Release Date: Oct 7, 2016
Record label: Alter Bridge Recordings
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Post-Grunge
No songs about cars and girls, with Tremonti and co. at their most earnest and political yet Twelve years and four albums in, Alter Bridge’s style ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people. Their huge, kitchen-sink-’n’-all anthems blend mainstream hooks with manicured metal, and choruses machine-tooled for radio and stadiums. Guitar god Mark Tremonti’s swathes of metallic riffs and soaring solos are never knowingly underplayed, and Myles Kennedy’s high-pitched, soulful vocals give this most American of bands a populist edge over others in Generation Download.
Review Summary: Alter Bridge's most politically-motivated album to date is also one of their strongest.For being on the brink of the most important and potentially dangerous political season of our lives, I’ve heard too few musicians stepping up and making their voices heard. In a year of pop-punk revivalism that has included some of our generation’s most politically outspoken bands, it’s actually quite surprising how silent the outcry against this election has been from a musical standpoint. That’s why when Alter Bridge dropped The Last Hero, it became –essentially by default – my own personal soundtrack to America’s broken political system.
Floridian hard rockers Alter Bridge return for their fifth round of melodic hard-driving anthems on 2016's The Last Hero. A purportedly non-political roll call for future leaders in troubled times, it follows 2013's Fortress, a critical high-watermark for the veteran group. That Alter Bridge's members can remain as busy as they are -- with singer Myles Kennedy fronting Slash's group and guitarist Mark Tremonti delivering two new solo albums in just a year's time -- and still find the time to write and record quality material is an impressive feat, and yet they make a solid showing on this follow-up.
"Larger than life" Whilst not straying too far from the path stylistically, the long-serving Floridian’s sound is determined as ever on ‘The Last Hero’.It turns out that title is perfectly suited to their larger than life hard rock. ‘Show Me A Leader’ and ‘My Champion’ swell with passion; all big riffs, rallying choruses and uplifting lyrics. And the Kennedy / Tremonti partnership remains solid with their intelligently arranged and complimenting melodies.Everything’s here from a band that still pack arenas, whilst there’s enough progression to ensure they’re ahead of their peers.
The main problem with Alter Bridge’s sixth album becomes apparent about six tracks in. Cradle to the Grave brings a few moments of delicate restraint to the party, but up to that point every last second of The Last Hero is purposefully, relentlessly bombastic, as if every fader has been shoved into the red. Still much heavier and more overtly metallic than their modern arena-rock peers, the Florida quartet have always made music designed to resonate around stadia, but 66 minutes of this kind of overwrought caterwauling is a little exhausting.