Slash has been at this for a long time and while most people love his contributions to Guns ‘N Roses far more than anything else he has done, I have to admit that later-era Slash is quickly becoming my favorite version. For a quick Slash history lesson, he started out in Guns ‘N Roses (instead of Tracii Guns who went on to form LA Guns), and when Axl Rose did Axl Rose things and G’N’R (at least it’s most popular incarnation) disbanded. Slash went on to form Slash’s Snakepit (which bares quite the resemblance to his current work) and then formed the supergroup Velvet Revolver with Duff and Matt from G’N’R as well as vocalist and heroin cautionary tale Scott Weiland. I have a feeling, if Weiland had not done Weiland things, that Velvet Revolver would still be going today. Alas that was not the case and Slash ventured out on his own. His initial solo album was a collaborative effort, everyone from Ozzy to Lemmy to Fergie played a role. It was here that the current incarnation of the band was formed when he partnered with Myles Kennedy. That brings us to now and the band of Slash; Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
I’m not going to lie, I was never a huge Myles Kennedy fan, even during my review of Apocalyptic Love upon its release I mentioned how I was unimpressed by the vocals. Myles grew on me every time I listened to that album (and it was a lot) and while I will never count him as one of my favorite vocalists, his presence on World on Fire was not as jarring as it was on the initial playthroughs of Apocalyptic Love. His range as a vocalist is incredible and he meshes with Slash and the Conspirators better than anyone save maybe Axl Rose.
As good as Kennedy is on this album (as well as the Conspirators, let’s not discount their contribution) this is a Slash album through and through. The guitar work is beautiful throughout, with a very Iron Maiden-esque galloping guitar style playing a prominent role on the last two albums. Not that Slash has changed his style at all, but I have definitely noticed that style more with this band. Slash has grown as a guitar player throughout his various projects (and that’s saying a lot for someone that was a legend after his first G’N’R album) and I have enjoyed seeing that journey, and conversely, can’t wait to see where it goes next.
While the album is good, it definitely has an Apocalyptic Love – Side B feel to it. I am hard-pressed to find anything too new or different on this album. This is not a bad thing at all, who really wants to reinvent themselves every two years or so, but in terms of the tracks on Apocalyptic Love and those on World on Fire, it feels like they were written at the same time and then split, almost like Use Your Illusion I and II, an inadvertent double album so to speak. To be honest, that is perfectly fine with me, the more music Slash releases, the happier everyone will be. Now to just get him to tour around the Central New York area…