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4.7 out of 5 stars
Fortress
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
Short : Great hard rock album.Buy it !

Long : If you consider how many albums are worth it nowadays , you ' ll find , unfortunately , that they are a few. Let me tell you , that this one is one of the best albums ever , in the top 3 of the year for me ( Along with A7X's Hail to the king and Dream Theater's ) and probably a very strong step in Alter Bridge's discography. Amazing guitars , huge bass and great drums.The vocals are outstanding.It's Kennedy man , what do you expect ? The tracks , especially 'Cry Of Achilles' , are all a masterpiece of their own . The creativity stands very high for those guys. Would definitely suggest it to you !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2013
Wow, what an album! Just like most I have followed Alter Bridge since the downfall of Creed and since the day they were formed I have loved every minute of the countless number of hours I have spent listening to their music both on cd and live.

Fortress is a superb album, and quite possibly Alter Bridge's best (yes even better than Blackbird). The band have experimented quite a lot with their musical style on this album with progressive influences, melodic, classic rock, and also Tremonti's love of heavier metal music all being used to superb effect. Myles' vocals are as good as ever and the songs lyrically brilliant.

Each song is as good as the other but in it's own different and unique way which makes for great listening and no filler tracks. Cry of Achilles is a great way to open the album and from that moment right through to the ending track Fortress your ears will enjoy what they're listening to. Stand out tracks for me have to be Cry of Achilles, Bleed it Dry, Lover, The Uninvited, Waters Rising, Cry a River and Fortress itself but every song is fantastic.

All in all, if your an Alter Bridge fan you need to buy this album and you will enjoy it for sure. I can't wait for the arena tour now with Shinedown and Halestorm, what a night that will be!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2013
What can I say about this album, its a monster of an album that makes a pretty solid case for being some of Alter Bridge's Heaviest and most dynamic work to date. I was well surprised I thought this album was well better than AB 3, don't get me wrong AB 3 was a great album but very gloomy and dark in terms of lyrics and drive. Not like fortress this is more up beat and a real rocker of an album just like the blackbird album. I'm giving this a 5 star because I never got tired of listening to it, in my car or at home since buying it. They have really elevated themselves to a whole new level, right away the album launches full force with "Cry of Achilles". This is possibly one of the best album openers I've heard in a long time; the kind gives you goose bumps within the first minute and you think I'm gonna enjoy this. If I had to compare it to anything, I'd say it's on par with Stone Sour's "Gone Sovereign" that's just my opinion. I literally cannot find a single thing wrong with Fortress. If you've never heard of or listened to Alter Bridge, I'd suggest you start now with this one or blackbird.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2013
been a fan since day one, love these guys from creed's later stuff to ab 3 and marks solo album, all I was. but was hoping this album would be at least good but was not holding out lots of hope due to everyone doing other stuff and felt alterbridge was becoming a side project in it's self. well fear not, the boys are back and some. I've listened to this peace of work for 3 days now and my senses are black and blue. this album has changed the way I will consume music for ever. I wont ramble on about the individual tracks, all covered in other reviews. all stella to my ears, but I must say while working out on my spin bike in my gym the track lover came on, I was emotionally moved and that ain't happened since my girls were born some 25 years ago. so if you like it heavy, it's hear, melodic, its hear, the best in guitar work, driving drum and bass work, its all hear, and then there's myles. if you want to rock out and loose your socks in to the bargain get your self a copy. when I meet my maker this one's coming with me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2013
From the introductory riff of Cry Of Achilles until the last lingering chords of Fotress fade away, this album is a solid demonstration of just how GOOD this band is. They've changed and improved vastly since One Day Remains, but remained true to their original ethos: brutally good guitar shreds and riffs, superb vocals and songwriting, and a total forgetfulness as to this "Creed" band.
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