Music / Alter Bridge

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Commence Epic Rocking

Now with 25% less Creed.

The swan song to the classic rock bands of the 1970s, Alter Bridge comprises three of four former members of Creed. Mark Tremonti spent some time practicing guitar after Creed split up and once he was sure he could melt faces, he called up his former bandmates, found Myles Kennedy, and formed one of the rockinest rock bands this side of the pond.

AB dropped One Day Remains in 2004. The album was largely recognized as a definite improvement over Creed and very well received. AB spent the next few years trying to make the Creed comparisons end. They finally did after they released their second album, Blackbird, in 2007.

While they're popular in America, they're huge in Europe and actually produced a live DVD in Amsterdam note  and another in London (Wembley Arena). By every account, the band is composed of some of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet.

Discography:
  • One Day Remains (2004)
  • Blackbird (2007)
  • AB III (2010)
  • Fortress (2013)
  • The Last Hero (2016)


Alter Bridge provides examples of:

  • Contemplate Our Navels: All of AB III, but especially "Words Darker Than Their Wings", which was born from a philosophical discussion between Kennedy and Tremonti weighing their respective beliefs (or rather, Kennedy losing faith in his).
  • Cover Version: Very common and often spontaneous. In Tremonti's words:
    "Before Myles joined Alter Bridge, he sang in many, many cover bands to put himself through college, and he knows every song known to man. So I want you guys to scream out the names to songs you want to hear, and I guarantee this guy here knows it".
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Compared to Creed, quite a bit.
    • AB III, compared to their previous albums.
    • Fortress is by far their heaviest album to date, featuring very few ballads and an absolute abundance of heavy riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on a metalcore album.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Kennedy alone plays the solo in "Isolation", though Tremonti plays all the mini-solos scattered throughout the song.
    • Likewise, Kennedy does the vocals on most of "Words Darker Than Their Wings", but the Pre-Chorus parts are sung by Tremonti. The roles are completely reversed on a single track on "Fortress", where Mark Tremonti handles the Vocals and Myles Kennedy handles the Lead Guitar!
  • Downer Ending: "Wonderful Life," maybe.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: One Day Remains is much heavier on the Post-Grunge and oftentimes considered the only album they obviously sound like Creed on. A couple of songs, like the title track and "Metalingus" had hints of what they'd become. Those types of songs tend to dominate albums released after it.
  • Epic Rocking: "Blackbird" along with "Fortress" are just shy of 8 minutes.
  • Grief Song:
    • "In Loving Memory", written about the death of Tremonti's mother.
    • Also Wonderful Life, which simultaneously celebrates and mourns the life of someone who's dying.
  • Green Aesop: "Bleed It Dry", "The Writing On the Wall".
  • Lighter and Softer: The Last Hero compared to Fortress, not being as heavy and often having more melodic songs. The band itself described it as Blackbird meets Fortress prior to its release.
  • Long-Runner Lineup: Type 1, will all members having been constant since June 2004.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Watch Over You". Beautiful ballad that's generally performed acoustically... and the lyrics boil down to "I can't deal with your problems anymore; I'm outta here."
    • "One By One" has an refrain styled like that of a triumphant power ballad, but the words are about soldiers being needlessly sent to die in battle.
    • "I Know It Hurts" is a typical Tremonti-style Heavy song, but the lyrics are surprisingly comforting, despite the melody sounding quite dark.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their radio friendly tunes are usually a 5 or 6, but their faster works like "Metalingus", "Ties That Bind" and certain guitar solos tread into a 7. The "hard" 7's (borderline 8's) have only gotten more common later into their discography, with the bulk of Fortress containing songs around that category.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Myles' voice is essentially hard rock wailing ala Robert Plant, grunge breathiness with a hint of soul, and his playing combines that of virtuosic Jazz with Blues. Mark's playing is basically proggy Alternative Speed Metal with just a bit of blues, Spanish guitar and southern twang making surprise appearances. The rhythm section can have some progressive tendencies as well.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Blackbird saw them sporting a more general Alternative Metal and Hard Rock sound compared to One Day Remains.
    • AB III was overall darker and heavier with a subtle Progressive Metal tinge.
    • Fortress is an almost pure metal record, with very few ballads (the softer songs on this one are more just Hard Rock songs) and a very strong Thrash Metal edge. It also bumped up the Progressive Metal influence considerably.
    • The Last Hero combines the more technical songwriting of Fortress with Blackbird's overall songwriting style, and is generally not as heavy as Fortress.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Metalingus", "White Knuckles" and "Words Darker Than Their Wings".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Myles' voice is overdubbed quite a bit (including much echo).
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • They've been called "The young Led Zeppelin" while Blackbird has been described as "The next Stairway."
    • If only "Blackbird" the song got actual radio play while the album was being promoted.
  • Step Up to the Mic: Tremonti sometimes does this live, and did this on the track "Waters Rising" on Fortress.
  • Title Track: On every album released up to 2016 except AB III.
  • War Is Hell: "One by One."
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Myles Kennedy: excellent guitarist; incredible vocal range; incapable of whistling.

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