Released: May 22, 2012
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Dik Hayd International
Number Of Tracks: 13
This is Slash's second solo record, and this time Myles Kennedy is handling 100% of the vocals. As a matter of a fact, Slash has said that this album is more of a collaborative effort with Miles Kennedy than a solo album.
UG Team, on may 22, 2012 12 of 17 people found this review helpful
Sound: We all know and love Slash. This is the guy behind the riffs from "Paradise City" and "Welcome To The Jungle". This is the guy from the "November Rain" video soloing in the desert. He's become almost a trademark in and of himself with his long hair obscuring his face under his top hat. There are very few guitarists who can say they haven't played a few riffs, solos or licks made famous by Slash. From the streets of Los Angeles, Slash and his bandmates in Guns N Roses became celebrity bad boys and arena rock superstars basically overnight. At the time, they were just what rock music needed a solid kick in the butt. The music scene was becoming more and more polished with the artists at the time wearing makeup and having elaborate hairdos. Guns N Roses looked rough, and they were passionate and their songs rocked. From the very beginning Axl and Slash stood out as the dominant personalities in the band and it was only a matter of time till the band blew up, but while it lasted it was intense and vital.
Of course, Guns N Roses did implode with all kinds of inner strife, drug binges, rehab, and out of control egos. Fast forward to the present and while Axl is continuing on with new members as Guns N Roses, we have Slash creating some pretty solid music which is pretty remarkable when you think that this guy's career should have peaked like 20 years ago. After the "demise" of Guns N Roses, Slash attempted a band called Slash's Snakepit which was met with mostly a negative reaction from fans and critics. After this, Slash regrouped and formed Velvet Revolver, which released its first album, "Contraband", in 2004. "Libertad" followed in 2007, but then there were issues again with an egoistical vocalist namely Scott Weiland. After this Velvet Revolver was kind of put on hold as they attempt to find a new vocalist.
In the meantime, Slash began his solo career and released his first album, which was self-titled, in 2010. He had numerous guest vocalists everyone from Lemmy, Ozzy, Fergie and Myles Kennedy (among others). The album was a success and received generally favorable reviews. The first single from the album, "By The Sword", stomped ass with a steam punk meets Mad Max music video. Since then, Slash has been busy touring, writing and recording and his second release, "Apocalyptic Love", is finally releasing. This time around Slash is sticking to a single vocalist Myles Kennedy which gives "Apocalyptic Love" a much more cohesive feel than his previous release. Slash has said that "Apocalyptic Love" is much more of a collaboration with Myles Kennedy than another solo album. As to the sound of the album, what can I say? This is heavy blues based rock, which is what we've come to expect from Slash, with a few minor detours. The solos are awesome; his guitar tone is the epic Marshall crunch tone that no one can seem to reproduce. Most of the songs are very riff-oriented and you will find yourself tapping your foot or nodding your head to the music. While I don't think any of the songs are as memorable as the songs off of "Appetite For Destruction", I think a large part of this is just that the music climate/industry is so different now and the timing of the release of "Appetite For Destruction" was like the perfect storm. Don't take any statement I've made as detraction from "Apocalyptic Love", because this album is absolutely solid. // 9
Lyrics: Myles Kennedy initially worked with Slash on his self-titled album and then spent a lot of time on tour with Slash for that album, and when Slash sat down to record his second album he had worked up a good working relationship with Myles and so he provided all the vocals on this album, as well as playing rhythm guitar. Myles isn't your average rock vocalist as in his voice is unique and is recognizable. I mean, this is the guy who almost replaced Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin he can sing. Myles was in a few small bands but eventually was lead guitarist and vocalist for a band he formed with friends called The Mayfield Four, which released two albums. After that he sent in an audition tape for (or was asked to audition, accounts vary) Velvet Revolver but never showed up for the physical audition. After this he joined Alter Bridge where he really made his name. After almost becoming the new vocalist for Led Zeppelin and recording with Slash, that brings us up to present. His vocal delivery is passionate and precise he really is just an awesome blues rock vocalist and maybe the best to come out since the 70's.
