Slash / Orgy Of The Damned A Star-Studded Blues Masterpiece

Orgy Of The Damned is not your traditional blues album title. But Saul Hudson, aka Slash, the legendary top-hatted Guns N’ Roses six-stringer, has never run with the crowd and has ripped up the rule book several times.

Slash – Orgy Of The Damned (Gibson Records)

Release Date: Out Now

Words: Brian Boyle

Although Slash emerged with the decadent Sunset Strip scene of the ’80s, the icon, who is a native of Stoke-On-Trent in England, has long been a lover of the blues, thanks to his grandmother who regularly spoon-fed him some BB King as a little ankle biter.

Slash - Orgy Of The Damned album cover
Slash – Orgy Of The Damned

Here, he takes eleven blues gems and puts his own indelible stamp all over them, and being the man that virtually no one would turn down, he has invited along a rogues gallery of rock n’ rollers. Top table royalty like Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Brian Johnson and Paul Rodgers, all artists whose blood flows with this genre, are like kids in a candy store helping to give these tunes a fresh lick of paint. 

And it ain’t no jolly up with the lads. The homage and dedication to these tracks is palpable. Take the wonderful version of Howlin Wolf’s Killing Floor, for example. Brian Johnson’s nailed vocal and the supremely authentic harmonica from Steven Tyler are the work of two iconic frontmen bringing their A-game despite their relatively sideline roles.

Free and Bad Company legend Paul Rodgers could have sung any track on this album with a mouthful of Carolina Reaper chillies and still not knock a note out of place. Hearing him in cruise control on Born Under A Bad Sign just reminds you why he is and will always be the benchmark in blues rock vocals.

Slash - Orgy Of The Damned
Slash – Orgy Of The Damned

Getting the great Billy Gibbons to front a take of Hoochie Coochie Man is near-perfect casting for an album of this nature. Although this doesn’t have the same rawness of the Muddy Waters version, Gibbons’ dirty vocal might be as near as you’re going to get.

Plus the trading of solos between these two grandmasters is pure indulgence. But this isn’t just Slash helping the aged and just recruiting rock ‘n’ roll legends in their golden years. Pop sensation Demi Lovato adds a bit of youthful vigour to Papa Was A Rolling Stone, though not a performance that will overly endear her to blues/soul aficionados, the American songstress does give her all and it’s not without it’s charm.

Covering Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well would, by and large, be considered treading on dangerous ground. Deep Purple on their recent Turning To Crime album tried and failed with their prog-ed up version, but this take with Southern all rounder Chris Stapleton is a way better fit. 

On the whole Slash has spolied us rotten with this collection and appears not to mind at times having his thunder stolen. GNR buddy Gary Clark Jr runs the show on Crossroads, and the consistently engaging Beth Hart mesmerises on T-Bone Walkers Stormy Monday.

But the clear winner in blues authenticity surprisingly goes to post-punk legend Iggy Pop on Awful Dream. His deep growl is gloriously miserable and provides the perfect foil for Slash’s heavy-hearted tones.

Slash has long since shakin’ off his Glam Metal association. He is one of the big knobs now, and this triumphant gathering is concrete evidence. I mean, you wouldn’t see a potential C.C. DeVille blues album attracting this kind of golden ensemble.

Slash has invited you to a Blues orgy. Leave your keys in the bowl.

Sleeve Notes

Sign up for the MetalTalk Newsletter, an occasional roundup of the best Heavy Metal News, features and pictures curated by our global MetalTalk team.

More in Heavy Metal

Comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Search MetalTalk

MetalTalk Venues

MetalTalk Venues - The Devil's Dog Digbeth
MetalTalk Venues – The Green Rooms Live Music and Rehearsal
The Patriot, Crumlin - The Home Of Rock
Interview: Christian Kimmett, the man responsible for getting the bands in at Bannerman's Bar
Cart & Horses, London. Birthplace Of Iron Maiden
The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

New Metal News