Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – World on Fire
2014, Dik Hayd Records
Buy the album
1. “World on Fire”
2. “Shadow Life”
3. “Automatic Overdrive”
4. “Wicked Stone”
5. “30 Years to Life”
6. “Bent to Fly”
7. “Stone Blind”
8. “Too Far Gone”
9. “Beneath the Savage Sun”
10. “Withered Delilah”
12. “Dirty Girl”
13. “Iris of the Storm”
15. “The Dissident”
16. “Safari Inn”
17. “The Unholy”
I came into this album expecting more of the same from Apocalyptic Love. That is, an album that is solid but uneventful and not memorable at all. In fact, with 17 tracks and 77 minutes of music, I’d actually been putting off listening to this album for quite some time. I didn’t want to devote the time to something I was afraid wasn’t going to make a lasting impression anyway. You may ask yourself, “Why even bother listening to it at all then?” Well, because it’s Slash. That’s why.
Okay. So, my thoughts? Well, the album is indeed too long. All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that the band “gives the impression that they continue recording because they simply don’t know when they’re done”. He’s not too far off the mark. I’m a big proponent of albums being 10-12 songs long. Once you’re beyond that, in most cases you’re really just putting down filler and that’s the case here.
Luckily, the thing about an album that’s 17 songs long is there’s has to be a few good ones in there somewhere and there are. The first three tracks are pretty good until the album ventures into the land of Generica, then album comes alive again with “Too Far” and “Beneath the Savage Sun”. Unfortunately, not much rest on the album has made an impression on me.
Personally, I’m still hoping that someday Velvet Revolver reunites or that Slash will go back to working with a different singer on each song just as he did on his self-titled solo debut from 2010 because I found all of that much more interesting and varied than what’s been going on when Myles Kennedy is featured (as great of a singer as he is).
Highlights: “World on Fire”, “Shadow Life”, “Automatic Overdrive”, “Too Far”, “Beneath the Savage Sun”
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – Apocalyptic Love
[Classic Rock Magazine Limited Edition Fanpack Album]
(2012, Future Publishing/Roadrunner Records/Dik Hayd Records)
1. Apocalyptic Love … 3:29
2. One Last Thrill … 3:10
3. Standing In The Sun … 4:04
4. You’re A Lie … 3:51
5. No More Heroes … 4:24
6. Halo … 3:23
7. We Will Roam … 4:50
8. Anastasia … 6:07
9. Not For Me … 5:22
10. Bad Rain … 3:47
11. Hard & Fast … 3:02
12. Far And Away … 5:15
13. Shots Fired … 3:48
14. Carolina … 3:18
15. Crazy Life … 3:40
Slash – Guitar
Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Todd Kerns – Bass, Backing Vocals
Brent Fitz – Drums, Percussion, Piano
Producer: Eric Valentine
Slash’s debut solo album was one of my favorite albums released in 2010. I loved the variety in it and the different styles he was playing thanks to the range of singers he chose to work with. On that album, he recorded two tracks with Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy. Kennedy then went out on the road with Slash as his touring vocalist while promoting the album. The result of that tour was the release of the Made In Stoke live album and the announcement that the next Slash album was going to feature Myles doing all of the vocals.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed at the announcement of Kennedy being the only singer on the album. I thought maybe Slash could’ve gone the Santana route of working with a variety of singers with every album. I thought the two Kennedy songs from the first Slash album were pretty mediocre as well so that also added to the bit of disappointment I had over Myles apparently becoming Slash’s permanent solo vocalist (they also co-wrote the entire album together).
There is good news here for those that didn’t like Slash working with Fergie, the guy from Maroon 5 or whoever else. Apocalyptic Love is pretty much stripped down rock ‘n’ roll that brings to mind all of Slash’s previous groups: Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and Guns N’ Roses. In short, it’s Slash being Slash. That said, the music is solid but there were only a few songs that immediately stood out to me: “You’re A Lie”, “No More Heroes” and the bonus track “Crazy Life”.
