kidwood Studio in Münstertal, Germany between December 2018 and March 2019.
"Michael Voss is a fantastic musician with great input as a co-producer," Schenker said. "Our chemistry is something else. We have a way of working together that is extremely creative."
The follow-up to 2018's "Resurrection", "Revelation" was mastered by Christoph "Doc" Stickel for CS Mastering in Vienna, Austria. Additional recordings were completed as follows: Simon Phillips's drums were recorded by Jason Mariani at Brotherynstudios in Ojai, California. Bodo Schopf's drums recorded by Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios in Bensheim, Germany. Graham Bonnet's and Robin McAuley's vocals were recorded by Jimmy Waldo at Where's That Track Studio in Los Angeles, California.
"Based on the fun that we had recording 'Resurrection', the success of the album and the surrounding tours we undertook that were just fantastic, I was deeply inspired to make a start on writing new songs for a new MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST album," said Schenker. "It is even a step up from 'Resurrection', with amazing input from all singers and all musicians. I could not ask for a better result. The songs are blazing, snappy, energetic, melodic and with drummers like Simon Philips and Bodo Shopf, we got amazing results. This time we even managed to record three great mid-tempo songs with all singers involved, singing their hearts out."
Regarding the "Revelation" title, Schenker said: "The album title and cover concept expresses things that have happened in my past as well as what is still happening at the present time. It's about passion and purity versus greed and corruption. There is much to say. It's about time I let people know about some of this."
Besides the four vocalists — Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White — Schenker also reveals a guest singer on one track. "An incredible thing happened; we had this song that was ready to be worked on and Michael Voss suggested Ronnie Romero from Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW, who Voss had worked with in the past, to sing on this song as a guest," Michael said. "What came out of it was classic. Amazing vocals with blazing music that absolutely rocks!"
He continued: "We are ready to present this unique album to the world and I am very much looking forward to getting this album out there. Our label Nuclear Blast is totally happy with this record and I was especially happy getting a message from Markus Staiger, the founder of Nuclear Blast, saying how much he loves this album."
Schenker recently announced that he will be welcoming back Simon Philipps and Bodo Schopf — who each played drums in MSG — to the MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST lineup. Simon, who played on the MSG debut album, has returned as the main drummer on the upcoming second album. Due to his schedule, he was unable to be the live drummer for the just-completed U.S. tour. This role was filled out by Bodo Schopf, who played on "Perfect Timing" and "Save Yourself". With the sudden passing of Ted McKenna, Bodo will be featured on the upcoming record but in a smaller role as he had the important job of preparing for the U.S. tour.