Album Review: Alter Bridge – “The Last Hero”
I will admit to having a bit of a strange relationship with Alter Bridge. One Day Remains was good, Blackbird was stunning, AB III was damned good, but I didn’t quite get my head around Fortress for some reason. I don’t know why, I felt it just lacked “something”, although I couldn’t put my finger on what. So then, on to album number five, The Last Hero.
Right off the bat it doesn’t mess around, and the crunching riff of the opening track hits you like a hammer blow. It’s heavy, very heavy, bordering on thrash heavy, and it sets the tone up for the rest of the album. This is possibly their heaviest offering so far, and it would seem that Mark is bringing some of the stuff we’re used to hearing on his solo Tremonti projects into the Alter Bridge fold. The album is also a little darker, and dare I say it, a little more reminiscent of the band we heard in the beginning, but with a lot more attitude.
Myles’ vocals never cease to amaze me, and he is undoubtedly one of the finest rock vocalists of the modern age, and could improve just about anything he put his voice to. This album didn’t need improvement though, so instead he was just content with elevating it to another level. Brian and Scott are as solid as always, and are the ones responsible for keeping the band so tight and perfectly in sync. Mark on the other hand seems to have been given some free reign to go off and explore, and he stamps his technical ability all over this album. There are some real flashes of brilliance, and during some of the breaks and solos you find yourself thinking “wow, what the Hell did I just listen to?”.
I tried to pick holes in this, to find something negative, but you know what? I couldn't find it. I'm not saying this is a perfect album, because there's no such thing, someone will always be able to pick holes in it, but that someone isn't me. That may be because I went into this with low expectations and was caught completely off guard though, or it could simply be that it really is that damned good. That though, you'll have to decide for yourself!