It has taken me a lot of spins to pick out any other favorites from this release. In time, I’ve grown a fan of about half the album while feeling like most of the rest is no-frill, no-inspiration rock ‘n’ roll. It’s not bad music if you’re using it for background noise but a lot of this music just doesn’t hold my attention. Overall, Apocalyptic Love is a solid effort but disappointing considering the previous album gave some great tracks like “Nothing To Say”, “Beautiful Dangerous” and “By The Sword”. Still, if you want your Slash fix, this’ll tide you over until the inevitable Velvet Revolver reunion occurs.
My particular copy came with the Slash Fanpack that was released by the UK’s Classic Rock magazine. It came with a poster, a special edition of the album that features two bonus tracks, a pin and an in-depth magazine about Slash, Myles Kennedy and the new album.
Highlights: “Apocalyptic Love”, “You’re A Lie”, “No More Heroes”, “Anastasia”, “Not For Me”, “Bad Rain”, “Crazy Life”
Last year I said 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 was. I went on to wonder how 2011 could even begin to top it. Well, guess what… 2011 did indeed top 2010! I’m looking back at my Top 25 list for 2010 and while those albums are all still good, this year’s Top 25 list is much stronger top to bottom.
2011 was a great year that saw classic rock/metal acts like Whitesnake, Warrant, Riot, Alice Cooper, Journey, Black N’ Blue and King Kobra deliver some of the best albums of their career while younger acts like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Savage Messiah, Evile (who missed the list by this much) and Black Veil Brides have shown that they are more than capable of carrying rock & metal into the future.
Top 25 Albums of 2011
1. Whitesnake – Forevermore
2. Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
3. Riot – Immortal Soul
4. Warrant – Rockaholic
5. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. Megadeth – Thirteen
8. Anthrax – Worship Music
9. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
10. Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker
12. Hurtsmile – s/t
13. Journey – Eclipse
14. Chickenfoot – III
15. Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz – Stand Your Ground
16. Black Country Communion – 2
17. The Poodles – Performocracy
18. House of Lords – Big Money
19. King Kobra – s/t
20. Saliva – Under Your Skin
21. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
22. Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!
22. Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience
24. George Lynch – Kill All Control
25. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl
In light of a few non-album singles being released this year, I’ve decided to make this a hybrid category.
Best Compilation/Cover/Live/Reissue Albums
Kind of a catch-all category this year. Instead of listing each category individually, I decided to lump them all into one list and rank them that way.
1. Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]
2. Stryper – The Covering
3. Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped
4. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
5. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11
6. Hell – Human Remains
7. Scorpions – Comeblack
8. Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More
9. Eric Carr – Unfinished Business
10. Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]
Want to read more about the year in music? Check out some of the fine sites & blogs listed below! And be sure to keep checking back for more Year-End posts here at Metal Excess!
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/
Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
Posted in Year End Awards
Tags: Alice Cooper, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Anthrax, AOR, Black 'n Blue, Black Country Communion, Black Sabbath, Black Veil Brides, Blues Rock, Chickenfoot, Classic Metal, Classic Rock, Def Leppard, Edguy, Eric Carr, Foo Fighters, George Lynch, Glam Metal, Glam Rock, Hair Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Hell, House of Lords, Hurtsmile, Ian Gillan, Joe Bonamassa, Journey, King Kobra, KISS, Megadeth, Melodic Hard Rock, Melodic Rock, Metal, Metalcore, Mike Tramp, Music, Myles Kennedy, NWOBHM, Pop Metal, Power Metal, Reckless Love, Riot, Rock, Saliva, Savage Messiah, Scorpions, Sebastian Bach, Sixx:A.M., Slash, Sleaze Metal, Sleaze Rock, Speed Metal, Steel Panther, Stryper, The Last Vegas, The Poodles, Thrash Metal, Tony Iommi, Vains of Jenna, Warrant, White Lion, Whitesnake, Who Cares, Wildstreet
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 (2011, Eagle Records)
1. Been There Lately … 4:34
2. Nightrain … 5:02
3. Ghost … 3:43
4. Mean Bone … 4:01
5. Back From Cali … 3:36
6. Rocket Queen … 9:21
7. Civil War … 8:06
8. Nothing to Say … 7:27
9. Starlight … 5:45
10. Promise … 3:59
1. Doctor Alibi … 3:45
2. Speed Parade … 3:58
3. Watch This … 3:39
4. Beggars & Hangers On … 6:29
5. Patience … 5:45
6. Godfather Solo … 10:30
7. Sweet Child o’ Mine … 6:28
8. Slither … 7:33
9. By the Sword … 4:36
10. Mr. Brownstone … 4:41
11. Paradise City … 9:13
Slash – Guitar
Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals, Guitar (“Nothing to Say”, “Watch This”)
Bobby Schneck – Guitar
Todd Kerns – Bass, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals (“Doctor Alibi”)
Brent Fitz – Drums
What’s the full name of this album? And who is the artist? Is it Slash or is it “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy”? I’ve seen a number of websites not including this as a Slash solo album. And is the album’s title Made In Stoke 24/7/11? Some websites are calling it Live In Stoke or just Live. I’ve also seen it referred to as Featuring Myles Kennedy Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 and or even just Featuring Myles Kennedy! The last two just seem odd. Personally, I think the title should be Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 with the credited artist being “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy”. The date (and its formatting) is a whole other issue, so let’s not even go there.
