SLASH featuring MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS – World On Fire

Slash-ft-Myles-Kennedy-The-Conspirators-World-On-FireHere’s one dude that doesn’t need any introduction. If you don’t know who Slash is then you don’t deserve to read this and you probably don’t like rock ‘n’ roll either. Fact is, his wide ranged singer Myles Kennedy really shouldn’t need any either, but ok, for all lesser educated in music, Myles Kennedy is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in Alter Bridge. Myles swept ole Saul Hudson (Slash’s real name) off his feet when he sang on two songs, “Starlight” and “Back To Cali”, on the guitarist’s self-titled debut solo album, an album that had a different singer for every song. Slash became so impressed with the singer that he offered him the spot as the singer for the tour that was about to follow said album and the duo became a real team of allies. Bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz (Union, Vince Neil, Alice Cooper, Bulletboys) completed the line-up and it was this line-up that recorded the brilliant Apocalyptic Love (2012), where they got the band name The Conspirators and the line-up is still intact to this day. What I love about this line-up, apart from that they are all great musicians, is that they look like a band. A real band and not just Slash’s back-up guys. Sure, this is Slash’s thing all the way, it’s more or less a solo project, but with Slash giving Myles a lot of room and his name beside his on the album cover and the rest of the guys a band name, he seems to want to show that this is a band, a collective and not just a solo thing. He could just as well called the whole thing just Slash. The whole dynamics of the record really feels like a band as well and I really love that. I’d take a band over a solo artist 24/7. I want to believe that that was part of the reason behind the success of the last album. Because that album was a success and it deserved to be because it was a true killer all the way. Slash and Myles Kennedy really are a match made in heaven. Even though I think Alter Bridge is an amazing band, I do prefer Myles with Slash.

With the success of Slash’s solo album, the last Conspirators album, the two Velvet Revolver records and of course everything he did with Guns N’ Roses, he’s under the pressure to come up with the goods this time as well, expectations are high, to say the least. But history has proved that this is how Slash wants it. Keep the pressure coming and he’ll deliver. And judging by the album’s first single and the record’s opener, the title track, it worked this time as well. The song is – just like the following track “Shadow Life” – a raunchy rocker that lies somewhere between Guns N’ Roses and Alter Bridge. There are worse mixes than that, folks. When I first heard the song I was convinced that Slash and the guys would come up with, at least, an album equally good as their last. “Wicked Stone” is a killer tune with an in-your-face attitude and a magnificent chorus, “30 Years To Life” is an amazing rocker and the best song Guns N’ Roses never wrote and “Bent To Fly” is an effusive, beautiful ballad with some fantastic guitar playing and an amazing lead vocal from Myles. “Withered Delilah” is a really groovy sleaze rocker that holds some cool Zeppelin riffing that could very well be a new live killer. They take a step back to Slash’s solo debut with the marvellous ballad “Battleground”, a pretty heavy thing that reminds me of the Kennedy-fronted songs on said solo album. “Dirty Girl” is a good song, but the over used and extremely cliché title really holds the tune back. I kind of cringe when I hear those lyrics. “Isis Of The Storm”, however, takes us back to high quality and the slow, mellow rocker is one of my favourites here. “The Dissident” might be the most commercial and poppy song Slash has ever put out. The whoa-whoa-whoa chorus almost goes Bon Jovi on us. But don’t let that deter you – the song is brilliant and it still has the dirty swagger that Slash always gets out of his guitar. “Safari Inn” is an instrumental, but this is a song – a real song – without any redundant guitar hero B.S. The finishing song “The Unholy” is a heavy and dark bastard, almost metal and it could just as well has taken a spot on Alter Bridge’s latest album.

There really isn’t much to complain about here except for one thing: the number of songs. There really is no need to put 17 tracks on the same album – no need at all. It gets a bit overwhelming to trying to get through the album back to back and by that the albums loses some of its dynamics. What they should have done is to use no more than 12 songs, save the rest and record a new album real soon instead. Luckily though, almost all songs here are really damn great. Yes, there is a filler or two, songs that doesn’t go all the way, but there are no bad ones. The style of the music is a pretty good mix of 80’s and 70’s hard classic rock, a bit on the sleazy side and if you must compare, then I’d say there is more Guns N’ Roses than Alter Bridge, but you can easily spot traces of both here. So, with all those songs it might take you a while to get into them, but when you do, there’s a lot to love for a long time – that’s the upside to putting too many songs on one album. Did you like the last album? Then, I see no reason for you not to buy this because I find this album better. They’re called The Conspirators and they play rock ‘n’ roll!

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

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
11. Battleground
12. Dirty Girl
13. Iris Of The Storm
14. Avalon
15. The Dissident
16. Safari Inn
17. The Unholy

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