Alter Bridge - Fortress review



Reviewer:
8.7

210 users:
8.45
Band: Alter Bridge
Album: Fortress
Release date: September 2013


01. Cry Of Achilles
02. Addicted To Pain
03. Bleed It Dry
04. Lover
05. The Uninvited
06. Peace Is Broken
07. Calm The Fire
08. Waters Rising
09. Farther Than The Sun
10. Cry A River
11. All Ends Well
12. Fortress


There comes a time in your life in which you don't know what path you're following, what awaits you, why you're behaving in a certain way, or when all will become clear. You don't know what to believe in. Well, don't worry, says the latest Alter Bridge work: it all ends well. Alter Bridge, by the way, seem to not be touched by these problems: their ideas and programs shine now, clearer than ever.

For acclaimed rock bands, the easiest, and most advantageous, way to progress, is to lighten up and refine the sound to appeal to a larger range of fans. Nowadays, the trend is to play it safe. Well, if you think Alter Bridge has chosen the larger way, you clearly don't know these guys. Carefree of the current tendencies, the American foursome composed what could easily be considered their first metal album.

This doesn't absolutely mean they have lost their identity. Fortress is 100% an Alter Bridge album, and displays all the band's trademarks: Kennedy's iconic voice, Tremonti's recognizable guitar-work, Marshall's bass virtuosities and Phillips' chasing rhythms. So what is it that distinguishes Fortress from its three predecessors?

The guys have matured with their respective side projects, but the one who took more advantage is without a doubt Mark Tremonti. Fortress recalls, on many sides, the heavy traits of his first solo album, All I Was: his influence has grown, both on the vocals side (take "Waters Rising" for example) and on the sound level. But what has undergone a remarkable evolution since AB III is the song writing.

Fortress is, in fact, the band's most progressive album to date, featuring three 6 plus minute long tracks, whispering intros, frequent (and sometimes unsettling) tempo changes and choruses that seem to wink at the epic side of metal. Alter Bridge, in practice, is detached from the usual hard rock song structure, and from the heavy [and]Creed[/band] inheritance too.

The traditional Alter Bridge, as it has been previously mentioned, hasn't been completely thrown away. Such as within the album's last half, from "The Uninvited" to the heartbreaking ballad "All Ends Well", containing many throw backs to Blackbird's post-grunge sound and AB III's rock concreteness. Fortress is a natural continuation of that progress of "hardening" that started with the last album. Nothing gets disowned, but at the same time, no cold food gets re-cooked with different sauces.

But, since every change brings its detractors, fans of the lighter side of Alter Bridge will probably gasp at Fortress' first listen. But they will also give this album its righteous time, and will be amazed by its undeniable value. Fortress show an Alter Bridge again in top form, and will hopefully be the album that introduces the band into the vast metal environment.


 



Written on 13.10.2013 by Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.


Comments

Comments: 23   Visited by: 376 users
13.10.2013 - 16:16
Nishant Pal
Great review....hope u would have given more insight about the songs you preffered on the album
I think "Cry Of Achilles" is a new way forward for them....Lover is a powerful ballad that sweeps you away...!!
They certainly are progressing and something better can be expected from them in the near future.
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13.10.2013 - 16:19
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
Written by Nishant Pal on 13.10.2013 at 16:16

Great review....hope u would have given more insight about the songs you preffered on the album

Oh well, I think "Cry Of Achilles" too, then "Calm The Fire", "All Ends Well", "Peace Is Broken" and the title track.
But I love each song in the album. Maybe the one I "less" like is "Bleed It Dry"
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We could be so much more than we are. Stop.
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13.10.2013 - 16:51
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
I might well actually listen to this

Btw seeing as this album is tagged 'Hard rock' and 'rock' I am pinning down my "metal" expectations if any.
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13.10.2013 - 16:57
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
Written by 3rdWorld on 13.10.2013 at 16:51

Btw seeing as this album is tagged 'Hard rock' and 'rock' I am pinning down my "metal" expectations if any.

