If you don’t know much about the legendary quartet known as ALTER BRIDGE then I only have one question for you. Where the Hell have you been? Born from the ashes of CREED and THE MAYFIELD FOUR, these guys have been hard rock mainstays on the global stage since 2004. Selling out Wembley Stadium and playing massive festivals overseas is like breathing for these guys. But after 15 years the hard working men in ALTER BRIDGE have decided to switch things up a little bit for their newest release Walk the Sky (October 18, Napalm Records).
So what’s different this time around? Aside from the writing process being modified to accommodate the band members’ increasingly busy schedules, the main addition to the band’s evolving sound is some over the top production and the occasional synthesizer thrown into the mix. If this news comes as a shock to your system don’t worry, not every song follows this new formula. The added layers of production are just used to further flesh out the already dynamic sound of this fantastic group. But at the end of the day this is a guitar band, and that dynamic has not changed one bit with this album.
You’ve still got the mind-blowing vocal range and guitar work of Myles Kennedy. Brian Marshall lays down a thick and distinct bass line that often becomes the pulse of any given song. As always Scott Phillips plays very crisp and precise percussion without over playing. And last but not least, I’m convinced that if Mark Tremonti gets a cut on his finger a tasty riff would flow from his veins instead of blood. “Wouldn’t You Rather” is one of the best songs off the album. This one is quintessential ALTER BRIDGE with a soaring chorus and blistering guitar riffs. If this doesn’t get your head bobbing and your toes tapping nothing will. Every member of the band is in top form here and this song has become an instant classic.
My favorite on the record though, has got to be “Native Son.” AB can get a little heavy when they want to, and this song is a legit banger. Tremonti is the ultimate riff monster and this song is a showcase of his obsession with metal and his particular spin on the style. Other great songs on the album include “In the Deep”, “Take the Crown”, and “Pay No Mind”. The rest of the material is also very good but not quite as accessible as the tracks I’ve singled out above.
What we have with this release is an album with a decidedly different sound yet at the same time it’s undeniably ALTER BRIDGE. If you’re already a fan then you are getting the disc regardless of what I tell you. The question remains though, is this album a good jumping on point if you are unfamiliar with the band? I think so. Walk the Sky is a really good offering with some great songs. You owe it to yourself to go grab a copy ASAP, especially if you enjoy the band’s previous work.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Native Son”, “Wouldn’t You Rather”, “In the Deep”