"Fortress" (Roadrunner/EMI; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Those who think Alter Bridge is Creed abandoned and then reincarnated need to wise up. Alter Bridge may be three quarters of what used to be Creed but add in the powerful vocals of Myles Kennedy -- the guy has a four octave range and can play a mean lead guitar -- and you've got the fourth disc in a line of many to come. This one, entitled "Fortress," features an album cover that shows a weather shack but, with the harmonic yet solid sound of Alter Bridge, I'd say that wooden "fortress" could withstand anything thrown at it. Let's call it a power house as well.

I liked Creed, but radio play over-saturated them, almost to the point that Wind-Up Records became the pimp for a new sound regardless if any of us wanted to buy her merchandise or not. I know they were supposed to be the saviors of the post-grunge movement but ugh! Fast forward a few years and many guitar riffs later and Alter Bridge is born out of the ashes. This is one busy band too, Mark Tremonti released his first solo disc "All I Was" in 2012, Myles Kennedy vocally led Slash's last couple of efforts and each member of Alter Bridge is involved in the songwriting and musical development of AB. Drummer Scott Philips even recorded with his supergroup side gig called "Projected." These guys get my vote for one of the hardest rocking acts in music. I could spin Alter Bridge all day and never get enough.

The best thing about AB is their approach to music. They craft each song and you can tell a lot of heart goes into the tracks on "Fortress." Myles belts outs the tunes and causes every singer to step up their game. Tremonti unleashes some of the heaviest riffs I've ever heard from him and the fact that he always includes a solo keeps me coming back for more Alter Bridge. Tremonti even sings lead on the track "Water Rising" and co-lead on "Farther than the Sun." Mark has a good voice and he brings a deeper sound to Alter Bridge. Brian and Scott created a solid foundation for Myles and Mark to blast their way right through your musical expectations. I could digitally wax on and on about AB but I'll let the music speak for itself. Get the disc and hear what I'm talking about.

Alter Bridge: Myles Kennedy - lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar; Mark Tremonti - lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Waters Rising", co-lead vocals on "Farther than the Sun"; Brian Marshall - bass guitar; Scott Phillips - drums, percussion.

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"One Day Remains" (Wind-up; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I know it's hip to hate Creed, but I never really did. I certainly understood the complaints of those who did, however, with the band generating radio hit after radio hit, but it just never bothered me. I wasn't a huge Creed fan, but I didn't wish the band would go away, either.

Regardless, as time marched on, I was aware that the band's music was starting to sound like more and more like everything else out there. Whether this was because Creed couldn't break out of that mold or because other bands were mimicking their obviously successful sound can be debated but, especially on their more recent records, there was nothing that truly set Creed apart.

Then Scott Stapp left the band and the rest of Creed decided to go on without him (with Myles Kennedy at the mic) ... as Alter Bridge ... and the band has released "One Day Remains." 

What makes "One Day Remains" so welcome is that the band didn't just record a new Creed album with a new singer. Instead, they revitalized their music and, for the most part, the music on "One Day Remains" is heavier than most Creed tracks. It's also fresher and more varied than recent Creed releases and yet keeps that radio-friendly attitude mostly intact. New vocalist Myles Kennedy seems to have a greater range than Stapp does and that's a plus as well.

You know things are going to be fine when the opening track, "Find the Real," starts the CD off with a rousing, driving pulse. And, although "One Day Remains" really never gets better than that first track, there are several fiery cuts along the way, including "Metalingus," "Down to My Last" and "Watch Your Words." There are some workable ballads here as well ... and a couple that don't work at all. And a few of the tracks sound like Creed rejects (but are never so bad you'll find yourself reaching for the "next" button). 

Overall, "One Day Remains" sounds like a new start for the band formerly known as Creed. Here's to hoping they can escape the unfairly maligned destiny of their first incarnation and continue delivering albums this strong and better.

Alter Bridge: Myles Kennedy Vocals, Guitar; Brian Marshall Bass; Scott Phillips Drums; Mark Tremonti Guitar, Vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:12 -0400.