They lyrics on the album fit the music and genre, and I believe they were mostly if not completely written by Myles Kennedy. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some from the title track, "Apocalyptic Love": "I got a real bad feeling/ They'll be nothing to say/ Whole world's going crazy/ know the end is on the way/ but we've got one hot minute/ to do anything you like/ to do anything you like/ This is the last time oh oh/ don't care how we do it/ just as long as we can love under the same sky/ all we got is tonight/ I wanna feel you fallin' all up my thigh/ Apocalyptic love/ I wanna ride until we die/ until the last night's faded/ I just wanna see you smile/ I just wanna see you smile/ as I go downtown". Nothing more blues rock than that. Really, listening to the album and the previous lyrics being a random sample, I would say the lyrics from "Apocalyptic Love" are some of the most mediocre lyrics from the album. There are some really inspired lyrics in places and the vocal delivery is amazing throughout. // 9
Overall Impression: When the song "Anastasia" started for the first time I swear my ears perked up. When the acoustic intro was over and the little classical shred passage on electric guitar started I think my mouth was watering. Somehow I don't think I've heard neo-classical mixed with blues based rock since that Ralph Macchio movie "Crossroads" back in the day. Right now, my absolute favorite track on the album is "Anastasia". I'm also really digging "Halo" and "Not For Me". Of course, the single "You're A Lie" isn't bad either, but it isn't my favorite. I think with Slash's previous self-titled album he was maybe cleaning out some old ideas (which were still awesome) but with "Apocalyptic Love" we're getting much more current ideas from him. "Bad Rain" is also a solid track, and has possibly the most memorable solo on the album.
There are 13 tracks on the album with a total run time of just over 54 minutes. There is a deluxe edition with two more tracks that bumps the album to just over an hour. I'm several listens in to the album at this point and the songs are only growing on me even more as I go. Slash is one of those musicians who don't ever seem to get the attention they deserve, regardless of the fact that his image is universally recognized. I'm really glad we got this second solo release from Slash and hope to see a third. They just seem to get better with each release so far. I grew up with Guns N Roses and it profoundly affected me when they broke up. Since then I've followed Slash pretty closely and in the past years have begun to become excited with what he is doing once again and I hope he keeps it up. // 9
darthbuttchin, on may 22, 2012 9 of 24 people found this review helpful
Sound: By now, we know what to expect from the Cat in the Hat. Slash's new album is bluesy, punky, rock, metal. And even grunge. The band sound generally tight, if a little unsure of each other. Whilst there is a definite improvement over the previous album in having a single singer, it is evident this is very much a Slash fronted band. He may not sing, but it's certainly all his call.
There are some shining moments. The song's "Anastasia" (beginning with a lovely flamenco acoustic riff and slamming into one of the hottest songs on the record), "Bad Rain" (funky, grungey riffs throughout, that command headbanging) and "Far And Away" (the stand out ballad on the album, slow, with reserved vocal delivery and singing solos) are the stand out best songs on the entire record. Unfortunately, the majority of the others are generic ones, that could easily slot into any of Slash's former projects. // 7
Lyrics: The majority of the lyrics seem rather... clich. As you listen to them, it's rather difficult to discern what Mr Kennedy is singing, and the majority of the choruses on the album leave you feeling disappointed, rather than wanting to pump your fist and belt along with it. There are even times on the album (e.g. in the song "One Last Thrill") where Kennedy seems to struggle to fit the lyrics into the fast paced nature of the verses, as if there are too many words in too short a space.
