Well, they’ve done it again. They’ve made music so good that I had to get my ears checked, my jaw put back into place, and my pants washed. This year just got a million times more interesting now that Fortress, Alter Bridge’s new album, is finally out.
Let me try and describe to you how heavy this album is: This album is heavier than a ton of bricks… It’s heavier than the heaviest matter of the universe (not you, Gojira, you’re cool)… Heavier than the wrecking ball Miley Cyrus was swinging from butt naked in her shitty new video… Long story short, this album is heavy as fuck.
Now streaming on Metal Hammer’s SoundCloud account, Fortress is packed with 12 new, flawless tracks, and like I previously mentioned, it’s heavier than anything Alter Bridge has ever done before. I’m not going to do a detailed, track by track description because I want you guys to discover the album on your own, so I’m just going to give you a general overview of the whole thing.
It starts off with “Cry Of Achilles”, being one out of two “epic” tracks in there along with the title track “Fortress”, which happens to be song number 12. I’m saying that they’re epic because they’re the lengthiest and most technically and dynamically diverse tracks on the record. Between song number 1 and 12, the remaining ten songs are a cluster fuck of bad ass riffage, perfect guitar solos, drum beats and bass lines that would blow your head off, and what I’m pretty sure is the best vocal work I’ve listened to in quite a while.
Both Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy have contributed to the guitar solos on Fortress, and from what I’ve heard, I can say that Myles has pitched in a bit more than he has back in AB III, which is a good thing, because he’s capable of writing simple, beautiful solos that balance out Mark’s more aggressive approach to soloing.
Much like “Words Darker Than Their Wings” in AB III, Mark has switched places with Myles in “Waters Rising”, providing the main vocals for this brilliant piece. And if you’re familiar with Mark’s incredible vocal talents (listen to his solo album “All I Was” if you haven’t already), you’ll wish that he had more lead vocal input in Fortress, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
There’s some outstanding bass guitar work by Brian Marshall notably on “Peace Is Broken” and “Cry Of Achilles”, and Scott Phillips totally owned the drums on “Cry A River” and “Addicted To Pain”.
Personally, I think the heaviest songs on Fortress are “ Bleed It Dry”, “The Uninvited”, and “Farther Than The Sun”, while the more laid-back would be “Lover”, and “All Ends Well”.
Fortress is definitely the highlight of 2013, and it’s definitely gonna be played over and over in my car for a long time.
I would tell you what my favorite track is, but I haven’t even decided yet, so listen to the entire thing and you decide!
(Review written by: Raymond William)