Release Date: May 22, 2012
Record label: EMI
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Guitar Virtuoso
In contrast to his 2010 self-titled disc, a diverse affair with a multitude of guest vocalists that sometimes seemed strained under the weight of its creator’s own grand ambition, here Slash and his band, fronted by Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, let the riffs and hooks fly freely. Though there are enough left turns to keep listeners on their toes (the flamenco intro and classical motifs of “Anastasia,” the positively Slayer-esque harmony guitar lines in “Halo”), Apocalyptic Love is at heart a collection of lean, high-octane rock-and-roll tunes built to be blasted out of open-top sports cars or, more suitably, open-air stadiums. RICHARD BIENSTOCK .
Slash is back! And his album's not bad, either. The top hat-toting riff generator returns with his sophomore solo album ‘Apocalyptic Love’. Ditching the string of guests used on his debut, regular collaborator and leading wailer Myles Kennedy joins for 13 tracks of polished fret craft. Opening strongly on title track ‘Apocalyptic Love’ the combination of Kennedy’s distinctive vocals and Slash’s trademark licks intertwine to create a strutting, hard rock belter.
It's been 16 years since Slash departed Guns N' Roses, and he's finally twigged that people want to hear records that twin his rounded, woody guitar tone with a singer partial to a high-register nasal yelp. In the absence of Axl Rose, he's brought in Myles Kennedy – who's been fronting Slash's touring band and sang two songs on his last album – to perk up the ears of passing dogs, and the results are much as you might expect. Slash riffs dirtily – except when venturing into classical scales on Anastasia, and pulling out the inevitable ballad with Far and Away – and Kennedy wails over the top.
If Apocalyptic Love proves anything, it’s that Slash will always, and without exception, fucking rock. Now, whether “rock” means absolutely slay guitar licks and write bone-crushing rock songs—or just play loud music—is up to the listener. But essentially, it will tell you that, yes, he’s done it again. When you hear Slash play guitar, you instantly know it’s him.
If you were wondering why Slash, one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, chose to throw in his lot with Myles Kennedy, one of the greatly undistinguished hard rock vocalists of his generation, consider this: if you spent your life battling temperaments like Axl Rose and Scott Weiland, you'd choose somebody who's easy to get along with too. Touring and playing with Kennedy clearly is easier on Slash's soul, and the music on Apocalyptic Love, his second solo album and first to feature Myles on vocals throughout, reflects this ease. It may be hard and heavy but it sounds relaxed, Slash and company doing the music they do best: namely, L.A.
SlashApocalyptic Love[Dik Hayd International; 2012]By John Ulmer; May 23, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetThere is one great track on Apocalyptic Love. It is called “Anastasia” and it arrives at the midpoint of an otherwise generic rock album from a struggling genre icon. The song opens with a classical-influenced arpeggio before launching into a riff reminiscent of a faster “You’re Crazy” from Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction.
Where Slash's 2010 solo debut was a collaboration with an array of A-list vocal talent, only Myles Kennedy, frontman of middling post-grungers Alter Bridge, remains for the follow-up. As a consequence, there's a more cohesive "band" feeling, and Slash's soloing sounds as fluid as ever, most notably during the coda of Anastasia – which starts by inexplicably Sellotaping elements of Bach to a verse reminiscent of Deep Purple's Burn. Unfortunately, the songs themselves seem to be an afterthought, witless lyrics ("Whole world's going crazy" – again?) jostling with ponderous balladry and 80s glam metal by numbers in a race for the lowest common denominator.
Review Summary: Slash N' BurnAccording to Axl Rose, one of the main reasons that Slash left Guns N’ Roses was due to the fact that he resented having to adapt and evolve his style. Of course, there is always more than one side to any story, but the passing years have conspired to prove this version of events to be correct.Upon his departure from the warring factions of Guns, he immediately established Slash’s Snakepit; a thinly-veiled solo vehicle that produced interesting but unmemorable hard rock schlock. Velvet Revolver, established in 2002, were little more than an unimaginative re-tread of two or three different bands.
It's pretty hard to have your personality shine through a guitar unless your name is Joe Perry, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page, but Slash is definitely in that elite group. Here, on his second solo album (not including the Slash's Snakepit discs), the man proves he's assembled a backing band (and a very able lead screamer in Myles Kennedy) worthy of greasy sunset strip anthems (see the opening title track), gloriously sleazy lick-fests ("Standing in the Sun") and melodic hard rock that avoids cheese ("We Will Roam"). Unlike his last album, which was excellent but too confusing with all the guest appearances, this one is cohesive and feels like a band affair, feels like an album, feels like it has the chemistry Velvet Revolver frustratingly didn't quite have but a certain other band had once upon a time when Slash was in that crew.
Myles Kennedy plays David Coverdale to Slash’s Jimmy Page on “Apocalyptic Love,” the second studio “solo” album from the top-hatted guitar hero. Just as Coverdale-Page was a Led Zeppelin doppelganger, this pairing of Kennedy and Slash bears unmistakable resemblance to Guns N’ Roses. Kennedy, from Alter Bridge, has the sort of pinched, perturbed tone Axl Rose blended with Slash’s guitar work when the two were in GN’R.