Michael Schenker – A Decade Of The Mad Axeman

Michael Schenker

Reviewed by:
On 27 January 2018
Last modified:27 January 2018


An essential addition to any heavy rock fan's collection. A timeless collection of songs over these two albums.

Michael Schenker
Michael Schenker

Recently released via Inakustik Records, A Decade Of The Mad Axeman is a glorious best of double album covering Michael Schenkers’ four studio and two live albums between 2007-2016 covering the Michael Schenker Group and the Temple Of Rock line ups where he amassed an impressive array of musicians that were built to destroy to prove he would not let sleeping dogs lie and was armed and ready to do so. The 2007 release of In The Midst Of Beauty featured the return of Gary Barden on lead vocals and the highlights here include ‘I Want You’ which sees Michael ripping out some great chugging riffs and howling solos. ‘Night To Remember’ is keyboard heavy courtesy of Don Airey in the vein of ‘Woman From Tokyo’ but pick of the bunch is the melodically heavy ‘Cross Of Crosses’ featuring a stunning midsection of Michael’s soloing with the band featuring Neil Murray on bass guitar and drummer Simon Phillips thundering behind him.

Next up are selections from the three Temple Of Rock studio albums, all of which featuring Doogie White on lead vocals. Best of the bunch are ‘Before The Devil You Know’ which is ‘Kashmir’ like influenced Eastern tinged hard rock. ‘Storming In’ lives up to its title as it storms in after an acoustic intro. The engine of the song is provided by Chris Glen on bass guitar and Chris Slade on the drums. ‘How Long (three generations guitar battle)’ is an air guitarists dream as Michael Amott and Leslie West battle it out with Michael. ‘Lord Of The Lost And Lonely’ has fantastic opening hooks that return in the choruses. ‘To Live For The King’ is like vintage Rainbow with Doogie soaring like Ronnie James Dio. ‘Land Of Thunder’ is probably the heaviest and fastest track I’ve heard by Michael, driven along by some serious pounding from Herman Rarebell. ‘Live And Let Live’ is another foot to the floor drum driven number and the studio albums finish on a high with the Sabbath tinged ‘Bulletproof’ as the band rock out with a ‘Children Of The Grave’ like headbanger.

The live tracks come from Tokyo 2010 and 2016, High Voltage Festival 2011, Tilburg 2012 and Madrid in 2015. Their are some real gems here from various line ups kicking off with Gary Barden hitting some high notes during a seven minute long fantastic run through of ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie’ followed by ‘Rock My Nights Away’ which was like returning to an old friend that you have not seen for years and ‘Attack Of The Mad Axeman’, the last from Tokyo, is still a stone cold classic that i had it on repeat play for a few times just for the guitar solo. High Voltage 2011 is represented by a raucous ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ featuring Michael Voss on vocals and a full on shred outro, ‘Hanging On’, majestic heavy rock that has a main riff to die for followed by a high energy run through of ‘Doctor Doctor’. Tilburg 1982 with Doogie on vocals has ‘Armed And Ready’ that rages harder and faster than the version on One Night At Budokan but best of the three tracks is eleven minutes of guitar magic during ‘Rock Bottom’, as intense as the 1978 version on Strangers In The Night. Of the two Tilburg 2012 tracks, ‘Lights Out’ pips ‘Vigilante Man’ to the post with more guitar histrionics as the album comes to a close with three tracks from Tokyo 2016. Graham Bonnet completely rules an epic ‘Desert Song’ as Robin McAuley takes the lead vocal for ‘Love Is Not A Game’, a track I had not heard before and is a beautiful slice of melodic rock and they leave us with a heavier version of ‘Doctor Doctor’ featuring a massive crowd vocal.

CD one track listing :-

Michael Schenker - Temple of RockI Want You.

Night To Remember.

Cross Of Crosses.

Ride On My Way.

Miss Claustrophobia.

Before The Devil You Know.

Storming In.

How Long.

Lord Of The Lost And Lonely.

To Live For The King.

Land Of Thunder.

Black Moon Rising.

Live And Let Live.

Rock City.

Saviour Machine.


Michael Schenker
Michael Schenker

CD two track listing :-

Welcome Home.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.

Rock My Nights Away.

Attack Of The Mad Axeman.

Rock You Like A Hurricane.

Hanging On.

Doctor Doctor.

Armed And Ready.

Rock Bottom.


Lights Out.

Vigilante Man.

Desert Song.

Love Is Not A Game.

Doctor Doctor.




An essential addition to any heavy rock fan's collection. A timeless collection of songs over these two albums.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!