October 8, 2013 Alter Bridge – Fortress (Album review)
Hard Rockers known as Alter Bridge have been on the music scene for nearly a decade now. They blasted onto the music scene back in 2004 with their first debut album One Day Remains (2004) and fans worldwide immediately took to them. Alter Bridge consists of band members Myles Kennedy (vocalist/guitarist), Mark Tremonti (guitarist/vocalist), Brian Marshall (bassist), and Scott Phillips (drummer). This band is not just any sort of band. They are brothers and best friends who not only love what they do but have the biggest love and appreciation for every single one of their fans worldwide. Alter Bridge has just recently released their fourth studio album produced by Michael Elvis Baskette and Jef Moll. The album is entitled Fortress, which has been one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year, has gotten a lot of buzz not only from the band’s legions of fans worldwide but by the entire music industry as well.
The first track on the album is called “Cry of Achilles” which starts out with an acoustic jazzy vibe sound to it. It then drives straight into an explosive track that ends up being a relentless yet powerful rhythm song. A song sure to knock your socks off with amazing vocalization skills by Myles Kennedy. The bands lead single off of the album is the second track and it is called “Addicted to Pain”, an energized explosive packed song with some amazing hard driven guitar solos from Mark Tremonti. The next track off of the album is called “Bleed it Dry” which continues to show the bands energy in this album with a heavy intro and takes Myles Kennedy’s vocalization skills to the test. Truly a powerful track. “Lover” is the next song on the album. What makes this song unique is that it is far different than any song that Alter Bridge has ever written before. The reason being is because this track was originally written and stashed away with Myles Kennedy’s previous band Mayfield Four that was never produced. It’s an amazing track that certainly shows Myles Kennedy’s vocalization skills and how emotional and powerful that can be all into one. It’s a song that instantly draws you in and will get you hooked.
The next track is a complete 180 degree turn from the previous song off of the record. This song called “The Uninvited” starts out with an eerie echo sound then dives right into a hard hitting sound. What makes this track unique but very cool is that it somewhat resembles Tool’s hit song “Schism”, which only adds to the amazing and powerful musical talent that the band can deliver seemingly without any effort. “Peace Is Broken” has one of the fastest tempo rhythms off of any song from the album but it is delivered perfectly and flawlessly. It’s a very melodic, heavy, and harmonizing song. The following track from the record is called “Calm the Fire” which showcases Myles Kennedy’s spiritual falsetto and his unbelievable vocalization range. This song also showcases some of the most unbelievable guitar riffs that Mark Tremonti can deliver as well. This is truly a powerful song that will go over well with the fans.
“Waters Rising” will be a very special treat for fans of the band as guitarist Mark Tremonti takes lead in the vocals in this song. What is great about this track is that the trade off duo with Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy mixed with their dynamic and signature guitar playing really make this track stand out on the album. It’s a great treat that will certainly go over extremely well with the fans. The following tracks on the album are possibly the heaviest songs on the album. They are called “Farther Than the Sun” and “Cry a River”. Both tracks are solid rock songs with some dynamic guitar solos and even highlights that showcases some of hard hitting drumming skills that Scott Phillips can deliver. Also highlighted is the dynamic signature bass playing from Brian Marshall. Both tracks allow Myles Kennedy to continue to show off his vocal range as well as being able to show what new and unique skills he has picked up after being on tour with Rock N’ Roll icon Slash. These tracks will certainly be favorites that fans will love to hear played live and will be instant fan favorites off of the record.
“All Ends Well” is the second to the last track on the record and is one song that brings the band back to its very roots. It’s the melodic song off of the record that yet again allows Myles Kennedy’s vocals to really shine. It’s a great song with a clear, simple, and direct message that everyone can personally relate too on some level. This track is one that fans will be most eager to hear played live from the band. The final track off of the album is also the title track to the album “Fortress”. This track is the epitome of the album that showcases the musical talent that Alter Bridge can deliver into one amazing song. It showcases the various melodies and dynamic signature styles that each band member can deliver. An outstanding track that certainly ranks up there with “Blackbird” as being one of the best songs the band has delivered.
Fortress is a phenomenal record that long time fans of Alter Bridge, as well as new fans, will no doubt love. Alter Bridge took a big risk diverging from their signature sound from their previous records that fans have come to know and love, but they have surpassed all expectations with this record. They have created something the music world will no doubt enter into the books as being one of the top ranking albums for generations to come. This record will no doubt appease all genres of rock music fans from Hard Rock, Soft Rock, and Alternative Rock. Truly this album is one of the best solid rock albums that has been seen in the past decade and no question that it is certainly worth the title of “Album of the Year”. Cryptic Rock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars!
Written by Lee Letarte Jr