After their well received ‘III’ album and Myles Kennedy gaining yet more exposure as part of Slash’s band, Alter Bridge are back and the expectations are high for this new album. Fear not as they have all their key musical building blocks in place and add a few more treats, including the heaviest playing they have done to date on songs like ‘Bleed It Dry’ or ‘Peace Is Broken’.
Much of this is down to the playing of Mark Tremonti who lays down the big riffs with ease and tops of the songs with just the right amount of guitar solos. ‘Addicted To Pain’ has been released as an airplay song and a wise move as it the most instant song on the album and loving the chorus and the guitar solo midway through. I’d be very surprised if this song didn’t quickly establish itself as a live favourite.
‘All Ends Well’ is the nearest we get to a ballad and again Myles Kennedy’s vocals soar into an uplifting chorus. They seem to produce songs like this so effortlessly it must make other bands weep and decide to give up! ‘Lover’ also allows the band and listener some breathing space, as Kennedy gives an almost whispered vocal at the start before the familiar soaring and impassioned vocals kick in.
The title track is interesting as the band head off in a progressive mood midway through and lyrically it is one of the album’s strongest songs. ‘Cry Of Achilles’ has a Led Zep feel as an acoustic intro builds nicely into a monster riff and chorus. The band show on both of these songs that they have ideas to keep pushing their musical boundaries.
Now by their fourth album bands are either often happy to stick in a groove they and their fans are happy with or they may fancy experimenting, not so Alter Bridge who take what they are good at and they max it up be it the soaring vocals or the intense guitar riffs. Time and repeated plays will tell but for me this could beat their awesome ‘Blackbird’ album, currently my favourite Alter Bridge album. You really need to listen to this band if you haven’t already, as along with Shinedown one of the best new bands to emerge in the modern metal/rock genre these past few years.
Review by Jason Ritchie
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Power Plays w/c 9 October
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