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Promo Image

Label: Fret 12

Release Date: April 29, 2016

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

It seems everything Mark Tremonti touches turns to gold, from his days in Creed (where things actually went beyond gold to platinum) to Alter Bridge and self-named project Tremonti.  On his third release – Dust – he has outdone himself once again.  “My Last Mistake” gets the disc rolling with killer chugging guitars, pounding drums, and heavy handed bass lines.  The addition of Tremonti’s vocals to the musical accompaniment and we get an awesome introduction to this disc.  “The Cage” is another rocker that kicks the doors off the hinges from the first notes and doesn’t let up.  The drumming from Garrett Whitlock keeps the song moving without getting away from itself.  The vocals show off a little higher range than we normally get from Mark, and it’s awesome.  Title track “Dust” delivers one of the most emotionally driven lyrics Mark has written or recorded under any moniker in a long time.  The guitars from Tremonti and Eric Friedman perfectly support the vocals and help convey the message and levity of the material.  While one of the milder tracks on the disc, this is one of my favorites.  “Tore My Heart Out” starts off with the classic Mark Tremonti guitar sound that has graced Number 1 singles, merging the past with the current.  The mini solos dropped in the song are fun to listen to as well.  The vocals are simple and straight forward while the bass lines from Wolfgang Van Halen help pull things together in the lower part of the mix.  “Never Wrong” has different sounds and textures stamped all over it, but that is the magic that allows the song to fit within the range of songs on the disc.  The chorus is catchy musically and instantly gets the head banging and the foot tapping.  While less hectic in tempo, this song has all the intensity and direction of any track on the collection.

“Once Dead” is a heavier track sonically, from the killer breakneck pace of the drums to Van Halen’s furious bottom end on bass.  The guitar solo at the bridge stands out as one of the better on the disc.  The song has different textures and tones woven through it, demonstrating the bands ability to deliver diversity in a single tune.  “Betray Me” is another heavy track that benefits from spectacular drumming from Whitlock and guitar riffs woven through it that showcase the dual tone Tremonti and Friedman can generate when they work together.  The cadence of this track is solid, while the vibe ebbs and flows between the verses, the choruses, and the bridge.  “Catching Fire” unfolds with a classic metal sound – a bit slowed and heavy – but soon morphs into a modern metal track with nuances the give hints to some of Mark’s influences and musical likes.  The groove of the track is carried by Wolfgang’s bass at the second verse, while the guitar presents a comfortable chugging sound throughout.  “Rising Storm” keeps the tempo about the same while bringing in heavier drumming from Garrett and some shredding from Tremonti.  The vocals are tight and perfectly matched for the groove created by the guitars and rhythm section.  Disc closer “Unable To See” takes you back to the early part of Mark’s recorded career with a beautiful guitar opening that turns to a duet with his vocals.  Most bands wouldn’t want to close a disc on a bit of a softer note, but with a song this strong, you have nothing to lose.  The vocals are some of the best on the disc, as is the vibe created by the band as a unit.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to hear some of these songs played live and blended with other songs from the bands two previous releases.

Tracklisting: My Last Mistake – The Cage – Once Dead – Dust – Betray Me – Tore My Heart Out – Catching Fire – Never Wrong – Rising Storm – Unable To See






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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