Many guitarists are identifiable, but few (if any) are as iconic as Slash. From his signature top hat and long hair to the scream of his Les Paul, there are few people on earth that couldn’t pick Slash out of a line-
2010 brought Slash’s return to the studio via a collaborative self titled album which brought with it a number of big name vocalists ranging from Fergie to Chris Cornell. ‘Slash’ was a great record that easily made it into many top album lists for 2010. The diverse cast of voices lent itself to a considerably different sound than most people were expecting from the man in the top hat. Given its compilation format, there was only one thing lacking on ‘Slash’ which kept it from having that true album feel: continuity. If you loved ‘Slash’ or felt the same way, fret not as you’ll get to have your compilation cake and eat the continuity one too as ‘Apocalyptic Love’ perfectly adds in the missing ingredient.
‘Apocalyptic Love’ covers a decent amount of ground in terms of content. Most of the songs are quicker with big drums, soaring vocals, and great driving rhythms (lest we forget an excellent solo or two worked into each one). One thing they’re all packing is a confident, guitar fueled stance. The style couples well with the sound Slash and The Conspirators were going for; an ‘In the Moment’ record that sounded as live in the studio as it would on stage. During the recording process the band played together as they recorded, while Slash played from his unique isolation chamber deemed the “SLASH BOX” to record his parts [Click to see the Slash Box in action] . All tracks were recorded on analog tape, any imperfections that were captured were left in. No Pro Tools fixes, just rock n’ roll being cranked out in its purest form.
Slash found a way to work in a few different flavors on the album while still keeping a great flow from track to track. He plays the blues on “Far and Away” and flirts with them again on “Not For Me”. In one of the smoothest guitar jams I’ve heard in years, he mellows things out on “We Will Roam”. Thankfully Slash also doesn’t shy away from his roots as he turns back the clock on “Standing in the Sun”, “You’re a Lie”, and “Halo”. These three tracks will bring you back to the late 80’s when GNR was delivering the death blow to glam rock. All three are unapologetic and perfectly fronted by Myles Kennedy.
Speaking of which, one of the unexpected finds on ‘Apocalyptic Love’ was a chance to hear a different side of Myles. Much of his Alter Bridge work is dark, looming, and foreboding. His voice lends itself well to that type of song, but hearing him belt out notes to more upbeat songs like “One Last Thrill” or “No More Heroes” was a revealing change and an excellent showcase of his true talent. Interestingly enough, Slash isn't the only one that sounds like he is delving into his early years, parts of 'Apocalyptic Love' are also reminiscent of a throwback for Myles as well. Fans that have followed him from his early days will find “Not For Me” to sound like something that could have easily come straight off of The Mayfield Four’s ‘Second Skin’. His vocals deliver a passion and emotion to the song that few could match; the same could be said for “Far and Away”. Given the notoriety he is quickly gaining through the continued success of Alter Bridge and his work with Slash, it’s hard to call him the most under-
If your time is limited and you just need to have a good dose of Slash, make “Anastasia” your first stop. This is an epic guitar track from the first note to the last. Myles and The Conspirators do their part, but this is one track that could have probably stood on its own without any vocals. No knock on the great lyrics Myles skillfully delivers, but in a lot of ways they’re merely there to bridge the solos. Slash absolutely shreds for all six minutes of this track, wrapping it up with a monster instrumental finish assisted by Brent Fitz’s drums. Of all the guitar tracks on ‘Apocalyptic Love’, “Anastasia” is THE guitar track.
For a man of few words, Slash says a ton with ‘Apocalyptic Love’. He and The Conspirators focused on creating a pure live sound in the studio that deliberately avoided striving for sonic and technical perfection. Based on the final cut, it ended up being the equation for rock perfection instead.
Click to see where this album ranked in 2012!
As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com