Writing a review of a CD for a band you are unfamiliar with, or not really “that into” is hard, but writing a review of a band that you adore and have traveled all over to see, is even harder! You need to be impartial and honest, and honestly, this is a hard-hitting, in your face, feel it through your bones album. So, if you haven’t heard the buzz yet, Alter Bridge is releasing their fifth studio album, The Last Hero. Listening party host Supa Dave, of Orlando’s rock station 101.1 WJRR, asked Mark Tremonti, “So, when is a release date?” Mark replied, “We are shooting for release early October — October seventh, but you never know.”
On July 6th, 2016, fans from all over were honored to have the chance to have a private listen to the new record The Last Hero in Orlando FL at The Beacham. We were informed no cell phones, no cameras, no recording devices were allowed for the event. After the first 10 minutes of panic, I realized this was going to be the most exciting experience any Alter Bridge fan could ever have, especially because this show was the first show all four members of Alter Bridge would play together in two years. These guys keep really busy!
When we walked in, we were given a sheet with 14 songs and asked to rate them, “ok, awesome or single.” It made it so interactive and I loved that I could close my eyes and listen deeply to each track, write my notes, draw a selfie on the back of the sheet (why not) and let them know what I felt about this new album. Out of 14 songs, I gave them two okays, 10 awesomes, and two singles. I mean, how I could really pick a single? It was so surreal and emotional and beautiful all at once.
So, what you can expect to hear?
The sound is a cross between Fortress and early AB — still melodic, still heavy. It is in your face, but has that one song that everyone is going to relate deeply to.
Myles Kennedy sang lead vocals on all 14 songs while Mark took a step back from singing lead, choosing to sing harmony instead, and harmonize they did well. Scott “Flip” Phillips added some hard double kick and Brian Marshall brought the bass!
“Show Me A Leader” is played on a seven-string guitar, and they added some different tuning this time around, keeping it new and fresh.
When asked the meaning behind The Last Hero, Myles explains the need for heroes in our society, and leaders, and what we do to our leaders or heroes or role models, build them up and tear them down. It’s a theme repeated throughout the record.
The band took their time to perfect this CD, and there are some songs that are long — six minutes plus.
Produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Mark, Myles, Scott and Brian put every ounce of themselves into The Last Hero. The album will be their first with their new label Napalm Records.
Here is the listing of the tracks. Can you guess which was in-your-face-heavy, and which made us cry? I can tell you we all had our guesses before we heard a single note.
Show Me A Leader
The Writing on the Wall
The Other Side
Poison In Your Veins
Cradle To The Grave
This Side of Fate
You Will Be Remembered
Crows On A Wire
Island of Fools
The Last Hero
Last Of Our Kind
What I can really tell you is be sure that on October 7th you go out and buy The Last Hero. You will not be disappointed at all.
After we all composed ourselves from being blown away, we were then treated to a performance of our favorite Alter Bridge songs. Vocal, guitars, drums and bass, were spot on. It was beautiful and this was the song listing in this order:
Come To Life
Farther Than The Sun
Before Tomorrow Comes
Ghost Of Days Gone By
Addicted To Pain
Find The Real
Watch Over You
Cry Of Achilles
Open Your Eyes
Now the touring begins. Before they head over to Europe for a major tour, you can catch them at a few festivals stateside.
http://www.wjrr.com/ (pre-show interview on their site)
Photo credit to William Burkle
Photo credit to Chuck Brueckmann/Fret12