Alter Bridge’s new album ‘Fortress’ leaves the listener with a message

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Fortress – New Album by Alter Bridge
Set to be released by Roadrunner Records
October 8th in North America. Sept 30th in other countries

Alter Bridge, an American rock band that seems to be built from long-term friendships, are proud to be a Florida-bred band on the rise. With the release of their most successful campaign to date with 2010’s masterful AB III, culminating in a sold out show at Wembley Arena in the UK, the band has been delivering high-energy live performances throughout the US and abroad with their sound that has been called Hard rock, Alternative metal, Post-grunge, Heavy metal or more simply, Rock n’ Roll. They even sold out places such as the House of Blues in West Hollywood, and Los Angeles couldn’t be any more anti-rock these days. That’s how much on fire Alter Bridge are. They are very hot!

Alter Bridge fourth studio album ‘Fortress’ is a personal statement developed by the bustling band out of Orlando, Florida. What began as an improvisation with a more daring approach to share their latest material—arguably their strongest and best-sounding record, and among the best they’ve done to date —has become a musical journey of the band’s belief in the importance of “always trying to improve ourselves and trying to build upon what we’ve done in our past and make each record better.” Even the two midtempo tunes in the album have a really big rock sound, Tremonti explains. “It’s so tempting to say, ‘That’s it. It’s perfect’ the first time you have something. But you never really know it’s as good as it can be until you exhaust every possibility, and that’s what we did.” And we think. after listening to the new album, that this is what Alter Bridge has achieved with “Fortress”

The first track of the album ‘Cry of Achilles’ sets the listener off on a path of self-discovery and inspiration, as the band showcases Fortress’ first tune, a classically influenced furious finger-picking which quickly builds into a modern thrash epic. Its towering rhythms and incendiary riffing temper raw grooves with some of the most impressive playing you’ll hear all year.

“First single ‘Addicted to Pain’ coasts from a stadium-size refrain into fret-burning soloing—some of the best in the game. Kennedy and Tremonti stand out as a formidable duo,” writes Artist Direct. “From the former’s monumental range and impeccable six-string work to Tremonti’s metallic mastery, it’s a dream team on the likes of ‘Bleed it Dry’ and ‘The Uninvited’.”

“You can tell from the title [‘Addicted to Pain’], it’s pretty much about an abusive relationship where somebody just keeps on going in this relationship,” Tremonti says, “getting maybe not just physically beat up but mentally beat up because they’ve done it for so long they pretty much tell them that they must be addicted to this pain to keep on going through it.”

The band show that they are prepared to slow things down for the lighters to come out and break through today’s formulaic music business with their authentic brand of rock. That happens on ‘Lover’, which has big single potential, while ‘Peace Is Broken’ boasts a massive hook. Tremonti’s own powerful voice drives ‘Waters Rising’ adding another dimension to the record. Throughout, Marshall and Phillips hold down the foundation in an airtight synchronicity.

“Sometimes I’ll just sit down and write and I won’t think of any band in particular,” Tremonti says. “I’ll write and then I will go back days later, weeks later or whatever and I’ll go through my ideas and I’ll either throw them out if they don’t speak to me or I’ll label them as a certain part of a song. And then the last thing I do is to put them in which band they should be in. But usually it’s pretty obvious to me. If it’s an old school thrash kind of vibe, if I have a riff like that it’s definitely Tremonti solo stuff. If it’s more of a moody, hard rocking song it’s gonna be an Alter Bridge song, and if it’s more straightforward it’ll be a Creed song.”

‘All Ends Well’ and ‘Fortress’ end this downright amazing journey. It’s metal at its finest, and the band at their best.  “We added this song [All Ends Well] to the record towards the very end. We knew we needed something different for the dynamics of the album, and we also kept in mind that our fans like things like ‘Before Tomorrow Comes’ – the more uplifting tunes that we’ve done in the past. Things were pretty dark and heavy, so we wanted to make sure this tune wound up on the record.”

Alter Bridge’s lyrics and sounds sometimes feel like they are coming from another time —yet always seem firmly rooted in the present. Though the band draws from many diverse influences the result is not a variety show on stage — it’s a collection of powerful sonic landscapes that drive the band’s compelling live shows and hand-built success propelling them into their next stage of growth.

A truly personal band project is evident in the passion and power of each song.

Tremonti explains:

“This is one of the first ideas that I brought to Myles music-wise. I sent him the verse and the chorus, and we kind of forgot about it after that. We came back to it after Elvis said, ‘Let me hear some of the other ideas you two worked on before we started.’ This one stuck out, and Elvis said, Hey, that’s great. Let’s work on it.”

“As soon as the rhythm for the bridge came together, we all fell in love with it. Then it was a matter of getting in and out of the time signature and making all of the parts work.

“Myles and I took turns with the solos: I do the first and third, and he does the second and fourth. On the fourth round, he kind of mimics a descending thing of mine, but he does it with an ascending pattern.

“When my part happens, it’s in D because I was in open D5 tuning, which is a challenge because your B string is up a whole step and a half, so you can’t do some bendy stuff – you might snap the string. It’s hard to do some pentatonic things, as well, because your guitar’s a whole new beast when you tune it that way. I think it’s fun, though, because it doesn’t sound like standard-tuning solos.

“I made sure that I got the D portion that’s in a double-time thing, and then it switches to half-time with Myles in the key of A; after that, it goes back to D with me and back to A with him. Really cool stuff going on. Challenging ourselves on the guitar keeps things interesting for us, and I hope everybody else feels the same way.”

‘Fortress’ guides the listener properly onward with a message and feeling that more hopeful times are ahead — and knowing that rock is still alive and well.  Every song on this album is amazing.  This is one of the greatest bands of all time.

You can pre-order “Fortress” on the band’s website.

Back on the road

Alter Bridge returns to the road on October 4 at the Disney World House of Blues in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., before starting a six-week European tour on October 16 in Nottingham, England. North American dates are expected for 2014.

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