Title issues aside, this stands as a great live album (which was recorded July 2011 in Slash’s hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England). Slash has said he’s a big fan of live albums because that’s where you get a sense of who the artist really is and I have to say he’s done a fine job putting out his own double disc live album! I don’t really know if he could’ve picked a better singer than Myles Kennedy to handle all these songs. He’s covering a LOT of singers on this album (Axl, Scott Weiland, Ian Astbury, Rod Jackson, M. Shadows, Chris Cornell, etc.) and doing a fantastic job of it. He sounds especially great on the GNR songs. Just put him in Velvet Revolver already!
This album really runs the gamut of Slash’s career. There are 7 GNR songs, 4 songs from the Slash’s Snakepit albums (which I wasn’t expecting at all), 1 Velvet Revolver song (would’ve expected a few more) and 8 tracks from his self-titled solo album. It’s a good mix of everything.
The song choices are excellent. I think the only glaring omission when it comes to GNR material would be “Welcome to the Jungle” but that’s a total Axl song so I understand leaving it off. Besides, “Been There Lately” was a great choice to open the show. It’s one of the better songs from the Snakepit era and it really comes to life when done live. The entire band sounds inspired through the whole show.
This is great live album that never really gets boring thanks to the varied material throughout. If you’re in the mood for some classic live rock ‘n’ roll… this is it.
Highlights: “Been There Lately”, “Nightrain”, “Ghost”, “Rocket Queen”, “Nothing to Say”, “Patience”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Slither”, “By The Sword”, “Mr. Brownstone”, “Paradise City”
Slash (2010, EMI Label Services/Dik Hayd Records)
1. “Ghost” … 3:34
2. “Crucify the Dead” … 4:04
3. “Beautiful Dangerous” … 4:35
4. “Back from Cali” … 3:35
5. “Promise” … 4:41
6. “By the Sword” … 4:50
7. “Gotten” … 5:05
8. “Doctor Alibi” … 3:07
9. “Watch This Dave” … 3:46
10. “I Hold On” … 4:10
11. “Nothing to Say” … 5:27
12. “Starlight” … 5:35
13. “Saint is a Sinner Too” … 3:28
14. “We’re All Gonna Die” … 4:30
Slash – Guitar
Duff McKagan – Bass (Track 9)
Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals, Bass (Track 8 )
Chris Chaney – Bass (Tracks 1-8, 10-14)
Dave Grohl – Drums (Track 9)
Josh Freese – Drums (Tracks 1-8, 10, 11, 13, 14)
Leonard Castro – Percussion (Tracks 1, 3-7, 10, 14)
Izzy Stradlin – Guitar (Track 1)
Eric Valentine – Piano, Keyboards
Ian Astbury – Vocals (Track 1)
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals (Track 2)
Fergie – Vocals (Track 3)
Myles Kennedy – Vocals (Tracks 4 & 12)
Chris Cornell – Vocals (Track 5)
Andrew Stockdale – Vocals (Track 6)
Adam Levine – Vocals (Track 7)
Kid Rock – Vocals (Track 10)
M. Shadows – Vocals (Track 11)
Rocco DeLuca – Vocals (Track 12)
Iggy Pop – Vocals (Track 13)
Producer: Eric Valentine
Well, it’s finally here: “Slash & Friends” (the original working title for this project). The few reviews I’ve read are mixed. Some “fans” were crying out that it sucked and Slash had sold-out before it was even released and now that it has been released typically those same “fans” are still saying it sucks and Slash is a sell out. Then you have Classic Rock magazine, who has claimed it’s the first great rock album of the decade. This might sound like mighty fine praise to some but given that the album was released in April 2010 the statement seems less impressive and sounds more like hyperbole to help promote an album they have a vested interest in (the album was a free UK-exclusive gift with a special Slash-themed issue of Classic Rock).
