Feature: Why Mark Tremonti Is The Most Underrated Guitarist In Rock
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 07:56:04
There are few songwriters and shredders that can stand toe-to-toe with Mark Tremonti.
Think about it. The man's Creed output sold over 40 million records worldwide, and that's because some of those tunes remain downright undeniable. He can write hits like few can. You know sing along to "My Own Prison", and "One Last Breath" whenever they come on. Hell, it's impossible not to, and it's not just because of the vocals. You can hum each one of those guitar melodies, licks, and leads. At the same time, he always managed to infuse some notable technicality into each those tracks whether it was fret-burning lead, gnarly rhythm, or explosive riff. That's the essence of rock music. It's about hooks and technicality not just one or the other. Go all the way back to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. Those songs are classics for reason, but they still brandish instrumental prowess.
Let's fast-forward to Alter Bridge. From One Day Remains to Blackbird to AB III to Fortress, Tremonti's playing continually evolves. As he gets heavier, he gets even more hypnotic. Whether it's the epic final title track of Fortress or the dreamy polyrhythmic soundscape of "Slip to the Void", he continually surprises, while impressing. Then, there's Blackbird—every song is an example of pure guitar fireworks, especially "Rise Today".
Fortress might as well be a guitar aficionado's dream it's so complex at times and downright crushing at others. Each of those aforementioned Alter Bridge records functions as a journey in its own right, and it's because of the guitar alchemy between Tremonti and singer and guitarist Myles Kennedy. They are the successors to Metallica, Megadeth, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and all of your favorite guitar-driven bands.
That brings us to his solo record All I Was. It's one of the best metal records of the past decade—hands-down. It sounds like Slayer found A Perfect Circle. The succinct shredding on "You Waste Your Time" and "Wish You Well" simply melts faces, while "Brains" and "Decay" thrive on an entrancing harmonious darkness of "Brains" and "Decay". It's a masterpiece.
Now, you never hear about Tremonti as much as you hear about Jack White, Tom Morello, the dude from The Black Keys, John Petrucci, or countless other famous axe slingers across the board, and that's a shame. Tremonti is the ultimate 21st century player and deserves all the recognition and applause. He'll continually solidify that position when he unleashes his second full-length solo album next year too. We know that for sure…
What's your favorite Tremonti, Creed, or Alter Bridge song?