First Reaction: Alter Bridge — "Fortress"
Tue, 03 Sep 2013 10:28:09
It feels like Alter Bridge's moment. That's our first reaction from hearing Fortress.
Myles Kennedy's coming off a successful album with Slash and worldwide tour, and Mark Tremonti shook up the metal world with his long-overdue solo album All I Was last year. Of course, Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips are also hot off a big Creed tour as well.
For the uninitiated in AB Nation, Alter Bridge led its most successful campaign to date with 2010's masterful AB III, culminating in a sold out show at Wembley Arena in the UK. Lest we forget, they even sold out places such as the House of Blues in West Hollywood. Los Angeles couldn't be any more anti-rock these days, and that's how on fire Alter Bridge are. That fire hasn't dwindled on Fortress either. In fact, it burns brighter than ever.
Fortress commences with the classically influenced furious finger-picking of "Cry of Achilles" which quickly builds into a modern thrash epic. Its towering rhythms and incendiary riffing temper raw grooves with some of the most impressive playing you'll hear all year. Crossing the six-minute mark, it's clear that Alter Bridge are erecting more of a castle than a Fortress right out the gate. First single "Addicted to Pain" coasts from a stadium-size refrain into fret-burning soloing—some of the best in the game. Kennedy and Tremonti stand out as a formidable duo. From the former's monumental range and impeccable six-string work to Tremonti's metallic mastery, it's a dream team on the likes of "Bleed it Dry" and "The Uninvited".
Alter Bridge still know how to slow things down for the lighters to come out. That happens most elegantly on "Lover", which has big single potential, while "Peace Is Broken" boasts a massive hook. Tremonti's own powerful voice drives "Waters Rising" adding another dimension to the record. Throughout, Marshall and Phillips hold down the foundation in an airtight synchronicity.
The finale of "All Ends Well" and "Fortress" leaves an ominous bookend upon this downright amazing journey. It's metal at its finest. It's also Alter Bridge at their best. Hole up in this Fortress and experience a milestone hard rock record. They've joined the likes of Metallica, Alice in Chains, and Pantera at the top…
What's your favorite Alter Bridge song? Will you be getting Fortress on October 8?