Skill wise, Kennedy is good. Damn good, at times. When he sings on the ballads, he gives a raw, emotional window to his soul that just compliments the nature of the songs so perfectly. When he sings on the faster songs, he blisters. If he's singing as himself. Unfortunately, there are a number of times wherein he sounds like he is attempting to channel a certain Bill Bailey. It's as if he was desperate to please his boss, by being the one thing his boss is sick of. // 4
Overall Impression: There is no way, when reviewing an album by our favourite export from Stoke On Trent, that we can escape his former bands. His style is so integral in those previous records, its obviously going to be evident on any album he puts out. This, however, is disappointing. One would hope, with a new band behind him, and a new singer, that he may have progressed and expanded on to newer pastures. There are great moments on this record. But there a lot more bad moments too. Which is unfortunate. I am a life-long fan of Guns N' Roses and Slash too. I am, however, disappointed by this offering by the venerable Mr. Hudson. With all the hype, I was expecting a great, varied, evolutionary album. What I heard, though, was GN'R Lite. // 5
unregistered, on october 15, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, I'm not going to tell any stories about the album, you can find that online easily, so just my pure opinion. The guitar sound was absolutely great! Heavy chunky hard rock/blues/punk/metal sound. With his kinda new Marshall AFD, the Appetite AFD) Les Paul, and the MXR Q-Zone (that most of the people aren't aware of), Slash's sound is unstoppable! The bass and drums sound was really decent (in a good way), however sometime I wish that the kick drum sound better. Oh and btw the album was recorded analogue so... There weren't any annoying effects that ruin the song. "Carolina" (bonus track) had this really cool Talk Box effect that made the track very unique. // 9
Lyrics: I'm not so familiar with the lyrics, but they sure are sound great. Myles is doing a hell of a job here, showing complete control of his voice and vocal skills, and not to mention his great and versatile voice. He can truly pass the emotions through his singing, and fit his vocals perfectly for the song. // 9
Overall Impression: Well, in this section I will divide the songs to a few groups. First of all, Anastasia was absolutely the best track, a true masterpiece. With the half-craomatic intro that repeats, and the minor harmonic (or something) feeling of the song, and the great solo and ending solo. Songs like "Halo", "Standing In The Sun", "No More Heroes", "We Will Roam", was absolutely great. Happy, optimistic, full of energy and good vibe. They will always make you feel good, and they are always really fun listening to. Great riffs, great vocals, great beats. Purely good songs! A song that really catched my ears is "You're A Lie". Simply by its awesome verse lead riff, amazing solo, and fantastic chorus vocals and backing vocals. Another cool song is "Carolina", cool riffs with the cool Talk Box effect, very unique and special song. Also really great for use as an alarm clock!
"Bad Rain", "Far And Away", and "Not For Me" are more slow-tempo, mellow, melodic, relaxed songs. With awesome vocals, great clean/crunch rhythm, great feeling and mood. All the other tracks were not good as the big hits of the album that I have mentioned above, but they are still good songs, some of them with brilliant intro/chorus riffs, and they are still fun listening to, and that's what important! // 9
CaseyCochrane, on may 23, 2012 1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Fronted by the man himself, Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators make a formidable rock band. Their first album as a solid unit, "Apocalyptic Love" is one for the rock history books.
The sound is unmistakably Slash, with the Velvet Revolver-style powerchording and Slash's scratchy, bluesy pentatonic solos and riffs make it obvious that Slash definitely fronts this band. Everything else comes second (after all, it is his second solo record). The guitar sound is warm and deep (like something else we all love), and the overdrive is just right; early-eighties rock with slightly more distortion through the solos. The guitar solos, whilst being great, are more of the same pentatonic mega-bends and blistering legato speed lines. Great if you're a fan of them, but if like me, all you do it listen to Slash records you can pretty much tell what's happening next.
The album wouldn't sound very good without vocals, a rhythm guitar, bass and drums however. And Slash has recruited just the guys for the job. Myles Kennedy's vocals are smooth and melodic, with an old bluesy feel to them (imagine "Mr. Brownstone" and you'll have an idea of the sound). The problem for me was that in the third track, "You're A Lie" Myles lets out this awesome, Grohl-style scream in the chorus, and I was disappointed that there wasn't more of it. He also lays down simple but effective rhythm guitar, often stepping up to harmonize riffs with the master himself.
