By Tamsin Mathias
Guitar hero, Slash is set to release his new 17-track album, World On Fire on September 15.
It begins with the rip-roaring title track and album opener, ‘World On Fire’. A signature Slash riff kickstarts a rambling verse punctuated by the rhythm section’s impeccable groove. Myles Kennedy is as impressive vocally as Slash is on his guitar.
‘Shadow Life’ starts with an ominous and cinematic clean guitar that quickly snaps into a towering verse once again, highlighting both the guitar and vocalist.
‘Automatic Overdrive’ and ‘Dirty Girl’ have a blues swing to it meant for the ladies, especially on the latter where a big falsetto from Myles takes flight. At the same time, ’30 Years to Life’ feels like a Aerosmith-style song with its metallic expanse.
The guitar in ‘Wicked Stone’ is similar to Guns’n’Roses, particularly the intro to the song before the vocals kick in. Once you get into the main body of the song it does lose that GnR feel. There’s a long guitar solo (okay, instrumental section as the rest of the band are still playing as well as Slash).
‘Bent to fly’ is a ballad, with soft vocals and gentle guitar. Its got quite a slow build-up, but it’s only a minute or so till they ramp the power up for the chorus
‘Battleground’ lives up to its name with a volley of vocal fireworkd and incendiary guitars, while the record’s most powerful moment comes during the closer ‘The Unholy. It’s passionate and powerful with leads, whispers and soaring vocals.
‘Iris of the storm’ is an unusual title – a play on the commonly used term ‘eye of the storm’. Despite the slightly odd title it’s a great track.
‘Safari inn’ is a track that stands out as different, because it’s very simply an instrumental. The cynics might describe it as a three and a half minute guitar solo, and I’m not sure I could argue with that as it is pretty much a guitar solo with drums and bass in the background, but it’s still a damn good track and a reminder of just how good Slash is on guitar.
Slash’s last album was great, and this one is even better. Myles Kennedy is a superb vocalist and it’s no wonder Slash wanted to work with him. His powerful rock vocals really are great and would normally be the star of the album, but the music here is equally impressive – particularly the first class guitar work from Slash, so there’s a perfect balance between the superb vocals and the superb music. There’s been a a few upcoming albums over the last few days and Slash’s album is one of the best – an essential purchase.