When we caught former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy back in June, we knew World On Fire would be something truly exceptional. Our evening consisted of an indulgence of Slash’s immense acoustic guitar talents teamed with Myles’ celestial vocal chords to give us a teaser of what the duo’s second album together had in store. In other words, it got us excited, very excited. Did we mention it was at the House of Commons too!? We held on tight and for doing so, a treat consisting of 17 first-class rock anthems has greeted us. Its time for you to meet, World On Fire.
The album opens with previously released self-titled track ‘World On Fire’. Its a fortified gutsy rock recipe of Myles’ impeccable vocal range mixed with ounces of musical flair accompaniment. In other words, its exactly what an opener should be. Its easy to hear the track’s classic rock influences in its bridges, melodies and riffs, but bases itself in a modern context. This filters into track ‘Shadow Life’ which takes on a more solemn tone. At first anyway. Myles teases you with delicate delight as percussion kicks into seduction.
Its tough in some respects to choose highlights from a 17 track stronghold as this album lacks not a flaw, nor inconsistency. It doesn’t try too hard, its just that superb of its own natural accord. On a surprising note however, World On Fire excels in epic proportions during its moments of ballad beauty. ‘Bent To Fly’ is a tame creature in terms of its placid guitar work, but not in terms of vocality. These tracks are where Myles Kennedy surpasses every expectation. If ‘Battleground’ isn’t enough to give you a goosebump or two, then pump up the volume and try again. Trust us.
Don’t worry though, the hard rock tracks are still up there, and they’re just as fearsome and awe-inspiring. ‘Withered’ has a groove in its step that carries Slash’s lead guitar intense as it opens. ‘Dirty Girl’ has a heavy attitude throughout which moves the album away from your expected Guns N’ Roses sound that occasionally crops up, all be it that we love a dash of that. But where this album really scores is in its instrumental track ‘Safari Inn’. Its Slash’s moment of glory to show that he’s no amateur in this field, but a fortified genius.
As World On Fire closes with just under seven minutes of classic-modern infused rock excellence in the form of ‘The Unholy’, its clear this duo work together in amazing harmony, and with The Conspirators in the mix, its something to really take notice of. Myles Kennedy is the star of this record, and with vocals so exceptional, its hard to challenge that. That alone is enough to create perfection, but add Slash too, and you’ve got yourself one of the best albums you’ll hear for a long time.