Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Post-Grunge
Despite the band's membership being at their busiest, what with Mark Tremonti releasing a solo album, Myles Kennedy working with Slash, Scott Phillips breaking ground on a new supergroup, and Creed touring and working on new material, Fortress, the fourth album from Alter Bridge, finds the band returning to the scene with an album that feels anything but spread thin. Given the title, the album seems to bring forth the notion of the band being a kind of creative haven for its members, a hard rock sanctuary where they're able to just pick up and rock, no matter what they might be doing with themselves on the outside. Bringing back their fine mix of melody and drive, Alter Bridge create a style of hard rock that really soars, exploding upward thanks to the thrust provided by Tremonti's massive guitar work and Kennedy's high-flying vocals.
The next time Paul Gambaccini is wheeled out to announce that rock is dead, someone needs to introduce him to Alter Bridge. Already hugely successful, as their forthcoming European arena tour confirms, the American quartet have breathed new life into the notion of bombastic, radio-friendly but uncompromising hard rock anthems. Fortress, the band's fourth album, suggests that their upward sprint is set to continue.
Having spent much of the last three years touring with their “other” bands (Creed, Slash, Projected), it’s no wonder the members of Alter Bridge have tried to make their fourth album special. They’ve got angst-laced balladry (“Lover”), hell-for-leather rockers (“Cry a River”), and sweeping, suite-style songwriting (“Fortress”), alongside the usual helpings of inhumanly tight unison riffage and tuneful shred. Somehow, though, every song eventually leads to Myles Kennedy keening dramatically over guitar sturm und drang, and while that nicely showcase the band’s songwriting and instrumental skills, after a while it becomes predictable and monotonous.