Apocalyptic Love (Deluxe Edition) – Slash

Apocalyptic Love is a personal favorite of mine. It’s just fantastic to hear Slash rip through those constant expertly written riffs, and there’s no comparison for Myles Kennedy’s wild, banshee-like vocals. Sure, the same goes for World on Fire (especially “30 Years to Life”), and Slash’s self-titled debut album is also always fantastic (especially “Sahara”), but this album stands out for its range. The title track is bright and poppy, focusing on a major-key wah-wah pedal riff that pins down a terrific set of blues harmonies. The album’s biggest hit, “Anastasia”, is a desperate neoclassical ballad which developed out of Slash’s cataclysmic live solos; its melodies are complex, its progressions have resonated for centuries, and its passion is wildly infectious. “Halo” is the best 12/8 song I’ve ever heard, stuffed with wild riffs that utilize the triplets to their full potential and harmony fluttering between F and Ab major. Truth is, every song on this album is fantastic, because they wield a common and winning set of musical devices. Slash generally sticks to major chords in minor scales, creating a tension within the harmony simply by using the most harmonious chords and the most interesting scales. Myles Kennedy’s vocals are always emotive and unique, and his melodies are always interesting, usually moving in and out of syncopation. Slash’s riffs are always spectacularly written, serving as exciting, engaging countermelodies that intensify the harmony and mess with the rhythm. Throw in a couple awesome key changes (like on “Carolina” and “Crazy Life”) and some blindingly fast rhythms (like on the aptly named “Hard & Fast” and “One Last Thrill”) and you’ve got a recipe for success. Go jam out to this fantastic album, and feel free to check out the commentary track, because there’s a lot to think about here.

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