"Fortress" Review

Mark Tremonti affirmed in one of his several interviews that Fortress could be hard to digest to the fans . When I listened to the entire album, I thought: “What? This is the most beautiful thing that I heard for a while. There´s everything that I appreciate in those 12 songs.” 

Passed the initial frenzy of listen what us, fans, eagerly expected, I listen again and again and again and calmly the tracks of the album and started to think of what he intended to say with that phrase and I believe , which can make it difficult to understand the new work of Alter Bridge, is the accumulation of feelings that permeates all the songs. Eventually, you realize that there are so many in all the lyrics that it can take your breath for some seconds and leads you to some reflections that we try to avoid in every way we can. With the success of Alter Bridge III, that had strong and intense hits, leading the fans to delirium, that might mean that the band had arrived to the top and where only one way is left to follow: the decline derived to the days of glory and high creativity. 

But after three years of waiting, a lot of speculations, almost all the members of the band engaged to another projects and some months stranded in the studio, here comes a gift which was worth all the suffering of anxious hearts, like it is in the case of the person writing that review. 

Fortress is a compilation of strong lyrics, powerful sound and profound melodies that enter the minds like a knife and lead us to reflect about trivial issues and that affect us daily: What to do when an relationship of any type comes to a standstill or just collapse entirely? Only that fact would be related as a high risk to one band that had predecessors acclaimed albums decide to step into. Why mess around with one successful formula? Yes, they went ahead. And more, they had improved the sound. Mark Tremonti leads the metal lovers to the madness, with heavy chords, that may become sweetened by the voice of the genuine and complete lead singer, Myles Kennedy. It´s the first time we can notice in the music´s world the pure metal with levels of softness, treating about inherent themes of human nature. If this is not breaking paradigms in music, nothing else will do, in fact.

From Cry of Achilles, which stems from the beginning almost out of context of sound we´ll listen over the next chords, passing by Lover, a lullaby, that take us to the softness almost heavenly, in order to be awaken again by Uninvited and finally until Fortress, one audacious and heavy hit, being proper and not chosen by accident to be the title track of the album. Alter Bridge leads us to one delightful, scary and impressive journey through the lyrics of this masterpiece converted into album and that it is to mark the name of the four talented musicians in the history of rock. And I would not be astonished if the next work, yeah, I am already thinking of the next one, was even more surreal. It would not be surprising in the case of the quartet. 

I deliberately left two songs to deal separately with: All Ends Well and Waters Rising. 

Reading other interviews with the band, and I read a lot about that, I admit; I realized that “All Ends Well” is a really personal song for Myles Kennedy. The whole album is in fact. This is evident, but that song has a special history, because Myles said that it comes from the perspective of his mother and how she helped him to become a confident person. Besides the lyrics being a part of one important period of his past, the message that it passes is very profound and cozy. All the people wish someone would come in hard or doubt times, look into our eyes and tell us that everything will be all right. We really need to hear that sometimes. It´s almost surreal that in the album with so strong plot, we can find a song which brings us hope. It´s almost like the band wanted to pass the message that everything could collapse, but in the end, everything ends up fitting together. It´s almost like a mantra to be remembered , and special, like the music in fact is. 

And Waters Rising. I admit that when I found out that Mark Tremonti would sing one song on the album, I became extremely curious about how it would work. Of course I was waiting for a different type of album, so that´s why my initial confusion. Mark is a very talented and versatile musician , his works talk for themselves, in the group or solo. Waters Rising really surprised me. The duo between Myles and Mark is an absolute killer. The mix complete where we can listen the pure metal with soft melody from heart to heart. Obviously, I needed to listen three of four times to assimilate properly, but after that, I´m completely blown by the song. 

For Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips it gets the fundamental role and almost forgotten to close the package brilliantly in order to one work without fail and from being always there, supporting their band mates during all the process, like a proper team has to be. 

To Michael Elvis Baskette and Jeff Moll there´s the realization of the talent and work for a project where they absolutely put their blood in all the steps to create something unique, a masterpiece indeed. And for not following up through the commercial side, where a lot of great bands went to follow and lose themselves. The music world thanks, and we, lovers of a good song, we can honestly say thank you because there are still people on this way who only want to enjoy and build the real and not treat everything like a bussiness. 

Alter Bridge proved that after ten years, they still could reinvent and recreate themselves, and that they are humble musicians, talented and an amazingly supporting team able to realize . No matter the level you stand, you can learn every day, and in fact, every fortress could collapse, the foundation of the band fortress is more solid than ever and the name of the band is already among the greatest.

By: Paula Bezerra from Myles Kennedy World
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