Dik Hayd International (label)
28 May 2012 (released)
28 May 2012
Slash’s second solo album, Apocalyptic Love, just pours more salt into the wounds because it’s not a Guns N’ Roses or Velvet Revolver release. Slash is one of our greatest living guitarists, but he’ll never be one of our finest solo artists.
Apocalyptic Love is basically Slash’s regular road band in the studio. Myles Kennedy is the lead singer throughout just as he’s the primary vocalist whenever Slash tours. Slash’s previous self-titled solo release received the star treatment. Guys like Chris Cornell, Kid Rock, M. Shadows and Ozzy Osbourne all took turns playing lead singer. This collective at least made things interesting because these are all assertive, individualistic vocalists. Kennedy’s a passable singer; just not a distinctive one. In concert, Kennedy sings all those great Guns N’ Roses songs because, well, somebody’s got to sing the words, right?
Nothing particularly noteworthy happens on this new disc. Sure, Slash plays like a monster all over it, as he always does. However, it’s a lot like a Jeff Beck solo outing because these are only as interesting as the folks that surround Mr. Beck. If Rod Stewart is in the house, for instance, we perk up and pay attention. If it’s just another rock singer, though, we don’t really care.
About the only relatively memorable moment on this new work is “Anastasia,” which was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” It’s the sort of inclusion that makes one wish Slash would have recorded Slash Plays the Classics, instead. Then, at least, we’d have a lot of quality, familiar tunes to dig on.
Slash does his best marking time between major bands with this album, which is okay for now. It’s a time killer, however, rather than a meaningful statement. Apocalyptic Love may not be the end of the world, but it sort of feels like it when you consider what might have been, instead.