Mark Tremonti‘s contribution to the writing in Alter Bridge is none more clearer than when listening to his solo albums. The second of these, “Cauterize”, again adopts a greater emphasis on Tremonti‘s heavy metal influences. Without the restraint of Myles Kennedy it is evident how influential metal is on his songwriting and this comes to explosive fruition on “Cauterize”.
The album draws on speed metal notably and immediately explores this in the opening track ‘Radical Change’, yet, as evident in this song, it isn’t simply about speed; the chorus is more traditional than what we’d expect from Tremonti. The album isn’t predominantly this formula of speed riffs and catchy choruses; ‘Flying Monkeys’ features a slower riff but is not as brooding as one may expect. It’s still in the same vein as Alter Bridge but with a greater shift to the heavier side. Tremonti‘s aggressive vocal style too takes this classic rock album into darker territory.
The metal influence does make up the framework but doesn’t force itself into prominence all of the time. The title track is an example of how Tremonti restrains himself for most of the song (definitely not all).
Tremonti definitely does better himself by having a notable writer like Kennedy on his side. On his own, however, he is still more than talented enough to deliver a full force rock album and one that can be enjoyed many times on repeat. It doesn’t wholly lack anything but nothing is deafeningly exceptional here, aside from the guitar solos, obviously.