Best known as the guitarist and songwriter for two of the biggest rock bands of today, Creed and Alter Bridge, Mark Tremonti has also had an affinity for all things metal and heavy.
While he has utilised some of the heavier song writing in both bands, he has amassed a stockpile of material that didn’t really suit either project. Around 2010 he decided to start working on a solo release that has came to fruition now as All I Was.
Though his guitar work is the focus, Tremonti also takes on the vocal role and after long years of working with Scott Stapp and Myles Kennedy it seems he has picked up on what to do with a style and attack that adapts to the song be it melodic and emotional or hard-hitting.
Musically, Tremonti has a formula and All I Was has echoes of both Creed and Alter Bridge in tracks such as “Giving Up”, “Doesn’t Matter”, album opener “Leave it Alone” and “Proof”. These are effective hard rocking tunes that cater to wide tastes and listeners without sacrificing heaviness, melody or impact. “Brains” is a dark and mid paced rocker, “New Way Out” is uplifting and positive, and the emotionally-charged “The Things I’ve Seen” hits a spot and forces you to sit back and reflect.
When Tremonti unleashes his heavier side, its a mighty barrage of well-refined guitar wizardry that shows he is not afraid to step outside the box. He has toyed with it in the past, but here he breaks from the mould and throws down some intense riffs and fleet-footed lead work. “You Waste Your Time” is charged with a thrashy riff and thumping rhythm section and a chorus that sticks in your head and “Wish You Well” fires on all cylinders like a well tuned race car.
This is not a guitar-shred solo album. All I Was is an extension of Tremonti’s musical repertoire, delving into other territories and breaking some boundaries he has not really explored at great lengths with his bands. On this release, he pulls off this off at a very high level.
1. Leave it Alone
2. So You’re Afraid
3. Wish You Well
5. The Things I’ve Seen
6. You Waste Your Time
7. New Way Out
8. Giving Up
10. All I Was
11. Doesn’t Matter