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article imageReview: Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators — World on Fire

By Adrian Peel     Sep 2, 2014 in Music
Slash and his current band are set to release their new album later this month, their first since 2012's 'Apocalyptic Love'.
The popular British born guitarist has been performing for four years now with Alter Bridge frontman, Myles Kennedy, and the singer's 'other' band, The Conspirators (Todd Kerns, Brent Fitz, original live guitarist Bobby Schneck and current live guitarist Frank Sidoris) - and the results have been electrifying.
Since the release of their first collaboration Slash in 2010, the group has toured extensively, recording live albums in Stoke-on-Trent (Slash's hometown) and Manchester, and this year went out on the road opening up shows for Aerosmith.
World on Fire, a 17-track CD recorded on the star's own label Dik Hayd Records, was essentially written on the road and carries on this rich vein of form. Storming opening number "World On Fire" is even Slash's fastest climbing single to date on radio.
Second track "Shadow Life" continues the highly-charged sense of urgency and is described by Slash (who relayed the following information to me over the phone) as "really the only extension of Apocalyptic Love because the main riff on that song actually came from a song called
'You're A Lie', which was the first single off the Apocalyptic Love record..."
"When we were doing pre-production for Apocalyptic Love, that particular song had a different chorus and the chorus wasn't working for me," he explains. "It was in the eleventh hour and I was like 'I gotta do something!' I took that riff - as much as I loved it - out and rewrote the chorus.
"So the riff was always so great that we revisited it when we were doing World on Fire and Todd came up with some musical ideas for the verse and it just took off from there. So there is a certain significance to 'Shadow Life'."
Along with these opening two tracks, there is certainly much to recommend on this ambitious and very enjoyable collection of songs. "Automatic Overdrive" has a soaring chorus and powers along nicely, for example, while "
30 Years To Life" is an anthemic stadium-friendly rocker featuring some sterling slide work in the intro.
"Bent To Fly" is a thoughtful and very moving tune with an edgy, haunting melody - beautifully sung by the underrated Myles Kennedy. The manic riffing and general all-round heaviness is again present on the excellent "Too Far Gone," but as ever, the songs run much deeper than the cacophony of loud guitars might suggest.
Slash and his various collaborators over the years have never been afraid to tackle difficult and often controversial subjects and on the energetic - and at times moody - "Beneath The Savage Sun," the confirmed animal lover and his loyal cohorts look at the issue of poaching from the poor old animal's perspective.
Further moments of brilliance include "Battleground," complete with a sublime guitar solo that has "Slash" written all over it, the stellar, Glenn Hughes-esque vibe of "Dirty Girl" (the former Deep Purple vocalist's powerful tones primarily come to mind on the lines "I can't wait to see ya, you just don't believe it, the things she does"), the frenetic "Avalon," the solid instrumental "Safari Inn" and the dark final track "The Unholy."
Inevitably, on an album that includes 17 songs, there's bound to be some "filler" - and there is - but overall this is an outstanding record, full of verve, passion, ambition and heart. In short, the best rock album I've heard so far this year.
World on Fire is out on September 16th 2014.
For more information, visit Slash's official website.
More about Slash, myles kennedy, world on fire, Rock music, alter bridge
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