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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 October 2013
In which our heroes discover Tool, unleash their inner prog, and in this reviewer's opinion cross the dividing line from "great", to "timeless".

I've followed Alter Bridge's career from its inception as "the good bits of Creed ditch that awful singer and get a really good one instead", through their first 3 albums (One Day Remains - solid if a little one paced, Blackbird - slightly less solid but redeemed by the frankly astounding title track, AB3 - not a bad album but so unremittingly doomy it's hard work, and that's coming from a Peter Hammill fan), and saw them from their first gigs at the sadly departed London Astoria, to their current UK arena headlining status. So it's pleasing, and a little surprising in an era where a four album career is such a rarity, to be able to report that Fortress is Alter Bridge's best album by a distance.

There's a whole load of advances from AB3, from the Spanish guitar and slightly proggy structure to Cry of Achilles, to the Jeff Buckley-esque vocal on Lover, through to the title track, which has a twin-guitar section that is up there with anything I've heard in god knows how many years. The incredibly Tool-influenced Uninvited (which features in a really niftily clever recapitulation (how prog is that?!) in the companion piece Cry a River), and the anthemically riffy Addicted to Pain are also worthy of mention. There's a really epic feel to a lot of this album - an earlier reviewever mentioned Physical Graffiti, and I can definitely see the comparison - it's very much the work of a band who are sufficiently comfortable in their own skin to take a song idea wherever they want.

One of the most positive things about the album is the work of the rhythm section, particularly Scott Phillips on drums. It may well be his powerful yet not overly-flashy, almost Bonham-esque approach to the grooves on the album that elevate this to one of my favourite albums of a long time. Myles Kennedy still has probably the best voice in Rock, as well as a very, very good ear for guitar orchestration, and Mark Tremonti hasn't recorded a finer album.

I like it. A lot. You will too, if you're a fan of hard rock done well. Highly recommended.
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on 1 October 2013
Alter Bridge have long been one of my favourite bands. I recall reviewing Blackbird and saying it was an amazing album full of fantastic songs. I'm pleased to say that after the superb ABIII, AB are back with what is easily their best album yet.

Clearly Mark Tremonti releasing his own album, Flip doing Projected and Myles Kennedy doing another album with Slash has meant they have reconvened with a serious purpose; To release the album of their lives.

There simply is no standout track as this is clearly a standout album in a genre marred by mediocrity. From the Tool like riffings of The Uninvited, the fist pumpingly anthemic Cry Of Achilles, the haunting and beautiful musings of Lover to the epic grandioseness of Fortress, you have an album that will grow on you very quickly and stay there forever. I admit this is quite an emotional album and will not be to everyones taste, but to me this is just sheer brilliance. There are mergings of different styles here that simply work well together and every musician is at 200% capacity. I haven't even mentioned the sheer power of Myles Kennedy's voice or the fact that Waters Rising lead by Tremonti is a wake up call to the fact he is an amazing vocalist!

If I could say anything else great about this album I would, all I can say is its a purchase I really don't regret and you won't either, it's that good.
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on 1 October 2013
Somebody once said to me listen to Alter Bridge - and I was hooked. Just added Fortress to my collection and it's brilliant. Can't put it down. I'm 52 years old and not supposed to like this stuff but, I can't help myself...
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on 1 October 2013
Followed rock bands all my life from sabbath and rush through to pearl jam etc, The point is i love rock / heavy rock and discovered alter bridge having followed Tremonti from Creed. They have simply just get better and better with me half expecting a turkey after their first three amazing albums and Tremonti and Kennedy working on their own stuff too (yes the Tremonti album is also superb). They are amazing live and hugely talented musicians, The only thing that surprises me is that there not in the stellar league with Myles Kennedy simply being an amazing find and the best rock singer out there and i include Brent Smith of Shinedown The album is their most complete yet and as the other reviews suggest probably their heaviest with amazing guitar interplay. A sign of a great album is no fillers where they run out of ideas and there's none on this. Its solid from start to finish and worth every one of the five stars. I am not picking any tracks out other than "waters rising" as Tremonti sings on it and yes the clever custards got a great rock voice too. Just keep it going chaps and for anybody who hasn't seen them live then make sure you do as they tour the uk this autumn with Shindown which is a double bonus.
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on 4 October 2013
I knew as soon as the opening Spanish guitar came into my ears, this was going to be something different to what they had done before and nothing short of a killer record. Make no mistake about it this is Alter Bridge at their most heavy and approaching an explosive conclusion as a serious stadium rock band. Every album they’ve done so far has improved on it’s predecessor and Fortress is their best album yet. They could have done the classic rock thing of having some success and playing to the radio… yet they’ve turned around, stuck two fingers up and done an album they wanted to do. This will annoy some commercial rock listeners and also some of their fare-weather fans. Personally I’m glad it does annoy people, that’s how you really know it’s good.

For me stand out tracks are: ‘Cry of Achilles’, ‘Calm The Fire’, ‘Lover’, ‘Waters Rising’ and the sure live hit ‘All Ends Well’

Fortress is a real mix of metal, prog and classic rock with a definite Tremonti influence. That alone has pushed Myles into delivering some stunning vocal work on these tracks. It really is breath taking at times.

Ignore the bore 3-4 star reviews. This is a five star album from a band who are seriously on fire right now. Sit back, turn it up and let the eruption unfold in front of your eyes.
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on 21 July 2015
There simply isn’t a better hard rock band that is as relevant and current as Alter Bridge. Formed in 2004 after the breakup of Creed, Myles, Mark, Brian and Scott are now headlining and selling out arenas worldwide and present their fourth studio album “Fortress.”

