||ALTER BRIDGE PRODUCE AN HEROIC PERFORMANCE
Alter Bridge: 'The Last Hero'
Release Date: 7th October 2016 (Napalm Records)
Luke 'Loki' Milne
A veritable powerhouse of modern alternative music, Alter Bridge have well and truly taken the world by storm since their inception in 2004, with all four of their studio albums topping the album charts in America. After three years of studio silence, the Florida rock act are set to rise to the forefront of the industry once more with the release of their fifth studio album, 'The Last Hero', following this with a huge tour across Europe with support from Volbeat, Gojira and Like A Storm.
MetalTalk received a copy of the album a few weeks ago, and despite really needing to use our hands for all the important things in life (like opening bottles of beer) we haven't been able to put it down since. You'd think this is a good thing, but our new Editor-In-Chief is starting to wear holes in the carpet from pacing around so much. Someone get that man a drink!
The first Alter Bridge album to be backed by Napalm Records, 'The Last Hero' has been heavily marketed in the lead up to its release; so much so that I'd almost be surprised if you've somehow managed to miss the two pre-order tracks that became available online some time ago. Indeed, both the political outcry of 'Show Me A Leader' and the contrastingly bright and inspiring 'My Champion' stand tall in their own unique ways, and have certainly served well to stir up the hype ahead of the album's launch.
While it's true that many a fan's hunger will have been kept at bay by Mark Tremonti's recent solo success, Alter Bridge's fourth studio album left us at what felt like an intriguing turning point in the band's career. 'Fortress' arguably stood out among the band's back catalogue, offering perhaps their most progressive, intricate sound to date. The Florida four-piece pick up where the trail left off, with 'The Last Hero' continuing along a path carved with more intelligent design pulled together with careful precision.
The blocky, hard-set power chord riffs that many fans will instantly recognise and stick to are still present and accounted for in the album's title track and the catchy-as-hell 'Poison In Your Veins', but across the album's thirteen tracks lie bursts of musical expression that hints towards a deeper development in style. Taking on a more mature level of craftsmanship, 'The Last Hero' holds a well-balanced blend that builds upon the band's much-loved style and sound, with unexpected melodic twists and turns throughout that are as artistic as they are exciting to behold.
Seeking to break the mould of conventional rock riff templates with tracks like #The Writing On The Wall', you'll be jolted into a fresh direction just as you think you've got a melodic line sussed, keeping your attention firmly in its seat – right where it ought to be. 'Losing Patience' stretches broadly across the musical plane and feels epic and satisfying, while the soft, sweet tonality of more subdued offerings like 'Cradle To The Grave' offer a brief respite amid the fray.
Alter Bridge present 'The Last Hero' with a remarkable level of expertise and know-how, with vocalist Myles Kennedy standing at the forefront of the mix, flexing his impressive vocal range with confidence and vigour. Housing a bitter-sweet mix of broad, booming displays of power laced with light, delicate melodies, this isn't your run-of-the-mill, 'crank it up to eleven' audio experience - though it certainly packs a punch in all the right places, simultaneously bobbing and weaving across the playing field to keep the listener on their toes.
There's a lot going on in Alter Bridge's latest release and this may overwhelm you at first, requiring a few attempts before you truly appreciate 'The Last Hero' for what it is. Take time to scratch beneath the surface, however, and you'll find a well-crafted, balanced album with something included for just about anyone who's passionate about rock music. We all know that some of the best music needs time to grow before it can flourish, and Alter Bridge's 'The Last Hero' is one of the must-have records of 2016 once it's bloomed into life.
Show Me A Leader
The Writing On The Wall
The Other Side
Poison In Your Veins
Cradle To The Grave
This Side Of Fate
You Will Be Remembered
Crows On A Wire
Island Of Fools
The Last Hero
With Like A Storm
4th November: Santana 27, Bilbao
5th November: Razzmatazz, Barcelona
8th November: Zenith, Paris
9th November: AB, Brussels
10th November: HMH, Amsterdam
13th November: Columbiahalle, Berlin
14th November: Gasometer, Vienna
16th November: Spodek, Katowice
18th November: Annexet, Stockholm
20th November: Sentrum Scene, Oslo
21st November: Vega Main Hall, Copenhagen
With Volbeat, Gojira, Like A Storm
23th November: Manchester Arena
24th November: O2 Arena, London
26th November: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
27th November: Genting Arena, Birmingham
28th November: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
1st December: SSE Hydro, Glasgow
2nd December: First Direct Arena, Leeds
Tickets for UK dates are available by clicking here.
With Gojira, Like A Storm
4th December: Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt
5th December: Palladium, Cologne
6th December: Mehrl Theater, Hamburg
9th December: Unipol Arena, Bologna
10th December: Zenith, Munich
11th December: Jakobshalle, Basel