Alter Bridge: Fortress

Rising rockers go forth and get turbocharged

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It’s a testament to the quality of Alter Bridge as musicians and songwriters that they’ve crept, stealth-like, up the echelons of the rock ladder and above many much more hyped and hip outfits with a minimum of fuss. Now, though, with Fortress, the secret is about to be let out of the box.

Within a minute, opening track Cry Of Achilles gives you the feeling that this is going to be something special; a delicate acoustic riff gives way to fat, Black Album-era Metallica groove before Myles Kennedy pours his luscious, honey-coated croon over the top. His voice is a force of nature and although the whole band play a blinder and Mark Tremonti’s guitar has never been captured with such an expressive tone as it is on here, it is Myles who owns the album. His performance on Lover veers from the beautiful to flamboyant in a way that actually makes your hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

With a glut of bands playing the post-grunge/hard rock game, to varying degrees of success, it’s about time that one of them pulled away from the pack. With Fortress, Alter Bridge have made the best album of their career; in fact, they’ve not just moved to the front – they’re lapping the opposition. They’ll be household names this time next year.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.