You never fix something that isn’t broken, and Alter Bridge stick to the same tried and trusted formula of melodic hard rock. It’s all here, the infectious melodies, crunching guitar riffs, moody bass lines and thumping drums.

It’s their heaviest sounding record to date, catchy lead single “Addicted to Pain” sets the overall tone with other heavy rockers “Farther Than The Sun” and “Cry Me A River” standout songs.

No ballad here really, nothing like “Watch Over You” from the blackbird album. “Lover” sort of gets there but in the end turns into a mid tempo number along the same lines as “All Ends Well.”

At over seven minutes long, album closer “Fortress” drags a bit, plenty of soloing but in my view probably a weaker song on the album.
Overall though, you’d be hard pushed to find a better hard rock record released in 2013. Alter Bridge are also benefiting as well from Myles’ work with Slash, giving them extra exposure.

In summary, “Fortress” is a sublime record. Alter Bridge deserves immense commercial and critical success; the latter has already been achieved with commercial success growing by the day.

If you love your rock, you cannot fail to love this record.
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on 4 October 2013
I don't think I have ever anticipated an album as much as this one. I had gathered from interviews that AB were taking a less commercial, more heavy approach and I worried that they might go too far in that direction. However, this album turns out to be a perfect blend of great riffs (monster riffs in fact!!) pertinent lyrics and just great songs.

I must say I think the first three albums were five stars aswell, but there is just something about this album that makes it their best. I think that the previous albums were slightly more accessible, but having now listened to Fortress approx 200 times it has become my favourite. Cry of Achilles is a contender for best song on the album and is an absolute epic. Other songs that I think are highlights are Calm the Fire and Farther than the Sun. Tremonti sings lead vocals on Waters Rising which was a nice surprise and just shows how talented a band Alter Bridge really are. The overall sound of the album is really heavy and powerful and its obvious that Baskette has done a fantastic job with the production.

I would love to see this album go to No1 on both sides of the Atlantic so that AB get the exposure that their sheer talent deserves. But we all know that real talent isn't rewarded with a high placing in the charts, and this desperately frustrates me. I don't even want to mention certain bands names, but I bet Myles Kennedy has more talent in one of his fingers than some bands nowadays have!

Rock on Alter Bridge, the greatest band on the planet!
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on 21 April 2016
Loved the first 3 albums but am now starting to get bored by their sound.
This starts of well but by track 5 I was starting to get bored with it as it adds nothing new that we have not heard from them before.
I am also starting to find Myles vocals a tad grating which is a shame as have previously held him in high regard.
I think I am also falling victim to Myles overload, as obviously he is vicalist with Slash and I have all of those albums and have seen them live a fair few times.
Dont get me wrong though, the musicianship is top notch and Mr Tremonti is on fine form. There is nothing wrong with the album in that respect, its just not for me.
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on 22 October 2013
I've had a read of all of the other reviews on here, and what I can't understand is the really negative reviews. I haven't given this review 5 stars for just sheer blind love for AB before you all start chiming in.

To everyone saying that Fortress doesn't have the melodies of previous albums, that many of the songs are just metal fests, then listen again. And again. And again. I've had to, so I can get the point of this album. Every single Alter Bridge album is different, and that's why these guys are so good! They won't just re-hash the same old that they know will work. They're experimenting, changing, finding new sounds.

After ODR and Blackbird, I had finally found a rock band I truly admired and wanted to listen to time and time again. Then ABIII came along, and there are many songs on that album I didn't like, I thought were too heavy for the sake of it. But over time, each song made more and more sense. I still don't really like All Hope Is Gone mind you, but here's the thing, that song works when you listen to it around other AB tracks from the different albums.

I'll admit, the first time I listened to Fortress album, I didn't like it. Cry of Achilles was something different and I liked that. Addicted to Pain is a typical single song, not as good as Isolation but not a bad song! Then comes Bleed It Dry... now here's a song I really couldn't get into for a very long time. Over heavy, not AB, Myles lyrically not his kind of song, or so I thought. But seriously now, I love it. It's angry and purposeful and has a point!

I'll wrap it up here, but I do understand where you guys that coming from with Myles not being lyrically as good as before (note that he set the bar pretty bloody high till now!) and the guitar is very heavy and has lost the melodic sound than before. But that's the point with this album people! If they brought nothing fundamentally new to the table, the reviews would be "we've heard this before". It's just another twist in Alter Bridge's repertoire. Give it time, listen to it over and over (like you no doubt have done before with ODR Blackbird ABIII) and also shuffle it with the rest of Alter Bridge's other songs. It works, they all work together!

And the final song Fortress is a killer! ;)
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on 28 November 2013
I read a lot of reviews for this album ahead of going to see AB at Wembley this year. Some comments went so far as to call it their best album yet, which made me think "Hold on a minute ... they have done 3 immense albums ... are you sure this is that good?" but having listened to it non-stop for over a month I can honestly say they are right. Awesome song writing, superb musical blend and the tunes all just get inside your head. My particular favourites are the opening track Cry Of Achilles, track 4 Lover and track 9 Farther Than The Sun. That is now 4 stonking good albums from this band, who seem to get better with each release ... I heartily recommend you buy this ...somehow they have topped AB III ...and trust me that takes some doing
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