I tagged as rock because of their previous albums - they started in 2004 from post-grunge. This is definitely metal imo.
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We could be so much more than we are. Stop.
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13.10.2013 - 17:01
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Written by R Lewis on 13.10.2013 at 16:57

This is definitely metal imo.

Alright then.
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13.10.2013 - 18:14
thehondo
Great review. I have never seen this for a "mainstream" band before. They did actually get heavier. You could sort of see it coming with Tremontis solo stuff.
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No time like the present
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13.10.2013 - 21:52
embracing
Awesome album, awesome review. Finally the band got un-blacklisted
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13.10.2013 - 23:05
Lethrokai
I think the word to properly describe this album would be "solid".
Every single song is at least a seven out of ten, and the only real damaging point this album could have is that some of the songs sound a bit similar to each other.
Other than that minor complaint though, this album is - through and through - one of the most solid albums I've heard to date.

It may be hard to listen all the way through in a single sitting, but every single song (listened to as their own song, and not as a part of an album) is top-tier.
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Sometimes you just need to roll the dice and look away.
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14.10.2013 - 07:19
theembryo
I heartily agree with Lethroki, especially about the similarity between certain tunes. I also took a break in listening, but having heard the entire release, I've enjoyed repeated spinnings straight through.

I also do like the feel of the album since previously I had been routinely spinning the gigs from Amsterdam and Wembley, which I preferred to the studio.....

Well done review, thanks to R Lewis!
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14.10.2013 - 10:22
Moosh666
What is this band even doing on this site? I mean I haven't got anything against them, but I remember seeing that they had always been Blacklisted in the Suggested Bands part of the site, it's putting Nickelback on here...
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14.10.2013 - 18:40
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
Written by Moosh666 on 14.10.2013 at 10:22

What is this band even doing on this site? I mean I haven't got anything against them, but I remember seeing that they had always been Blacklisted in the Suggested Bands part of the site, it's putting Nickelback on here...

You see, Alter Bridge is definitely different. They evolved. Surely, at the days of One Day Remains or Blackbird their presence here would have been almost meaningless, but with AB III they got nearer to metal, and Fortress is metal.

If Justin Bieber will ever evolve to metal, he will be on MS. I hope this won't happen.
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We could be so much more than we are. Stop.
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14.10.2013 - 19:07
Alcoholica1986
Mark Tremonti is a metalhead so it makes sense:)
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15.10.2013 - 01:10
Jaeryd
Nihil's Maw
Written by R Lewis on 14.10.2013 at 18:40

Written by Moosh666 on 14.10.2013 at 10:22

What is this band even doing on this site? I mean I haven't got anything against them, but I remember seeing that they had always been Blacklisted in the Suggested Bands part of the site, it's putting Nickelback on here...

You see, Alter Bridge is definitely different. They evolved. Surely, at the days of One Day Remains or Blackbird their presence here would have been almost meaningless, but with AB III they got nearer to metal, and Fortress is metal.

If Justin Bieber will ever evolve to metal, he will be on MS. I hope this won't happen.

That, and their music has always been harder, more complex, and much more soulful than anything Nickelback has put out. The Alter Bridge/Nickelback comparison is not one that I would consider valid.

As for not being metal enough, even their first two albums had a hard rock sound that was heavy enough to ride the border of being metal. Their last two albums have gotten even harder and heavier. I think it makes enough sense for them to be on here.