The bass guitar is solid, and Todd Kerns is clearly a rock bassist. His bass licks lock tightly with Myles' guitar and the drums. Not much decoration though, I must say. Not quite in the ranks of Duff MacKagan, or Flea, but then again, this is the bands' first record as a solid unit. The drums are warm and tight (once again, tee-hee) and drummer Brent Fitz is becoming legendary thanks to his recent history with Slash, (mind you, playing with Alice Cooper didn't hurt much either). However the drums are rather concrete. I'd have liked to have heard more advanced fills. Don't worry, they're definitely more interesting than AC/DC's. // 9
Lyrics: Myles Kennedy was left in charge of the lyrics, and they aren't too depressing, but they aren't too happy (rock music with happy lyrics?! ). They fit with the style of music, but that's all, and Myles has got down some catchy hooks, such as, "Here it comes, Here it comes, Time to dirty up your halo" (from "Halo") and "I don't care how we do it just as long as we can love under the same sky" (from "Apocalyptic Love"). Myles Kennedy is a brilliant lyricist, up there with Dave Grohl, Axl Rose and Paul Macart- er... Mick Jagger? // 7
Overall Impression: To put it in plain English, this album is better than "Slash". A factor of this could be that there is only one singer, and the style of music is the same throughout, although the variety of "Slash" was somewhat appealing. I can't listen to this album without comparing the powerchord sound to "Libertad" (Velvet Revolver's second record), and the melodic value is similar to Guns N' Roses' "Use Your Illusion 1&2". All very Slash, of course.
The thing I would change though, is the drum sound. It's slightly too deep and the snare is soft. Not just on this record, but whenever Brent Fitz plays live his snare drum sounds soft. Oh, and I would've turned up the rhythm guitar a tad. If it were stolen, I'd buy two more copies, just to be one-up on the burglar. Thinks he's a Slash fan does he? // 10
Battman1993, on june 04, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: By now, everyone knows who Slash is. Over the past 20 years, the image of Slash wearing that top hat, long black hair adorning his face, with eyes obscured by black sunglasses, playing a Gibson Les Paul, has become synonymous with rock music itself. In fact, it might be the defining image of rock today. After his GNR-meets-Scott Weiland supergroup Velvet Revolver sacked Weiland in 2008, the group attempted to find a new singer. After a couple of years searching, Slash decided to embark on a solo career to keep himself busy. His first solo disc, 2010's self-titled album, featured a diverse roster of singers including Fergie, Adam Levine, Lemmy, M. Shadows, and Ozzy Osbourne. However, one singer made such a lasting impression on Slash that he decided to work with that singer again. That singer of course, is Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge. The pair collaborated on "Back From Cali" & "Starlight" on Slash's solo disc, and eventually Kennedy agreed to tour as Slash's singer. Kennedy and Slash developed such a good relationship on tour, that Slash asked Myles Kennedy to sing all the vocals on his next solo album. Slash also brought in bassist/vocalist Todd "Damnit" Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz from his touring band to play on his new album "Apocalyptic Love". Slash then formed his new group, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Second guitarist Frank Sidoris joined after "Apocalyptic Love" was recorded) "Apocalyptic Love" was released on May 22.
