Slash convinces with a strong album

There I have it in my hands – the highly anticipated album of heavy rock legend Slash. ‘World On Fire’ is his second record with Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Their first release ‘Apocalyptic Love’ certainly left us wanting more. Now they delivered it. Produced by Mike ‘Elvis’ Balskette in his Orlando-based Studio Barbarossa and at NRG Studios in LA, ‘World On Fire’is a 17-song ride through different shades rock, hard rock and heavy rock music.

In true Slash-style the album starts with the title track and its thundering guitar riff. The track is a solid up-tempo rocker that is worth being an opener. One thing is also clear right from the start: Slash in 2014 is still Slash. The song and the following 16 tracks are full of sharp riffs, melodic and rocking solos and groovy hook-lines. ‘World On Fire’ is Slash’s solo album and he makes clear that he is the main man of the action. That doesn’t mean the others haven’t put in a good performance as well. It just means that this album is a guitar rock album in the first place without falling into the trap of narcissistic guitar hero outpourings. No, this album rocks because Slash rocks, the songs are well written and Michael Kennedy is in splendid form. It is good not having to listen to another Axl Rose offcut. Instead he puts his own mark on the record.

The opener is followed by ‘Shadow Life’, the only song together with ‘Wicked Stone’ where you can clearly hear some Guns’n’Roses influences. The remainder of the album stays away from too many references to the past. Instead fresh and modern heavy rock is presented. ‘Automatic Overdrive’ is another up-tempo rocker that should work very well live. ’30 years To Life’ has some southern rock influences and hits it home with a catchy refrain.

‘Beneath The Savage Sun’ is not only one of the heaviest songs but also one of the highlights of the album with its ultra-groovy riff and some thundering guitar solo work towards the end. ‘Withered Delilah’ is another track that comes with a southern feel. ‘Battleground’ surprises with a strong Beatles reference. ‘Safari Inn’ is the only instrumental on ‘World On Fire’. Slash uses the song in an admirable way to showcase his skills from softer tones to outrageously sharp and dangerous guitar play. Among the 17 songs is only one power ballad with ‘Bent To Fly’. I forgive Slash even that because he manages to keep it modern with some heavier and rougher parts towards the end.

‘World On Fire’ is a colourful journey through modern rock and heavy music at a tearing pace. Slash is relevant in 2014 because his song writing skills are excellent (we don’t need to talk about his capabilities as a guitar player). The songs remain with you even after the first listen. With 17 songs and more than 75 minutes, there is enough room for discovering new details here and there throughout the album. ‘World On Fire’ is a must buy for every fan of hard rock.

8.5 of 10