Album Review: Alter Bridge – AB III
Release Date: November 9, 2010
Record Label: Alter Bridge Recordings
AB III, the third studio release from Alter Bridge, opens strong with the track “Slip to the Void.” The track begins with some cool synth sounds (reminds me of Jan Hammer) and exceptional vocals from Myles Kennedy. Then the track explodes in to a killer riff and Mark Tremonti’s blazing guitar-work. They follow it up with the track “Isolation” which has another great heavy riff and strong pop-rock vocals during the chorus. A great start.
The sound of this album is primarily about two things, guitars and vocals. This is not to take anything away from the other band members, they do a great job, but it’s really Tremonti and Kennedy at the forefront. This is a great guitar album. Tremonti whips out all the weapons in his armory, playing in a variety of styles, many familiar, some new. His solos are better than ever. This album is also a great opportunity for vocalist Myles Kennedy to demonstrate just how good he is. His performance on songs like “All Hope Is Gone,” “Fallout,” “Wonderful Life,” and “Breathe Again” is remarkable.
The production of the album is slightly over-cooked. Too much compression saps the dynamics of music. Michael Baskette is once again at the helm, so it’s not clear why the production has lost some of the luster heard on the band’s previous release Blackbird. It simply sounds too even at times. The guitar sound at the beginning of “Wonderful Life” is abysmal, but is thankfully rectified for the rest of the track.
Overall AB III is a good effort, but it may not hold up to Alter Bridge’s previous releases. The musicianship is awesome and the production is very slick, but the songwriting is not as strong as expected. Too often the songs sound like everything else on the rock charts lately. Fourteen tracks with limited variety is a tough pill to swallow.
- “Ghost of Days Gone By”
- “All Hope Is Gone”
- “Still Remains”
- “Make It Right”
- “Wonderful Life”
- “I Know It Hurts”
- “Show Me a Sign”
- “Breathe Again”
- “Coeur d’Alene”
- “Life Must Go On”
- “Words Darker Than Their Wings”