One of the hard rock albums of the year

Myles Kennedy seems to attract guitar genius as if it is being drawn to his pure rock voice.

Having recorded and toured extensively with Slash over the past two years, his main band, Alter Bridge have somehow found the time to release their fourth and heaviest album to date. Whilst Slash has been immortalised forever for his work with Guns ‘N Roses, Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti’s reputation is rising rapidly with each release. Some of the work by Tremonti on this release is pure magic.

Solo, side projects and collaborations aside, it’s amazing that the band is able to put out an album as good as Fortress. Put simply, this release is one of the hard rock albums of the year. Laden with riffs and featuring that certain chemistry from musicians at the peak of their powers, Fortress is quite brilliant.

Offering a false sense of security, opener ‘Cry of Achilles’ starts off with a beautiful Spanish acoustic guitar until Alter Bridge is let off the leash. Unbridled rock ensues with Kennedy thriving on the riffs encompassing the track. The ebbs and flows, the hooks, the subtle Kennedy vocal nuances, everything is there and this is just track one. Single ‘Addicted to Pain’ is an adrenaline shot of heaviness engulfed by more Tremonti wizardry. But perhaps these tracks were just an entreé, as the ‘Bleed It Dry’ solo supplies goose bump moments.

The more laid back songs are still there (‘Lover’, ‘All Ends Well’) both encapsulating the passion and quality of song writing as the rest of the album. The ‘Calm the Fire’ intro with Kennedy has to be heard, with the iconic voice reaching almost falsetto heights. Even Tremonti gets a lead vocal part on ‘Waters Rising’, providing a nice interlude for the album. Concluding with the title track ‘Fortress’, an epic anthem, Alter Bridge has undoubtedly set the bar high for future releases. This band is undoubtedly arena standard these days and about to headline the gigantic Wembley Arena in the UK next week. Not to be missed next year at Soundwave.
1. Cry of Achilles
2. Addicted to Pain
3. Bleed it Dry
4. Lover
5. The Univited
6. Peace is Broken
7. Calm the Fire
8. Waters Rising
9. Farther Than the Sun
10. Cry a River
11. All Ends Well
12. Fortress