Phoenix Music Online




Overall score 100




American Rock band Alter Bridge are back with their 5th studio album ‘The Last Hero’ after a 3 year break and the guys have been busy with their own projects during that time but, they are now back stronger than ever.

The Last Hero opens with ‘Show Me a Leader’ and the band don’t mess about with proceedings as they make their message plain and clear from the get go with this super heavy track. Its enticing and intricate guitars lure you in before heavy hard drumming and soaring guitars tear open the flesh. An empowering track that doesn’t slow its pace, it rages forward to a guitar solo that is executed with precision and expertise. A hook of a chorus will have the listener singing out without even trying. ‘The Writing on the Wall’ drags you in deeper with this stand out track. Groove-filled guitars blend in with a heavy outset. A powerful track with so much meaning and gives the listener plenty to chew at.

‘The Other Side’ is next, its starts off eerily before the bulky rhythm section work their magic at full force. It’s dark, angry and a hellish track that punches through to the other side and beyond. It’s actually one of my favourites off the album. ‘My Champion’ opens with an old school sounding riff that reminds me of AC/DC before Myles stand out vocals kick in. A slower paced track compared to the latter but that doesn’t affect its own greatness. It expresses hope along with a fighting attitude and how to never give up. I hear so much strength in this track as it shines out.

‘Poison in Your Veins’ cranks that notch back up a little for this catching number. Its infectious as it runs through your veins. Mesmerising and seductive guitars that don’t release their hold. ‘Cradle to the Grave’ is poignant and beautifully captivating. Hypnotic vocals throughout that evoke your feelings. I like the contrast between the two layers of ballad-esque undertones to the heavier overtones. The Soaring guitars heighten the dynamic of the track as it rains out. Every aspect of this track hits the spot and fits together effortlessly.

‘Losing Patience’ doesn’t mess about as it comes in at thunder pace, there’s an urgency to its sound as it tests your patience. It climbs higher and higher around you and has no intention of coming back down. Another solid track. ‘This Side of Fate’ slows the tempo slightly, as it allows the lyrics to be heard. The track delves deeper into the unknown as it plays with fate that surrounds you in the darkness. Each layer entwines and weaves in to the next as it becomes whole.

You continue through ‘You Will Be Remembered, Crows on a Wire, Twilight, Island of Fools, The Last Hero and bonus track ‘Last of Our Kind’ which brings this fine album to its conclusion.

The Last Hero is one of the best albums that I’ve heard in 2016. I love how their sound has evolved as a unit and I can hear their own personalities bleeding through with this heavier, meatier sound.

I will always favour their older sound because that is what I fell in love with and got me through so much, but I love how they keep pushing the boundaries and how they  keep coming back with something more innovative. I feel like they have found their own unique sound by fusing their older sound with their new sound that shows off their complexity and individuality like no other.

Did someone say….

Best Rock Album of 2016?

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