And if anyone thinks their music from the first two albums aren't very metal, I'd suggest "Metalingus" or the opening riffs of "Watch Your Words" from the album One Day Remains, or "White Knuckles" from Blackbird. If you don't think that those songs sound metal at all, then you obviously have no idea how diverse metal is as a genre. Just because something doesn't fit your particular idea of metal doesn't mean it's not a different side of metal.
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15.10.2013 - 01:39
Jaeryd
Nihil's Maw
I probably should've replied to Moosh777 and not you, R Lewis, as he was the one to whom I was trying to make a point. Anyway, great review.
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15.10.2013 - 01:48
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
COmparing Alter Bridge to Nickelback is comepletely irrelevant. Nickelback play post-grunge of the pop rock kind wheeras all of Alter Bridge's albums are hard rock/heavy metal. Yes, most of Alter Birdge used to be Creed, but musically they are far removed from that post grunge pop rock sound. Btw most grunge in itself is metal, no matter how hard people nowadays (and elitists back then) wil shout it isn't.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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15.10.2013 - 06:21
Lethrokai
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.10.2013 at 01:48

COmparing Alter Bridge to Nickelback is comepletely irrelevant. Nickelback play post-grunge of the pop rock kind wheeras all of Alter Bridge's albums are hard rock/heavy metal. Yes, most of Alter Birdge used to be Creed, but musically they are far removed from that post grunge pop rock sound. Btw most grunge in itself is metal, no matter how hard people nowadays (and elitists back then) wil shout it isn't.

Pretty much this. I was actually surprised that someone actually brought up this argument. Alter Bridge is a band that couldn't have less to do with Nickelback, they have clear soul, passion and talent in their music, and judging from this album it doesn't look commercialism is the first on their mind.
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Sometimes you just need to roll the dice and look away.
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15.10.2013 - 07:51
Moosh666
Written by R Lewis on 14.10.2013 at 18:40

Written by Moosh666 on 14.10.2013 at 10:22

What is this band even doing on this site? I mean I haven't got anything against them, but I remember seeing that they had always been Blacklisted in the Suggested Bands part of the site, it's putting Nickelback on here...

You see, Alter Bridge is definitely different. They evolved. Surely, at the days of One Day Remains or Blackbird their presence here would have been almost meaningless, but with AB III they got nearer to metal, and Fortress is metal.

If Justin Bieber will ever evolve to metal, he will be on MS. I hope this won't happen.


I'll give it a look then.
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15.10.2013 - 07:55
Moosh666
Written by R Lewis on 14.10.2013 at 18:40

Written by Moosh666 on 14.10.2013 at 10:22

What is this band even doing on this site? I mean I haven't got anything against them, but I remember seeing that they had always been Blacklisted in the Suggested Bands part of the site, it's putting Nickelback on here...

You see, Alter Bridge is definitely different. They evolved. Surely, at the days of One Day Remains or Blackbird their presence here would have been almost meaningless, but with AB III they got nearer to metal, and Fortress is metal.

If Justin Bieber will ever evolve to metal, he will be on MS. I hope this won't happen.


HOLY CRAP IS THIS THE SAME BAND???
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17.10.2013 - 01:57
afu
I listened to Cry of Achilles on Youtube. That is a cool fucking song. I hated their old sound, but this is pretty cool.
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31.10.2013 - 12:57
This a a great album and it seems this band is just getting heavier, most of the songs acan be classied as metal so I guess this album does qualify to be tagged "metal"...Mark tremonti is a God!!
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31.10.2013 - 22:35
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Written by R Lewis on 13.10.2013 at 16:57

This is definitely metal imo.

I disagree with that. Both the playing style and the sound was hardly metal. Three songs in and I stopped listening to it. Maybe I will check it out later, not interested in this atm.

This can be hard rock or alt , I suppose. But can only give a strong consensus after checking out the record in full.
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15.11.2013 - 22:00
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.10.2013 at 01:48

Btw most grunge in itself is metal, no matter how hard people nowadays (and elitists back then) wil shout it isn't.


Good point and I wholeheartedly agree.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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01.07.2014 - 05:04
RicardoRoque
Some tracks in this great album reminds me of an awesome progressive metal band called Tool.. but more melodic, of course.. every song in it is a masterpiece, and it's not hard rock, it's the pure metal we all know! A must have, IMO!
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