For my money ($7.99 + free shipping from BestBuy.com!), this is indeed a great album and I don’t really get the “sell out” criticisms. Why is he a sell out? Because a GIRL sings on this album? Fergie has a great voice for rock ‘n’ roll and she proves it on “Beautiful Dangerous”. If anything, I can see maybe cries of selling out coming from Maroon 5’s Adam Levine singing “Gotten”. It’s a decent song but if I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a Maroon 5 song. Not much rock to it at all other than the solo. Then again, Slash has always flirted with pop stars. He’s a guy that doesn’t like to pigeon hole himself and goes to play with whoever wherever he thinks he’ll have fun. Nothing wrong with that. He’s not a sellout, he’s just not close-minded.
For the most part, it seems like every song was written with that song’s particular singer in mind. I know Slash already had ideas for songs before enlisting the troops but I’m also sure the songs were tailored to suit the vocalists. “Ghost” sounds like The Cult, “Crucify the Dead” sounds like the best Ozzy song in the last decade at least, “Promise” sounds like something Chris Cornell would have done in Audioslave, “Nothing to Say” could have been on Avenged Sevenfold’s last album and so on and so on. In a way, this is somewhat disappointing for those that were looking forward to a bluesier guitar hero effort or for something similar to Guns N’ Roses from Slash. There is NOTHING here that brings to mind anything GNR has done. I’m okay with that but maybe some backlash stems from people wanting Slash to have delivered something more akin to the original GNR since Axl has moved the hired Guns into heavier more industrial terrain.
Slash claims this is a rock album and for the most part he’s right but songs like “Gotten” and “Saint is a Sinner Too” are pure pop that I can’t imagine Slash would be playing without the chosen vocalists. I was worried myself when I saw the guest list for this album. The participants just seem so over the place I thought it would all be a big mess. Definitely not the case and there’s a surprisingly low amount of filler with the two Myles Kennedy songs “Back from Cali” and “Starlight” being the only ones that really fall short with me. Kennedy is from the band Alter Bridge and he’s the only singer that has two songs and I’m sure it’s because he’s the singer for Slash’s touring band while promoting this album.
Everything else is decent at the very least while “Nothing to Say” featuring Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows and the album’s lead “By the Sword” featuring Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale are my favorites. “By the Sword” has a cool Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd classic hard rock sound to it.
Despite Slash’s insistence that this is a rock album, there’s a bit of genre jumping and he dips his feet (fret?) into the pop realm but it’s only done so in order to fit the singers. Even though this is a self-titled affair, Slash really isn’t the star here. There’s some good solos on this disc but this album isn’t built around them. It’s all about the songs as a whole and Slash (and friends) has delivered a very satisfying release that is much better than anything he did the first time he went “solo” with Slash’s Snakepit.
I do have two disappointments though: Dave Grohl drums on the album but does not sing (he apparently has a thing against singing on other peoples’ albums) and the U.S. version of this album does not feature “Baby Can’t Drive” featuring Alice Cooper and The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger. It’s a pretty cool song so what gives ?!
Highlights: “Ghost”, “Crucify the Dead”, “Beautiful Dangerous”, “By the Sword”, “Watch This Dave”, “Nothing to Say”
Posted in Slash
Tags: Adam Levine, Alter Bridge, Andrew Stockdale, Audioslave, Avenged Sevenfold, Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl, Duff McKagan, Fergie, Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Ian Astbury, Iggy Pop, Kid Rock, Lemmy Kilmister, M. Shadows, Maroon 5, Metal, Motorhead, Music, Myles Kennedy, Ozzy Osbourne, Pop, Pop Rock, Rocco DeLuca, Rock, Rock 'N' Roll, Slash, Soundgarden, The Cult, Velvet Revolver, Wolfmother