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On disc: Alter Bridge



AB III - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Fortress - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


www.alterbridge.com







Fortress

Fortress
(Roadrunner Records - 2013)


Alter Bridge delivering about all 3 years a new album which is quite okay as they tour extensively - and have other project. Fortress is their 4th studio album and it was recorded between late April and early July in their hometown Orlando, Florida.

They kick off with Cry Of Achilles, a 6:30 minute long tune which starts with acoustic guitar, but then explodes and becomes a heavy, riff-based tune which should satisfy even metal heads. Soon it abruptly stops and you realize that the long track is over. Quite unusual to kick off with one of the longest tracks of the album, but it works for the Alter Bridge boys. Again singer / guitarist Miles Kennedy and guitarist Mark Tremonti manage to pursue their unique sound while getting heavier and darker with every album.

They did a video for Addicted To Pain, so I recommend to check out the official video!





And with Bleed It Dry they get even heavier! Heavy riffs and Miles Kennedy's hypnotic vocals will make you fall for this one right away! The awesome foursome uses breaks and tempi changes to keep the listeners attention. And they know how to surprise the listener. Next in line is Lover which starts with acoustic guitars and Kennedy's soft vocals, then becomes a bluesy rocker which gets a dark edge due to the vocals. Later they return to the opening theme just to storm off again. At The Uninvited they stick to their guns and I don't mean this in a negative way! But Peace Is Broken has a progish edge while being highly catchy. Slowly begins Calm The Fire and Miles Kennedy surprises the listener with falsetto vocals, but as the tune gets heavy he returns to his usual vocal style. For me this one is among the highlights of the album, even if there are no fillers. It would be a great pick for a video, coz it's powerful and enchanting.

Waters Rising sticks out, coz guitarist Mark Tremonti takes over the lead vocals, not such a big surprise as he did the singing on his solo album. The voices of the guitarists work well together at the chorus, I do hope that in future they share vocal duties more often.

Farther Than The Sun and Cry A River don't stick out, but are more than just average tunes! With All Ends Well they present a balladesque song where Kennedy can shine once more with his emotional vocals. The closer is the title track Fortress and it's the longest tune on this disc. It gives the band a lot of space to tell their story with twists and turns. Great lead guitar part in the mid-section, just before getting back to the basic theme - just to slow down a little later. In a way the title track gives a good idea about the album.

It's always worth waiting for another Alter Bridge album, coz somehow the guys manage to top every release. Well done!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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AB III

AB III
(Roadrunner Records - 2010)


It's been 3 years since Alter Bridge released their second album Blackbird. Now their 3rd album is ready to hit the stores and again Michael Baskette took care of the production.

Slowly they kick off with Slip To The Void, Myles Kennedy almost whispers the first words, but then they head into a heavy progressive metal tune. Lyrically the songs are loosely tied, not a real concept album, but all songs are about the struggle with faith and believes. And so the songs are dark without being melancholy. Isolation is a guitar-driven rocker with a great hookline. An ear catcher! No surprise it was the first single off AB III.

Less metallic is Ghost Of Days Gone By, a bit moody but with a spark of hope in the music. Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti offer heavy riffs and melodic leads while bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips deliver the rhythmic basis. One of the highlights is All Hope Is Gone, even if it's quite different. The opening part has a Tull-ish atmosphere, almost as Alter Bridge took a Jethro Tull tune and changed it into a heavy rocker in the Alter Bridge way. Very cool.

With Make It Right they should please fans of alternative rock, especially with it's slow melancholy passages. Wonderful Life is an enchanting ballad. Touching.

Time for another heavy, riff-based rocker! I Know It Hurts will win you over the first time you hear it. And again Kennedy / Tremonti show their skills on the guitar. After the rockers Show Me A Sign and Fallout the Floridians offer a balladesque rocker called Breathe Again. Coeur d'Alene starts slowly, then a heavy guitar-driven part - and they slow down again. A sonic roller coaster ride and definitely one of the highlights off AB III. After Life Must Go On they present the closer Words Darker Then Their Wings. And this emotional tune will touch you! And make you play the album again!

Actually you can pick any 2 songs, you won't find a filler! Perhaps not every one is a killer, but it's more a matter of taste then a lack of quality or craftsmanship.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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