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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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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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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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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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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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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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2013
These guys are really talented musicians with the best vocalist in Rock. It is amazing they do not get any airplay on UK radio, people should be hearing this music. AB always manage to throw something new and exciting in the mix with their new albums and this does not disappoint. Do not expect a rerun of earlier albums - open your mind and listen to the beautiful vocals, lyrics and guitar playing - amazing. There's only one track i felt let them down but will leave that to you to check out. Go get it now, you will be glad you did - enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
Bought this as there was an offer with a pick necklace (would have been buying the album anyway but this was a bonus!). The album is amazing. Not a bad track on it, totally recommend it. My favourite track changes but definitely between The Uninvited, Cry of Achilles and Waters Rising (Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy sharing vocals). Guitar pick necklace was claimed by my son to wear to the Glasgow gig!
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