Fifteen years into their career, Alter Bridge doesn’t get tagged with supergroup much, inspire of their clear affiliations to other major bands (Tremonti, Creed, Slash). However, they are a super group of music makers and songwriters. Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy do their best work together, and some of the best tracks of their lives on their new album Walk The Sky (Napalm Records).
It seems that Mark Tremonti intended his namesake band to be the heavier of his two active groups, but Walk The Sky is full of bangers. While there is a lot of posi-sounding modern rock tunes, there are tons of dark heavy riffs and licks on most all of the tracks. Designed to pump you up, filling you with a flood of emotions, the album is also sequenced beautifully. For the first time in the bands’ history, principal composers Tremonti and Kennedy wrote songs separately and brought them in mostly finished rather than writing together. Still, the music and band here feels like a well-oiled machine, a cohesive, complete effort. Props to the guy “behind the desk”, Elvis Baskette (Sevendust) also for such a crisp, clean production.
After the intro of ‘One Life’, the proper full track ‘Wouldn’t You Rather’ is an uplifting riff rocker. Kennedy’s epic vocals soaring high over the din. The track has a typical blistering Tremonti lead break. ‘In The Deep’ is another strong uptempo track, as is ‘Godspeed’, penned for a fallen friend. There is a passion on cuts such as ‘Native Son’, ‘Take the Crown’, and ‘Clear Horizon’ that is compelling, while ultimately uplifting. Brian Marshall (bass) and Scott Phillips (drums) are not sidemen, they are great players and play their parts perfectly.
The band fears no boundaries so heavy chugging tracks such as ‘Indoctrination’ sit in the mix with epics such as ‘Dying Light’. Total dichotomies of mood, lyrics, and style, but believable from the same band. Other top tracks are ‘Pay No Mind’ and the title track ‘Walking On The Sky’.
Considering how prolific this band is and how strong their output has been over the years, it’s impressive they keep striving to improve and refine what their band can be.
8 / 10