The record itself is one of the best Slash has ever produced, whether solo or as a member of a group. If you listen carefully, you could notice that "One Last Thrill" sounds like a re-write of "Dr. Alibi" from Slash's first solo disc, or that "Anastasia" contains a riff that's slightly similar to "Paradise City" or that "No More Heroes" bears a tiny resemblance to "Sweet Child O' Mine". The point is, it really doesn't matter. After the career Slash has put together, he should be allowed to rip himself off from time to time. Even with these little quirks, "Apocalyptic Love" still rips modern rock a new one. It's clear that Slash is having lots of fun with Kennedy & The Conspirators, as his soloing is some of the most inspired he has ever played. The rhythms feel more loose and free, the riffs reach back to 1988, and the album has an overall feel of swagger. And unlike most rock albums, you can actually hear the bass. Slash may be re-hashing a little bit, but he also breaks new ground. On album highlight "Anastasia", Slash plays an intro heavily inspired from the live interpretation of the "Godfather Theme" that he does. After that sweet intro though, the song suddenly changes into a swaggering masterpiece. "Far & Away" throws in strings to give it an orchestral feel. Overall, the music on "Apocalyptic Love" kicks a-s, and is made to be played back at ear-splitting volumes. // 9
Lyrics: You may have noticed that I haven't commented on Myles Kennedy's vocals yet. That's because I was trying to think of proper words to describe his performance on "Apocalyptic Love". Before I go any further, I'll admit that I pretty much worship Myles Kennedy, so I'm a bit biased. If you've heard him sing for Alter Bridge, you'll know what to expect. If you haven't heard him sing before, I'll attempt to describe it for you. Myles Kennedy possesses a four-range octave that next to nobody in rock music has right now. His voice sounds like nobody else out there. It's amazing. The main difference from Alter Bridge is that on "Apocalyptic Love", Myles sings in a higher octave for most of the album. His voice fits rock n' roll perfectly.
As for the lyrics he belts out, they're not always spectacular, but they're mostly pretty good. Unlike Alter Bridge, where the lyrics are generally darker and more abstract, the lyrics on "Apocalyptic Love" are straight-foward and easy to dechiper. They cover usual rock'n'roll themes like drugs, sex, love, the end of the world, inspirational, blah-blah-blah. // 9
Overall Impression: In short, "Apocalyptic Love" is the best rock album released so far in 2012, and I highly doubt there will be a better one released in 2012. Slash has struck gold with his new band, and at this point I really don't care if Velvet Revolver ever finds a new singer. Myles Kennedy fits Slash perfectly. This record is awesome rock n' roll meant to be played as loud as possible.
P.S. I saw these guys live a couple of weeks ago. They kick a-s live, you should really go see them. // 9
unregistered, on july 06, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album I felt was amazing on the sound wise guitars were killer and vocals were freaking amazing, Myles is the best singer in my opinion that Slash has been with in general. It sounds like Guns N' Roses ("Appetite" era) but with on key amazing vocals. The drummer and bass player should get some recognition for the effort that they put in this album the bass lines are smooth and the drums spot on. Another thing that I like about this album is that it has this more raw feel to it like it is what slash has wanted to do for a long time. This album was done with producer Eric Valentine, he captures the bads defining moments so clearly and amazingly. The one problem I have with this album is that, if listening through head phones it sounds like Slash on one side and everyone else on the other. (I understand that it really doesn't sound overly this way) as a casual listener I think that it is a little off setting but you do get used to it. But as a guitar player it is easier to isolate Slash's parts than it is like other albums. One other note about this album is that the songs were one or two takes, they were recorded as if it was live. The only thing that was overdubbed was Myles' vocals. This album is just what slash has wanted to do for a long timee. Oh and the name of the band should have been The Conspirators because "Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators" is a little bit of a mouth full. // 9
Lyrics: Lyric wise this is an amazing album. Song to song you have feel that your there with Myles and Slash experiencing these topics they range from. The one track that I really like is "Far And Away" it is amazing in all forms and the vocals on that song are amazing it really shows Myles Kennedy's vocal range well. All the other songs are fastpassed and are amazing vocals. // 10
Overall Impression: All I have to say is "Anastasia", "Far And Away" and "Bad Rain" some killer songs on there if the album was stolen I'd buy it again and the album is amazing in general. After listening to it 20 times I say that it is great and pretty close to "Appetite" for killer songs. // 9