The latest album from Alter Bridge aka ‘”Creed meets Guns ‘N Roses but without all the drugs”, is 14 track masterpiece. ‘The Last Hero‘, is an outstanding collection of tunes which appear to be aimed at those who sacrifice for others. From the opening track ‘Show Me A Leader‘, and following in typical Alter Bridge style, there is a slow build-up to the incoming crash of the opening verse, much like ‘Cry of Achilles‘, from ‘Fortress‘.
Frontman Myles Kennedy’s signature vocal style towers over many long-time stalwarts in the post-grunge/alt metal/melodic hard rock genre (you can decide which genre that they got into yourself because everyone has different opinions), and; it is no different in this outing than in any other song or record that Alter Bridge have delivered.
Lead axeman Mark Tremonti shares the vocal load as well as duelling capacity with Kennedy, and thus can really be heard throughout the entire record. Grassroots heavy metal emanates from ‘The Other Side‘ and ‘Poison in Your Veins‘. The bass is thick and heavy coming from Brian Marshall and unfortunately occasionally drowns out Tremonti (which is particularly apparent on ‘Show Me A Leader‘ and the AC/DC-ish ‘My Champion‘), who is shredding up and down his fretboard, through sheer ferocity. ‘My Champion‘ seems like it belongs in a feelgood buddy/road trip movie, but leaves you feeling good and bouncy, kinda like you want to go for a run.
The power balladesque portion of “The Last Hero” is proven in a trio of odes to lost loves, departed loved ones and regretted decisions like ‘Cradle To The Grave‘, ‘This Site of Fate‘ and ‘You Will Be Remembered‘. You can’t help but think that, given the absolute bastard of a year that 2016 has been to the music scene with the passing of huge musical stars including David Bowie, Nick Mendes, and indeed our beloved Lemmy in December 2015 (who’s anniversary is fast approaching), there isn’t an extended shout out to those who have ploughed the way for bands like Alter Bridge to strut their stuff. ‘You Will Be Remembered‘ takes that to another level, and as you contemplate the intrinsic meaning of the lyrics, it does leave you pondering about people who are no longer in your life.
The pondering does not last long, as anger-laden ‘Crows In A Wire‘ has a sly dig at those who pump you up to the top, only to suck the life from you and discard you (the music industry maybe), but a definite ball-kicker is ‘Losing Patience‘, because this one bounds out of the traps like a bat out of hell. ‘Island of Fools‘ is another booming drum beat from tomskin leviathan Scott Phillips.
‘The Last Hero‘ is an album that you can listen to again and again in succession and you’ll discover something new every time you do it. Alter Bridge are capable of digging out the meanest topics of regret, pain, loss, hope, and addiction and turn them into riff monsters that stick in your head and make you get up and do stuff to improve yourself. I highly recommend this album for its sheer enthusiasm and subliminality…. and of course, it’s kick-ass guitar solos and lyrics. I’m a guitarist. Go figure. 3.5/5
Show Me A Leader 5:05
The Writing On The Wall 4:27
The Other Side 5:54
My Champion 4:40
Poison In Your Veins 4:18
Cradle To The Grave 5:40
Losing Patience 4:09
This Side Of Fate 6:47
You Will Be Remembered 4:42
Crows On A Wire 4:26
Island Of Fools 5:00
The Last Hero 6:42
Last Of Our Kind (Bonus Track) 5:34
© OVERDRIVE.IE 2016