Alter Bridge – Fortress


Artist

Album

Fortress

Label

Roadrunner Records

Year

2013

For Fans Of

Slash - Shinedown - Creed

Summary

Face melting hard rock from the best in the business.

Rating

85 / 100

One wouldn’t be blamed for assuming they had received the wrong album while listening to the first 30 seconds of opener ‘Cry of Achilles,’ which features a smooth, unaccompanied classical guitar progression. However, after just half a minute in, the guitars and drums kick in when Alter Bridge make their intentions clear. Yes, Alter Bridge are back with another dose of the hard rock that they do better than most of their peers in the industry. Put simply, ‘Fortress’ is 12 tracks of searing hard rock at its finest.

The guitar work on ‘Fortress‘ is, as on all Alter Bridge releases, impeccable. Both Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti manage to constantly blow you away with some next level phrases and layering across both guitar parts, as well as some virtuosic, face-melting solos that will leave you well and truly stunned. However, it wouldn’t be fair to review this album without mentioning some of the riffs that Alter Bridge have to offer (‘Addicted To Pain,’ ‘The Uninvited,’ and ‘Farther Than The Sun‘ to name a few), which just breathe life into the songs on the album.

It’s all too common to pass off the bassist in rock music as an almost unimportant member of the band, but it’s people like Brian Marshall that prove the stereotype wrong . At times simply giving backing to the superb drumming from Scott Phillips and the aforementioned delivery from the guitars, and at others laying down a completely new element to the album (bridge of ‘Cry of Achilles,’ intro to ‘Lover’), Marshall well and truly exceeds expectations placed upon him.

There’s a bit of what you would expect in the various soundscapes of the tracks, with the heavy, loud and brutal on one end of things (‘Cry of Achilles,’ ‘Addicted To Pain‘) and some of the more laid back sounds we’ve heard the band hit on previous releases (‘All Ends Well,’ ‘Waters Rising‘), which often ends up with a dash of the former. There is however, the intro to ‘Calm The Fire,’ which comes fairly left of field, with an intro that sounds like it has been heavily influenced by bands like Muse (it’s a good thing), which adds an interesting element to the track and to the album when viewed as a whole.

Conclusion

‘Fortress’ is an excellent release. But really, who’s surprised? Alter Bridge consistently bring the goods, and this release is no different to that. It’s no shock why these musicians are some of the most accomplished and respected in their part of the industry.

Tracklisting

  1. Cry of Achilles
  2. Addicted To Pain
  3. Bleed It Dry
  4. Lover
  5. The Uninvited
  6. Peace is Broken
  7. Calm the Fire
  8. Waters Rising
  9. Farther Than The Sun
  10. Cry A River
  11. All Ends Well
  12. Fortress

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