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Album Review: Alter Bridge – Fortress

3 min read

The first time I heard Alter Bridge I was trying to find something half decent to listen to on the radio. I tuned in to one station and was immediately transfixed by Alter Bridge’s song Open Your Eyes.  It sounded familiar, like something from Creed, but the tune blew me away. Since then a lot has changed for Alter Bridge and their sound. The new album Fortress seems like it has been directly influenced by Iron Maiden, Soundgarden and Disturbed. This isn’t a bad thing – mixing 80’s metal with 90’s grunge and new metal has turned out to be a great fit with Myles Kennedy’s vocals and gives more reason for the finger tearing solos which Alter Bridge are known for.

Alter Bridge FortressAfter a cheeky little intro from an acoustic guitar that makes you think of a sunrise igniting a Mexican beach while riding off down the dusty trail, Cry of Achilles takes centre stage with tom heavy drums and Kennedy’s impressive vocal range flooding your ears. The real fun doesn’t begin until the solo in the latter part of the song – these face melting solos are Alter Bridge’s trademark and have won them some impressive awards. Bleed It Dry starts off like Drowning Pool’s Step Up but then I swear Kennedy had enough and asked Chris Connelly (Soundgarden) to fill in for him; honestly I thought no one else could sound like Connelly but I was wrong – Kennedy smashes it. Although this track has ripping vocals and heavy sound riffs, it changes midway to a breakdown/solo to incorporate a softer feel into the song giving it better balance.

It is difficult to find a stand out song on Fortress as each track is good but oddly this is the main issue I have with it – if I was a disc jockey looking for a hit single to choose off this album I wouldn’t find it. Each song goes for four minutes and all have big choruses, guitar solos, solid drumming and amazing vocals but those elements are in all the songs, so you start to nitpick. Of course this is not a bad thing but one or two amazing tracks would give this album the variety and balance which is needed.

I am glad to see Alter Bridge changing their sound and becoming a more cohesive band (aka the example of Fortress).  The band has come a long way since that first day I heard them and this album has made me a fan. I will be keen to see them at Soundwave 2014 and hopefully hear them belt out some tunes from Fortress. If this album has done anything, it has certainly made me (shall we say) “open my eyes”.

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1 thought on “Album Review: Alter Bridge – Fortress

  1. Fortress is an incredible album! WOW! What an excellent example of dual-guitar talent. Everything about this album is so solid. Alter Bridge has always been a great band but they really killed it this time. This cd will be a smash hit! I hope they finally get the recognition in the United States they so desperately deserve.

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