It’s hard not to get excited about new music from Alter Bridge. The quartet of Myles Kennedy (vocals/guitar), Mark Tremonti (guitar/vocals), Brian Marshall (bass), and Scott Philips (drums) have been a major success since they first got together. Their music and vocals took the rock world by storm and fans sold-out venues to see them live. So when I got the first announcement about new music from Alter Bridge, I was elated. It had been two years since The Last Hero, so I had expectations how this album would sound. After listening to it a few times over, this album was nothing like I thought it would be and that’s fantastic.
The opening track is a short prelude for the rest of the album. “Wouldn’t You Rather” and “In The Deep” are your quintessential Alter Bridge songs. They have those very familiar guitar and bass riffs, recognizable drum beats, and the vocal pace of what fans expect from Alter Bridge. “Wouldn’t You Rather” is a spot on a radio-play worthy song that fans will immediately hook onto and one I would expect to hear played at their live shows. “Godspeed” has a familiarity with the typical Alter Bridge sound, but something about it isn’t quite the same. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I heard “Native Son”.
Alter Bridge adopted a much heavier sound than their prior work. Brian‘s bass work is more prominent and Mark‘s guitar work has a deeper and harder sound in “Native Son”. It’s electrifying! Though the vocal pace and sound are familiar the music is, I dare say, darker than usual. “Take The Crown” reminds me of their work from ABIII, but “Indoctrination” goes back to the heavy they wanted to showcase on this album. This song is a more methodical, slower grinding sound. And it’s that change of pace that will draw you in and stick with it. The following track “Pay No Mind” maintains that heavy sound musically and vocally Myles Kennedy does a masterful job with the song.
Honestly, the heavier sounding Alter Bridge is invigorating and gives you that opportunity to bang your head to their music. You get a great feel for that sound in the opening riffs of “Forever Falling”. If this was played live the crowd would be holding up horns high and there’d be a mosh pit running. When you move on to “Clear Horizon” you get a blended mix of that heavy sound with the Alter Bridge fans know and love. Out of any of the songs I didn’t like, I’m torn on “Walking The Sky”. The music on that sounds conflicting and muddled. It didn’t resonate with me at all.
Alter Bridge didn’t fully forget what their core fans love. “Tear Us Apart” brings us back to old school Alter Bridge ballads in phenomenal fashion. Every Alter Bridge album has that one memorable ballad and this is it on Walk The Sky. The last track “Dying Light”, ironically by the name, feels like an uplifting and hopeful song. It’s a beautiful track and a great way to close out the album.
Alter Bridge once again delivers a phenomenal rock album while giving the fans a taste of a new heavier sounding rock. I had the pleasure of hearing some of the songs live when the band played the Exit 111 Festival. The live versions of the tracks from Walk The Sky sounded amazing. Walk The Sky is a solid piece of work that every Alter Bridge fan should own. The album will be available tomorrow, October 18, 2019, via Napalm Records. You can purchase the album on Alter Bridge‘s website HERE.