Alter Bridge

AB III

Written by: PP on 29/11/2010 03:12:54

After the long-expected announcement that Creed would be reuniting, many Alter Bridge fans wondered what would happen to the excellent rock outfit. Would they disband entirely? Perhaps go on an indefinite hiatus? Neither one an exciting option considering the high standard of output they established just on their first two albums alone. "Blackbird" in particular was a breathtaking display of modern rock extravaganza tuned back to the rock star days of the 90s, while avoiding a retrospective and dated sound altogether. Luckily for us fans, it seems that Alter Bridge will exist in parallel to Creed, the proof of which lies right in front of you in the form of their third album, the one simply titled as "AB III". If you read in between the lines, the title seems to imply that this is their self-titled album, the signature sound of the band, except it is their third attempt at finding just the perfect one suited for the act.

I'm pleased to report back and say that's exactly what "AB III" is. It's a magnificent display of the raw instrumental talent and the ability to package it into guitar-heavy songs full of intricate solos, but without the consuming vibe of a progressive rock album. Drawing from their Creed roots, the band shows here how it's possible to embed instrumental mastery and catchy, memorable song structures together in a symbiosis where both styles complement each other in a great manner. There's a perfect balance between melodic soloing and straight-forward riffs, infectious choruses and simply majestic clean vocal work from vocalist Myles Kennedy. He has always owned great pipes, but it is on this album he truly comes into his own, delivering at times epic, at other times simply monumentally powerful chorus melodies and prolonged verse vails. "Ties That Bind", et al were great songs to start out with, but there are a couple of bombs here which do so much damage that I have no doubt in Alter Bridge exploding into the wider mainstream rock scene provided this album receives the right promotion and push from the label folks. Just take a listen to a song like "Make It Right", the melodic vocal harmony in the chorus is bound to give you back chills, not to even speak of the sublime guitars in the songs. Don't be fooled by the simple main riff, but pay attention to the small details, like how the guitar melody closely follows Kennedy's tone, or how screeching mini-solos are placed in just the right timings to give the song flair and extraordinary character. It's one of the best rock songs that 2010 has to offer, and it's not even a one-of-a-kind, because shortly after it is followed by "I Know It Hurts", which is even better.

Those who are more into the band's balladic, Creed-esque past, should peer their eyes in the direction of "Wonderful Lie" and others, but while these are strong, it is songs like the latter two that make Alter Bridge stand out. Whenever Mark Tremonti is allowed to solo at high speeds and in incredible technical detail while Kennedy provides an equally great contrast with his vocals, sky's the limit where these guys can go. Most of all, "AB III" is a great rock/guitar album in an era where these have nearly gone extinct. It contains all the elements required for a 'rock star worship' cult to emerge in admiration of the stars, but it doesn't take it over the top. It simply maintains to keep its honesty and unique approach to modern rock in this century despite a majestic, epic sound all around. For that, they must be commended with an

8

Download: I Know It Hurts, Make It Right
For the fans of: a more technical Creed, The Mayfield Four, Logan, Shinedown
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.10.2010
Roadrunner Records / Alter Bridge Recordings

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