|Alter Bridge – ‘The Last Hero’ (Napalm Records)|
|Written by The Dark Queen|
|Saturday, 17 December 2016 06:00|
Being a major Alter Bridge fan when their new album ‘The Last Hero’, their fifth studio offering, landed on my editor’s desk I jumped at the chance to review it. Unfortunately, just before it was released, I took ill, so my review is late… so let’s jump straight in, shall we?
Mark Tremonti’s quiet melodic intro leads you into a dark, heavy blast of heavy riffs and double kicks from Scott Phillips’ skilful battering of the drums on the opening track ‘Show Me A Leader’. Myles Kennedy’s spine chilling vocals rip apart the darker side of life in the modern world under today’s leaders as he begs for a leader who won’t compromise. This song is passionate about our need to survive. The guitar solo showcases Mark’s easy skill with his instrument: it just sounds like his third arm.
‘The Writing On The Wall’ is again hard hitting and Brian Marshall’s heavy but seductive bass riff causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. Myles preaches that you’re to blame if you ignore situations only for them to grow out of control.
‘The Other Side’ quietly slides through the speakers only to erupt into a dark hypnotic story about self awareness of the pain you will find when you cross over unless you change your ways, and if not you deserve the price you’re gonna pay.
As I said earlier I took ill around the time this album was released. Actually, I sank into a deep depression and while I was recovering (which I still am) I got to know this album very well - and the next track, ‘My Champion’, was one song that really struck a chord with me. It’s upbeat riffs lift your soul and Myles’ voice seranades as they give you encouragement to keep fighting and get back up again. A tear runs down my cheek every time I hear this song… but it’s a tear of hope.
‘Poison In Your Veins’ is another hard hitter as it tells us that we have to have courage and stand up for what we believe in and release the negativity within ourselves so we can achieve what we believe in. ‘Cradle To The Grave’ is an eerie insight into despair of someone pleading to keep the warmth and comfort of the parents that they will eventually lose but don’t want to.
‘Losing Patience’ blatantly reminds us that we do not have to dwell in the past and we can take control of us and what we can do for ourselves if we have a bit of faith in us. ‘This Side Of Fate’ opens our eyes to the fact that it’s time we face up to our choices and that it’s never too late to change to course of our lives: we can take control and achieve a different future for us.
‘You Will Be Remembered’ lets us know that no matter what is to come, the people who are close to us will always keep us within their hearts, and that one single person will always live on in those hearts: they might not say it but they will keep us alive. ‘Crows On A Wire’ brings the tempo right back up again, while reminding us that no matter what we do in life it will be noticed and used against us by haters.
‘Twilight’ is lighter but still musically in your face whilst it’s tells us that we must accept and change what we are responsible for and time is running out to do so. ‘Island Of Fools’ has a tribal feel to the drums with hard hitting bass and guitar. Lyrically it tells us that only time will tell if we can survive on our own: save yourself… you decide. The last and title track, ‘The Last Hero’ is a call to war but a war with ourselves and that dreams is exist.
This is an album full of resentment and despair but also full of love, encouragement and hope. The talent and tightness of these veteran musicians could teach a few young up and coming ones how to showcase their craft. It is also an album that will stay we with for a very long time to come. Thank you Alter Bridge for getting me through a very dark time.