Alter Bridge

Walk The Sky

Written by: PP on 12/11/2019 18:27:30

In an era where few new rock bands can emerge from the underground scene to the mainstream, Alter Bridge is one of the few that have made that leap and have been continuously expanding their fan base in the process. A big part of that reason is the consistency of their recorded output: about every three years, you are guaranteed a rock-solid, sometimes an outright genre classic with larger-than-life choruses and complex, progressive rock-influenced guitar melodies. So why change a formula that is so successful? Fear not, their sixth album "Walk The Sky" does no such thing and instead picks up almost exactly where 2016's "The Last Hero" left off, perhaps only a little heavier with nods to their first couple of records in the process.

If during their early venture Alter Bridge material has been a bit of a Myles Kennedy show for his incredible clean vocals, Mark Tremonti has emerged as a brilliant guitarist and songwriter in his own right as the band has matured over the years. "In The Deep", for instance, is much stronger in the instrumental department than in the vocal one with pleasant, ebbing guitars and thick bass lines providing a huge soundscape that Kennedy is just able to ride delivering but average performance. Contrast it to "Wouldn't You Rather" just before, and you'll hear an infectiously catchy, uplifting chorus for the ages that competes among the best within alternative rock.

Elsewhere, such as on "Godspeed", the two styles meet for an anthemic rock expression that feels almost note-by-note designed for the mainstream airwaves and the big, arena-sized audiences. Far-reaching clean vocals and unassuming, but solid rhythm department ensure a safe, yet altogether enjoyable soundscape that doesn't require much in the form of musical experience to absorb.

The crunchy guitars have been toned up to create a heavier, more metallic expression akin to that on 2007's "Blackbird", albeit without straying too far away from their success formula. Anthemic rock with nods towards grunge and nu-metal is still present (see: "Take The Crown"), as is the more balladic stadium anthem-style ("Indoctrination", "Forever Falling"), but primarily it is a technical, arena-style alternative rock that's taking the lead.

At fourteen tracks and one hour in duration, the album does feel a tad long, especially when the second half of the album is so much weaker than the opening half that alone is enough to lift the band to the higher end of our rating scale. By cutting away a few weaker tracks, the resulting album would have been a much more concise and brilliant experience. As it stands, "Walk The Sky" is Alter Bridge delivering a great alternative rock album in an era where few bands can make music in this style that's both interesting and mainstream-friendly simultaneously.

8

Download: Wouldn't You Rather, In The Deep, Native Son, Take The Crown
For the fans of: Tremonti, Shinedown, Stone Sour, Audioslave, Velvet Revolver, Seether
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.10.2019
Napalm Records

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