Slash – Orgy Of The Damned Review

Slash's Return to Blues: In 2023, Slash reunited with former collaborators to release Orgy Of The Damned, an All-Stars covers album paying homage to the blues genre that influenced...

Gibson Records

Release: 17 May 2024

 

Tracklist:

The Pusher feat. Chris Robinson (vocal and harmonica)
Written by Wayne Hoyt Axton
Crossroad Blues feat. Gary Clark Jr (vocal, rhythm guitar, and solo)
Written by Robert Leroy Johnson
Hoochie Coochie Man feat. Billy F. Gibbons (vocal, rhythm guitar, and solo)
Written by Willie Dixon
Oh Well feat. Chris Stapleton (vocal)
Written by Peter Alan Green
Key to the Highway feat. Dorothy (vocal)
Written by Charles Segar, William Broonzy
Awful Dream feat. Iggy Pop (vocal)
Written by Sam (Lightnin’) Hopkins, Clarence Lewis, C Morgan Robinson
Born Under a Bad Sign feat. Paul Rodgers (vocal)
Written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones
Papa Was a Rolling Stone feat. Demi Lovato (vocal)
Written by Barrett Strong, Jesse Norman Whitfield
Killing Floor feat. Brian Johnson (vocal)
Written by Chester Burnett
Special guest Steven Tyler on harmonica
Living for the City feat. Tash Neal (vocal)
Written by Stevie Wonder
Special guest background vocals: Jenna Bell, Jessie Payo
Stormy Monday feat. Beth Hart (vocal)
Written by T-Bone Walker
Metal Chestnut
Written by Slash

 

Slash’s involvement in the blues genre is not a recent development. In 1996, following his departure from Guns N’ Roses, the renowned guitarist formed Slash’s Blues Ball and embarked on an international tour. Although a complete album never came to fruition, the blues’ influence is evident in his subsequent solo works. In 2023, Slash reunited with former collaborators, bassist Johnny Griparic and keyboardist Teddy Andreadis, to revisit his blues roots. Drummer Michael Jerome also joined the permanent studio lineup, and instead of seeking a new vocalist, they decided to create an All-Stars album. This album features prominent vocalists from the realms of blues, hard rock, and pop rock. The recently released Orgy Of The Damned is a covers album, paying homage to the influential genre that shaped the evolution of rock and metal in the sixties.

The selection of songs covered by Slash and his band is equally intriguing. Orgy Of The Damned includes blues standards like “Hoochie Coochie Man” (written by Willie Dixon and first performed by Muddy Waters) and “Crossroads” (originally known as “Cross Road Blues,” first recorded by Robert Johnson in 1936). Additionally, it features blues derivatives such as “The Pusher” (first performed by Steppenwolf and often characterized as “acid rock”) and “Living For The City” (Stevie Wonder’s exploration of funk and soul). Slash approached these legendary songs with reverence and attention to detail: each track on the album sounds vibrant, energetic, and fresh, underscoring the timelessness of great music. While some may critique the lack of novel interpretation, it’s important to appreciate that these tracks are iconic, and Slash intentionally preserved their original essence. Furthermore, radical reinterpretations might have been met with resistance from a fanbase that reveres the foundational elements of rock.

The roster of vocalists is indeed impressive. The album features the likes of Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Iggy Pop (solo, The Stooges, The Trolls), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Gary Clark Jr., Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Chris Stapleton (solo, The SteelDrivers, The Jompson Brothers), Dorothy Martin (Dorothy), and Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, The Firm, The Law, Queen + Paul Rodgers). Such a distinguished lineup is the envy of many musicians. A notable inclusion is Demi Lovato, primarily known for her pop career, who has recently ventured into hard rock. Surprisingly, Demi blends seamlessly into the album’s musical landscape and delivers an outstanding performance on “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” (originally by The Undisputed Truth; a classic soul piece).

Identifying standout tracks is challenging, but “Born Under a Bad Sign” (originally by Albert King), “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” and “Killing Floor” are exceptional highlights. However, Orgy Of The Damned is devoid of any weak performances. Albums like Orgy Of The Damned are akin to a festive celebration – they may not revolutionize the music industry, but they provide an exhilarating listening experience, leaving behind a sense of joy and triumph. Listening to this album evokes the feeling of attending a star-studded concert event where the music flows effortlessly. So, relax and prepare to be entertained.

While this album may not be essential listening, as it is a collection of covers, it would be exciting to see Slash follow this release with original blues compositions. Nevertheless, Orgy Of The Damned excels in all aspects – an excellent selection of songs and guest vocalists, meticulous handling of classic material, and a palpable energy. As stated at the outset, this album is a true celebration: loud, dynamic, and unforgettable.

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Ratings: 8/10

 

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