Alter Bridge – Fortress


Review by Raymond Westland

Roadrunner Records

With various Alter Bridge members indulging themselves with various solo outings and side projects it took quite some time before the band reconvened to work on new material. Singer Myles Kennedy was by far the most prolific one being a part of Slash’s solo band, in which he did the old Guns n’ Roses classics more justice than Axl Rose and his band of hired guns. Fast forward to Alter Bridge and their latest album, entitled Fortress.

Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of AB III. It’s not a particularly bad record, but it misses the perks that made Blackbird such an instant classic rock record. This little transgression is settled on Fortress, however. While retaining the heaviness of the previous record it seems that Tremonti and Co found their collective mojo again, especially in the songwriting department. Fortress is a much more driven and upbeat album, although it’s still not a hippie love fest.

This is very much reflected in tracks like ‘Cry Of Achilles’, ‘Addicted To Pain’ (notice the speedmetal influences there), ‘The Peace Is Broken’ and the soul stirring semi-ballad ‘Lover’. It’s in that particular song in which Myles Kennedy shows what an incredible set of pipes the man possesses and what he can do with them. Simply mind-blowing.

Guitarist and main composer Mark Tremonti is an avid metal fan and he isn’t afraid to show that side of him in ‘Bleed It Dry’, ‘Farther Than The Sun’’ and the title track. No matter how heavy a track gets or how intricate his guitar solos are, his technical skills are there to really augment the song material. This ability is the watermark of every great guitar player and needless to say that Tremonti is one of the best players in his particular field.

Staying away from the band for a couple of years worked miracles, because on Fortress I haven’t heard the gents being this inspired since Blackbird. Whether which of the two is the better record is hard to say, but this one goes on my bucket list as one the finest heavy rock/metal of this year, alongside Stone Sour’s House Of Gold & Bones Part II. Heartily recommended!

Alter Bridge – Fortress9 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Cry Of Achilles
  2. Addicted To Pain
  3. Bleed It Dry
  4. Lover
  5. The Uninvited
  6. Peace Is Broken
  7. Calm The Fire
  8. Waters Rising
  9. Farther Than The Sun
  10. Cry A River
  11. All Ends Well
  12. Fortress


  1. Agree with Peter…I’m a massive AB fan after seeing their first live show in Florida all those years ago. Fortress is taking time to sink in, no immediate hooks or chorus’s pull me in like previous outings. I’m sure like a fine wine the true body will come out in time and an appreciation on a different level will rise!

  2. Cool review Raymond.

    I’ve played the album a few times now and just feel that it lacks decent hooks. 7/10 for me.

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