Michael Schinkel's Eternal Flame

Label: ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
Three similar bands: Yngwie Malmsteen/Ring of Fire/Dokken

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Awakening
2. Rage
3. Hard Times For Dreamers
4. Love Returns
5. Damien
6. No Way To Hide
7. I'm Gonna Miss You Tonight
8. Strange Game Called Love
9. Stay In The Middle Of The Night
10. Higher Fire
11. Fallin
12. Hungarian Dance #5


Michael Schinkel – All Guitars and Vocals
Helmut Kohlpaintner – All Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Thomas Keller – Bass & Vocals
Tommy Wagner – Drums & Vocals

Smoke On The Mountain (2018)
King of the King (2002)
Desire (1998)

Göran Edman - Vocals “No Way To Hide”
Mark Boals - Vocals “Stay In The Middle Of The Night” and “Love Returns”
Guiseppe Lampieri – Keyboardsolo “Hungarian Dance #5”
Arno Baum – Bass “Rage” and “Hungarian Dance #5”

Produced by Michael Schinkel & Helmut Kohlpaintner
Co-produced by Timothy Touchton
Mixed by Michael Schinkel
Mastered by Christoph Stickel
Cover Artwork by MS Art Design
Lyrics by Timothy Touchton
Photography by Holger Enghardt

Released 2021-10-29
Reviewed 2021-12-31


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Besides the Corona virus pandemic there is a pandemic of mediocrity in the music world, most releases are affected by this ailment nowadays and fresh healthy albums are fewer and further between. I reflect on this now that I write on the final day of 2021 with the virus roaring among people and the musical disease plaguing my mailbox and playlists. Michael Shinkel’s Eternal Flame is an excellent example of the musical ailment, a typical hardrock album according to all the standards with typical voices and music, such an album where you don’t really notice if you change to something else as it sounds the same anyway.

Schinkel gets vocal performances from excellent singers like Mark Boals and Göran Edman on this album, but good luck to pick out the songs where they sing as they sound the same as every other vocal on the album. The production is quite average as well, and I could have mentioned a countless number of bands that sounds the same; Scorpions, Kiss, MSG, Alcatrazz, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and countless others. Classic hardrock, with a few neo-classical touches, at least that is what I read. Simple songs with distinct choruses etc. It is like it usually is in the hardrock genre, a bit long is it as well, but the biggest problem is the lack of originality.

A very bland album with average songs, not bad songs, just songs that has been done to death already. Kind of like those Christmas songs that keeps being rerecorded by new artists. Average style and performances as well, nothing that stands out can be heard on this album and the fifty minutes it plays for moves by very slowly. And then it gets harder to figure out things to write as you could really summarise all you need to know about this album in one word: Mediocre!

I fail to see why anyone would want an album like this, a showcase of mediocrity. A collection of bland songs that are derived from other works to an extent that you tend to spend the time listening to figure out where you heard it first, from which song it has been stolen. I don’t see why musicians keeps flooding the world with completely pointless stuff, and I wonder what can be made to stop it. Perhaps not buying it, if albums like this sell badly it might slow down the spread of the mediocrity disease. In the end it is true that Gravitation is a decent album in most regards, but I recommend not buying it as it is average at best in the grand scheme of things.