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CD REVIEW: ALTER BRIDGE – Fortress

| 25 September 2013 | Reply

alterbridgefortresscd_600

Label: EMI Records

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

There are some bands that seem to get stronger with each release; the same can be said for the latest from Alter Bridge.  Maybe the time apart with outside projects creates a hunger.  “Cry of Achilles” kicks off the disc with a sound that is unlike other AB tracks, but soon the familiar vocals of Myles Kennedy tangle with the guitar stylings of Mark Tremonti and we have the core of a great AB song.  The new direction is a welcome adjustment.  “Addicted to Pain” is a more typical track form the band, but the rhythm section seems heavier and hungrier.  The bass of Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips drumming really stand out on this track.  This song has a cool breakdown that keeps the listener on their toes as it merges into a ripping guitar solo.  “Bleed It Dry” is another track that comes off heavier, but stays true to the feel of Alter Bridge.  The production and song writing really shine on this track, as does the voice of Kennedy.  The guitars and drums keep the song chugging along with tempo changes that enhance the vibe.  “Lover” has a mellow opening that gives the disc a little depth.  The subdued vocals are well suited against the laid back riffs from Tremonti.  The song is as close to a ballad as these guys get and the song only gets better as the vocals and pace of the track cut loose a bit.  “The Uninvited” is another track that deviates from the typical AB fare.  The guitars are more experimental than normal for the band and the rhythm section once again dials up the intensity.  Kennedy’s vocals are the sole reminder this is an Alter Bridge track.  The production on this track keep everything well mixed.  “Peace is Broken” opens with a great bass line from Marshall, pounding drums from Phillips, and more great guitar work.  The vocals are soaring and the chorus is infectious.  This song should be a great track live to get the crowd cranked up.

“Calm the Fire” is a total right turn for the band.  The opening feel of this track is unlike anything from the band or any of its members side projects.  Once the verses kick in, it is unmistakably Alter Bridge but there are moments in the track when you wonder what new band unleashed this monster.  “Waters Rising” returns us to familiar ground.  The guitar riff is without a doubt a Tremonti gem.  This song gives the listener a moment to relax and just enjoy the vocals of Tremonti.  The chorus is thick and layered with heavy drums and bass, along with background vocals from Kennedy.  “Farther than the Sun” is another track that features a very heavy rhythm section.  The bass seems to command attention in the opening, while the drums are simple, yet forceful throughout the track.  Kennedy’s vocals really keep this song tied together – he leads the band into darker territory and they come out the other side unscathed.  “Cry a River” picks up the pace a bit and shows how well the band comes together when they have a common goal in site.  The instruments all play well together underneath the lead vocals, all the while not taking a back seat to the voice.  The guitar riffs and drums fills are strong and plentiful on this track.  “All Ends Well” is another ballad, if you can call it that.  The song really brings images to mind while listening to it,  The emotion behind not only the vocals, but the guitar playing allow the listener to wander and enjoy the track without thinking or analyzing the track.  “Fortress” closes the disc in an odd way; with the title track.  This song perfectly wraps the disc into one coll package.  It features all of the high points of the disc into one little package: it has the vocals that make this band, the guitar riffs and styles that have shifted all over the collection, along with a rhythm section that ebbs and flows with the feel of the track.

http://www.alterbridge.com

https://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

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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