From the progressive edge you hear on earlier records like The Divine Wings or The New Mythology Suite, to the more metal orientated sound adopted from Paradise Lost onwards, I've always found something exciting about their music.
That's obviously not hurt by the fact that Michael himself is an absolute monster player. He has blisteringly fast and smooth legato which often comes out in his riffs. He's not a legato player though as his alternate picking will give anyone a run for their money... but so would his sweeping and so would his tapping. It's quite odd to me that he's not a much bigger name than he currently is. I've also seen him live a couple of times and he's always been utterly flawless in his execution, and been a master of the stage too!
I was listening to their new record (Underworld) and found myself utterly astonished by the lead work. I've transcribed a few licks, but one of the tapping sections on the song Kiss of Fire really jumped out to me as quite refreshing. Give it a listen on the video below (3:45 mark) and take note of the almost keyboard like sound he achieves.
In order to nail licks like this, the key is to sort out the hammer ons with the left hand. People worry about the right hand tapping, but that's easy. Getting a clean, defined tapped note with the left hand takes practice, so focus on that and these licks will sound smooth before you know it.
In terms of troublesome moments, the real challenge here is the position shifting. We're starting at the 5th fret (tapping at the 12th) then you move up to the 10th with the left and have to tap at the 17th with a sliding note from the b5 to the 5th on the high E. From there you're jumping all the way up to the 19th fret with more tapping as you shift down positions. This is really just about knowing your positions. Each time I play this lick it might be different.
While we're looking at learning a lick, the idea isn't the lick, it's the concept. When playing a line like this the goal was always to have something keyboard-esque and I applied a relevant technique to an appropriate sound to do that. If you were going to learn this phrase - take something and do something with it - keep that creative brain working!
Here's a tab for that (which is also in the video)
Until next time - keep rocking!