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While a very different supporting cast joins Michael Schenker on Unforgiven, this 1999 collection of hard-rocking numbers and swirling guitar solos echoes the return to classic M.S.G. form first accomplished on 1996's Written in the Sand. As the guitarist proved decades ago, there's no mystical chemistry, no mysteriously unifying combination of talents necessary for Schenker to kick out the old-school heavy metal jams with verve and style. Great songwriting? Well, that's another story, but Schenker's appeal was always his energetic guitar performances and rich tone -- of which there is plenty of on Unforgiven. Highlights include the old-time metal riffing on "Fat City N.O." and "Pilot of Your Soul," but there's plenty more where these satisfying throwbacks came from, as each number confidently delivers on the promise of Schenker's talent. Ex-Baton Rouge vocalist Kelly Keeling maintains a strong presence with his Coverdale growling that while excessive, manages to stay out of Schenker's way. The two make a good pair, confident, stylized and unapologetically grounded in their '80s roots. Anyone who is at all inclined to buy traditional metal discs from the masters 20 years removed from their best work should consider Unforgiven, a satisfyingly nostalgic and muscular recording.
Performance CreditsMichael Schenker Primary Artist,Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Track Performer
Jesse Bradman Keyboards,Background Vocals
John Onder Bass
Kelly Keeling Vocals
Shane Gaalaas Drums
Technical CreditsMichael Schenker Producer
Joe Marquez Engineer
Mark "Mooka" Rennick Engineer
Mike Varney Producer
Ralph Patlan Engineer