Darker, heavier and more attitude; Alter Bridge have delivered yet again. This time, an album rammed full with Stadium filling metal anthems… Avenged Sevenfold take note, this is really how it should be done. This is III‘s meaner, moodier big brother.
The incendiary first single from the album “Addicted To Pain” lies in wait, following possibly the finest opening to an Alter Bridge album so far. “Cry Of Achilles” is belting, a real gem in itself with its Blackbird-esque tones, leading to a frantic monster of a future classic. “Bleed It Dry” maintains the intensity, Mark Tremonti gallops across the fretboard as Myles Kennedy’s haunting vocals cement his status as one of the finest rock vocalists of our time.
Lesson number two in Stadium Rock is delivered in the form of “Lover”. Arms will be wrapped around partners, as Kennedy and Co slow the pace for the big “lighters in the air” ballad. Spot on in its slow burn and huge crescendo. Whilst Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy are the star strikers of the Alter Bridge team, every quality unit needs a solid base, and luckily AB have that in spades in the form of Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips. These guys are the unsung heroes, giving an iron clad back-bone and foundation. Tremonti can fill his syncopated boots and Kennedy can soar, as the back-line takes the plaudits with the staccato punch of “The Uninvited”, and the equally urgent “Peace Is Broken”.
“Waters Rising” sees a first from AB, as Tremonti takes the vocal charge, with Kennedy adding passionate layers to the chorus. Kennedy has a greater range, but Tremonti really delivers the edge, giving these Florida behemoths yet another dimension to pull from. This album is the complete package, it is a journey, a complete experience, taking you through the full arsenal of Alter Bridge weaponry. Each track stands alone as excellent in it’s own right. Put it together as an album and it really is bang on the money.
As the album heads towards its conclusion you have the “radio written all over it” track, “All Ends Well”, completely immersing you in classic Alter Bridge territory. The perfect TV montage tune, to help pull on emotions. The title track “Fortress” brings proceedings to a close, this brings back the Blackbird-eque elements of the album opener, neatly completing the package offering symmetry and closure to all that has gone before.
This album will be devoured by the legion of existing AB fans, and will no doubt scoop up many more in its wake. Quite simply it is superb, a must have, and with the forthcoming UK tour with Shinedown and Halestorm kicking off in October, the end of the year belongs to Alter Bridge… bet there’s been some conversations with a certain Mr Andy Copping.
Catch Alter Bridge on tour with Shinedown and Halestorm on the following dates:
Wed 16th Oct – NOTTINGHAM Arena
Thu 17th Oct – BIRMINGHAM NIA
Fri 18th Oct – LONDON Wembley Arena
Sun 20th Oct – CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Mon 21st Oct – GLASGOW Hydro
Tue 22nd Oct – MANCHESTER Arena