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There isn't much that hasn't already been said about Slash. His work as Guns N' Roses' guitarist has been analysed and deconstructed a million times over;yet, the big-haired, cigarette-smoking Saul Hudson is not ready to rest on his laurels. After the GNR days, Velvet Revolver and Slash's Snakepit kept him in the spotlight;hence it was a monumental task to ensure that whatever came next would be a supplement rather than a leech. The idea behind this project is fairly well-known by now. Revolver couldn't find a vocalist after Weiland's departure so Slash wanted to 'have some fun'. The fact remains that while questioning Slash's guitar skills would be blasphemous, he cannot sing;and the result is a motley crew of support artistes from Ozzy Osbourne to Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale. Most of the collaborations appear interesting enough on paper, but not so in execution. Instead of asking his vocalist friends to adapt themselves to his style, he adapts himself to theirs, which results in a rather confusing set of various styles, which may not be desirable in a solo album. While Slash takes background and lets Ozzy Osbourne lead in Crucify the Dead, Beautiful Dangerous features the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie trying to be something she's not - a rock singer. Maroon5's Adam Levine too sounds suspicious in Gotten, until Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister rescues the set in Doctor Alibi. Overall, a decent effort, but we can't help noticing that Slash has sacrificed his own style in favour of his collaborators, and considering this is his solo debut, it will be interesting to see how he fares when he hits the road later this year.
Demon Hunter | The World is a Thron
It's dangerous for a metal band to claim that its new album will be 'heavier and more melodic', for the simple reason that if it isn't, the fans will get angry. Thankfully, that's not the case here, but the question arises: Does heavier and more melodic necessarily translate to better ? The World is a Thorn proves that it's not always so. Strangely, the stand-out tracks on this album are the ballads, not the metal ones. The lyrics, in true DH tradition, are rock solid;in fact, this has got to be the only metal band on earth that has survived so long without getting lyrically offensive. Vulgarity is as alien to DH as transparency is to Lalit Modi or reticence to Jairam Ramesh;and the band's loud pro-God stance is obvious.
Bullet for my Valentine | Fever
Few things piss off a true-metal fan than someone telling them that BFMV is the biggest British metal band since Iron Maiden. After sales of over 2 million, the Welsh group's third studio release, Fever, is sure to set temperatures soaring as it qualifies as its best work yet. The aggression seems to have increased from the Scream Aim Fire days, the guitars are still strong and determined, Matthew Tuck's vocals are brilliant, and production is top-notch (Don Gilmore of Linkin Park, Lacuna Coil fame). It begins with Your Betrayal, an arena-like anthem that starts with pounding military drums and guitar riffs that is sure to become a crowd favourite. The best track on the disc is Alone. It begins with an Eddie Van Halen-style legato, an incredibly catchy tune that stands head and shoulders above the rest even in an excellent album. The annoying aspects of this album - first, the lyrics;in true BFMV style where Tuck harps about heartbreak, love and other hardly-metal subjects. Thankfully, the bad lyrics are accompanied by brilliant music which redeems the CD. Second, the band's irksome habit of releasing two versions of its albums;the normal version (the one presently under review), and the deluxe edition, with five additional tracks (why would anyone buy the normal version in the first place?). There are only a couple of ballads here: A place where you belong, which is about suicide, and Bittersweet memories, where Tuck sings about despair and desire. An excellent album that only raises the anticipation for the deluxe edition.
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