Wednesday, 25 December 2013

CD Review: Built To Destroy, by The Michael Schenker Group (1983)


The fourth album from Michael Schenker's band of frequently re-assembled components, Built To Destroy reunites vocalist Gary Barden with the group, and adds Andy Nye as a full-time keyboardist. Chris Glen and Ted McKenna keep their place on bass and drums respectively, not that either of them gets a prominent role.

Other than the impressively destructive cover, the centrepiece of the album, and really the main reason for it to exist, is the brilliant I'm Gonna Make You Mine. The band pulls together a tight, muscular track, Barden's vocals finally straining towards an edge, and Schenker unleashing glory with a short but stunning solo, all backed by Nye's steady work on the keyboards.

Rock My Nights Away is a bouncy enough opener, but kicking off with poppy keyboards is not exactly aiming for the heart of metal. Captain Nemo is a creditable instrumental, Schenker shaking loose and leading from the front across the wide open skies with some soulful melodies. And album closer Rock Will Never Die (Walk The Stage) demonstrates some inspired spirit.

The album otherwise consists of average pop-rock-metal hybrid tracks occasionally enlivened by signature solos, but the compositions are generally bland and uninspired. And some selections emit the atrocious stench of filler, including the seriously awful Still Love That Little Devil. This being the group's fourth album in four years, there is writing fatigue evident throughout the album, and indeed it would prove to be the final studio record under the Michael Schenker Group brand until 1996.

Built To Destroy has one impressive spike, but is a rather whimpery end to one of the many phases in Schenker's career.


Band:

Gary Barden - vocals
Michael Schenker - guitar
Chris Glen - bass
Andy Nye - keyboards
Ted McKenna - drums


Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Rock My Nights Away - 8
2. I'm Gonna Make You Mine - 10
3. The Dogs Of War - 7
4. Systems Failing - 7
5. Captain Nemo - 8
6. Still Love That Little Devil - 5
7. Red Sky - 7
8. Time Waits (For No One) - 6
9. Rock Will Never Die (Walk The Stage) - 8

Average: 7.33

Produced and Mixed by The Michael Schenker Group and Louis Austin.
Engineered by Louis Austin.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.


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