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Alter Bridge AB III Album Review

22 October 2010 3 Comments

By: A. Estes

Alter Bridge AB III Album CD Cover

While the Creed reunion has been good in that it has kept Scott Stapp busy enough to stop chucking Orangina bottles at women, it has also put the superior Alter Bridge on the backburner. Money talks, and when Mark Tremonti, Scott Philips and Brian Marshall stepped away from the band to relive their turn-of-the-century glory days, no one could blame them. Had it meant the end to Alter Bridge – a band that is getting progressively better and better with each album – then surely it would be a tragedy. No worries though, as the band has reconvened with frontman Myles Kennedy and producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (who oversaw production for 2007’s “Blackbird” as well) to craft their epic third effort, simply titled “AB III.”

A group photo of the rock band Alter Bridge (2010)

Alter Bridge

Upon first listen to the album’s dark and moody opening track, “Slip to the Void,” it is obvious that Alter Bridge is ready and willing to step into new territory. No longer confined by their other dayjob, Tremonti and company let loose all over the record. Although more restrained than the riff-heavy “Blackbird,” “AB III” shows a band branching out and honing their craft to perfection. These three guys play off of each other so naturally that they might as well be sharing a brain at this point. That’s not to say Kennedy is a slouch himself, though. Quite the contrary, it is the singer who drives the bulk of the album. Whereas album’s past were led by Tremonti’s riffage and the solid rhythm section of Philips and Marshall, this record truly belongs to Kennedy. As one of the most unique and soulful singers in rock music today, Kennedy has become perhaps one of the most underrated frontmen in recent memory. His versatile voice, combined with the dark subject matter of songs like “Words Darker than Their Wings” makes this sprawling set a compelling listen.

If anything serves to slow “AB III” down, however, it’s that the album is almost too jam-packed with songs like “I Know It Hurts” and “Show Me a Sign” which don’t offer anything particularly fresh or exciting and only serve to slow down the pace of the record. Minor grievances aside, however, this is about as good as modern hard rock gets. If you are approaching this with prejudice because of Creed, perhaps nothing aside from the quality of the music itself can change your mind. Alter Bridge is everything a rock band should be nowadays; Progressive yet accessible and technically skilled song-writers who keep their music down to Earth. Not only are they outdoing themselves with each consecutive release, but they are putting quite a few of their contemporaries to shame in the process. It won’t be long now before Creed has to live in Alter Bridge’s shadow.

“AB III” is currently set for a November 9th release in the U.S.

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  • Brian Doran said:

    Creed is already living in Alter Bridge’s shadow.

    I am looking forward to this CD more than any CD this year.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • Carla said:

    I know this guy from Brooklyn who imported the record because he couldn’t wait until the U.S. release and had to have a physical copy. Alter Bridge has made more waves than anyone gives them credit for.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    This is one of the last great American true rock bands. AB 3 is an instant classic.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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