Music Review: Alter Bridge – ‘Fortress’

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By Tarun Mazumdar | October 4, 2013 2:55 PM EST

Release Date: Sept. 30, 2013 - Rest of the world, Oct. 8, 2013 - U.S. and Canada

Label: Roadrunner, EMI

Genre: Alternative Metal, Hard Rock

Producer: Michael "Elvis" Baskett

Rating: 4/5

If you belong to the audio cassette era, you must have rocked to the anthems crafted by Creed fronted by the energetic Scott Stapp. After Stapp went ahead with his solo career, Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips were left with a decision to either disband and go separate ways or form a new band with the remaining members.

Tremonti and Phillips along with Marshall roped in Myles Kennedy to form Alter Bridge and we know what they have done to the rock and metal scene across the globe.

Moving on to their brand new studio record "Fortress", it, undoubtedly, is the heaviest and most powerful album by Alter Bridge. As a band progresses in the hard rock or alternative metal genre, it tends to become soft and commercially available to a wide range of audience, but Alter Bridge took this detour and made a well-rounded, intense metal album that will please a "wide range of audience."

"Fortress" opens with Kennedy's finger picking guitar lick in "Cry of Achilles." The Spanish style guitar lick blends with heavy riffing courtesy Tremonti. The song, with its progressive colours, is a great album starter.

The next song from "Fortress" is "Addicted to Pain" and it starts with the no-nonsense heavy and dark riffing, you will find your head banging to it.

"Bleed It Dry" opens with frenzied guitar playing as the members give their all to the rock anthem.

Every Alter Bridge album has a ballad/s, and "Fortress," their fourth studio album, is no different. "Lover" is when they decide to slow things down for the listeners and allow them to catch a breath. Kennedy sounds lullaby-like in this one and gradually dons the attire of rock star and delivers sky-rocketing vocals.

"The Uninvited" has the signature Alter Bridge-style written all over it. The bass-slides by Marshall make the song heavy, groovy and edgy. I am in love with the production treatment given to "Fortress," top notch in every sense.

Marshall's rock solid bass playing is reflected again in "Calm The Fire." He is beautifully complimented by Phillips unique style of drumming in this one.

Mark Tremonti can sing. He can be that hard-hitting a front man and he proved it with his band Tremonti. Listen to "All I Was" and you will know what I am talking about. In "Fortress," Tremonti sings the verses of "Waters Rising" with his baritone-like voice and Kennedy enters in the choruses. This beautiful juggling of vocal duties in "Waters Rising" makes it one of my favourite songs from this album.

You will not be allowed to catch a breath as the next song is "Farther Than The Sun," this has elements of speed and heavy metal in it. The unhinged guitar solo in "Farther Than The Sun" is surreal.

"All Ends Well" eases your mind with subtle lyrics and gentle guitar playing. You will fall in love with Kennedy in this one. He takes the song and soars high to the heavens. This radio-friendly tune will be on my playlist for a long time, just like "Watch Over You," and "In Loving Memory."

Alter Bridge's "Fortress" is a delight to the ears. If you are a fan of "One Day Remains," "Blackbird," and "ABIII," this new album will not disappoint you at all.

Official Alter Bridge "Addicted To Pain" music video, courtesy - YouTube/Roadrunner Records UK.

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