After some time in the works, Guns N’ Roses new song “The General” is finally released. The unreleased song from the Chinese Democracy era has been the topic of many discussions. The song is released as side B of their limited edition vinyl containing their previous single, “Perhaps“. The vinyl was available for preorder back in August. Last month, Guns N’ Roses performed this single for the first time live during their two-day performance in the Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl. While “The General” is a solid effort, it doesn’t quite capture the original style and skill of Guns N’ Roses.
Despite the comeback of their former members, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, back in 2016, the band truly struggled for five years until they released new songs. Subsequently, in 2021 they released their singles “Hard Skool” and “Absurd” as their first “new” material since the band reunion. According to their guitarist Slash, they have been reworking several other tracks.
“There are a handful of songs that we fixed up and did when we were in lockdown” Slash stated in an interview with “Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk“.
“Those have yet to be released. Those are gonna come out. They’re really good, too. I’m excited for those. We’re just gonna put out like one or two songs, and another one or two songs. And I think that’s gonna be pretty much all of them. I’m not sure exactly how many we did in total.”
When the new studio album of Guns N’ Roses comes out, if it comes out, it will be the first official release since “Chinese Democracy”.
This song provides a different vision than what we are used to from Guns N’ Roses until now. The tune itself radiates with dark and foreboding energy which perfectly matches Axl’s voice. His wide range of voice and falsetto perfectly display the pain expressed in the lyrics. The slow-burning melody resembles something from the trip-hop genre. As the distorted slow-mo chorus goes it gives a perfect canvas for Rose’s gorgeous voice to run wild and blend with Slash’s guitar. At the pinnacle and end of the song, Slash’s guitar and Axl’s voice combine and display an almost ethereal sound.
Additionally, this song just goes to show that Axl’s artistry and vision have been genius since the very beginning. It displays a wide range of emotions portraying the lyrics perfectly. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most imaginative songs that has finally seen the light of day.
In an interview in 2008 a former Skid Row frontman, Sebastian Bach, mentioned this song as his favorite. As one of Axl Rose’s close friends he just had to mention it.
Bach said, “One of my favorite songs is this song called “The General“, which is so… it’s by far the heaviest metal tune I think I’ve ever heard Axl do, this slow, grinding riff with these high, piercing vocals, screaming vocals.”
Though this new Guns N’ Roses song isn’t the same as their classic repertoire. It stands to show that after all this time they are still bold risk-takers. They are in the studio working hard, experimenting, and trying to put their vision on canvas. We hope that they decide to put out a new album in the near future. We wait for it eagerly.