Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Alter Bridge Adds Exigency To AB III

Alter BridgeWhen Florida-based Alter Bridge released its first Roadrunner Records backed single, Isolation, it showed real promise for the alternative metal band's upcoming third album, ABIII (out yesterday). There is an exigency in this album.

And the exigency might be to finally get out from behind what Creed was and focus on what Alter Bridge will be. Former Creed members Mark Tremonti (guitar, vocals), Brian Marshall (bass), and Scott "Flip" Phillips (drums), along with Myles Kennedy (lead vocals, guitar) have added some diversity to the track lineup to do it, for better and worse.

The better of ABIII by Alter Bridge.

Isolation was a brilliant single release. It is their best opening single since their debut in 2004, proving once again that Alter Bridge almost always plays better with aggression than when it attempts to formulate radio rock.

All together, the 16-track album takes advantage of Kennedy's range and emotion. And the darker, heavier material suits them, giving the band an opportunity to showcase their talent without simply sounding like everybody else. The sense of struggle within this album helps cut away any over-polished studio sound.

"A lot of the album is dark," said Kennedy on "It's a reflection of someone who has come to question everything they have ever held onto as absolute truth."

That's what you'll find on better than half the album (Kennedy says 70 percent, we think less), which is the best of the better half. With standout and varied songs like Isolation, Coeur d'Alene, Still Remains, and Words Darker Than Wings, it's hard to make sense why others made the cut. They seem out of the place. So does Slip Into The Void, but only because it leads the album.

Check out this rehearsal tour video, which shows how down to earth the band really is, especially Kennedy. It also includes highlights of Isolation on the tail end, an Alter Bridge best. Here is Isolation live.

There really isn't a bad or "worse", but some songs lack complexity when compared to what makes the album good. Sure, you will likely hear plenty of praise for Ghosts of Days Gone and Wonderful Life, Home, and a couple of others. They're fine, but seem out of place on the album.

Wonderful Life is a goodbye song, with an emotional thread that is lighter than the message. Ghosts of Days Gone, which reflects on memories, also departs from the record with an underscored message of wanting to make more memories before you're gone.

Yeah, I get that Alter Bridge wanted to explore a darker sound, which is excellent, but allow hope to shine in there somewhere. They don't want to enable hopelessness.

AB III By Alter Bridge Explodes To 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

I was originally introduced to Alter Bridge when they released their second album in 2007. It left me wanting to like more tracks than I actually did. There isn't any reservation on AB III. There is enough good and some great to consider the entire album, even if you don't intend to play every track. Otherwise, it's your choice whether you like the lighter or darker sounds.

You can find AB III by Alter Bridge on iTunes. On Amazon, look for AB III.
blog comments powered by Disqus