October 21, 2013

Alter Bridge: Fortress Thoughts

Because I support this band (plus, my roommate and I went and bought a bunch of power metal and heavy metal) I went out and bought their new CD- Alter Bridge's Fortress. I've followed Alter Bridge since 2004 and have listened to them evolve their sound over four albums.

I wish they would keep going! I've taken the average quality of each song from each album to see how Fortress stacks up to their earlier releases. So far, ABIII is the king of the hill with an average star rating of 4.667 out of 5. Next would be One Day Remains (4.375) then Blackbird (4.000). That's not to say Blackbird was a bad album- it was a great album- (though I liked the Amsterdam LIVE CD better) but it didn't rank as high.

You've always got good music in my book if the star rating averages better than a 4. The CD isn't that much. With shipping I paid about $14 US from Amazon.com and got it within 2 days standard shipping. You also get the Amazon audio rip- so you can listen NOW while your CD is on the way. I'm not endorsing Amazon digital products because I am anti-DRM, but they give you the option while the physical disk is on its way.

Calm the Fire probably has to be my favorite song on this album- though Fortress and Lover are close behind. It's that different sound that they have going on- it's new, different- but at the same time familiar enough. I wouldn't (ok I would call Calm the Fire mind blowing) call it mind blowing; but it is on the verge.Waters Rising was good enough that I gave it the five star treatment- helped of course by Tremonti and Phillips (Marshall was good too- hell Kennedy was good on this song too).

When the online media sites say that Alter Bridge has pulled it off again- they were right. I'm not one to really trust big corps and reviews, but this time they are right. ABIII was explosive- and so is Fortress. Mark Tremonti did the lead vocals to Water Rising- and he did an amazing job.

These guys are not mainstream in the United States but they are extremely popular in Europe. America has a habit of clinging to its pop, Justin Beibers and Selena Gomez's (ironically, many of them are trained by the same trainer/company and most do not write their own music). Alter Bridge is genuine- they write their own music and compose it. Not only do they do this- but they actively tour and love their fan base- and it grows.

I'm happy to give Fortress a 4.5/5. The only reason it ranks slightly behind ABIII is because when ABIII came out, it was a big departure from the tone of Blackbird and was like getting hit with a 300mph hurricane. In terms of caliber, Fortress and ABIII are equal with Fortress being a little more fast paced. You know what I'm going to tell you. Pick up ABIII and Fortress. If you love the band, pick up all of their CDs.

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