Alter Bridge – Live At The Royal Albert Hall review

Hard-rocking heroes Alter Bridge suffer symphonicus interruptus with Live At The Royal Albert Hall

Alter Bridge Royal Albert Hall

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Live At The Royal Albert Hall

1. Slip To The Void
2. Addicted To Pain
3. Before Tomorrow Comes
4. The Writing On The Wall
5. Cry Of Achilles
6. In Loving Memory
7. Fortress
8. Ties That Bind
9. The Other Side
10. Brand New Start
11. Ghost Of Days Gone By
12. The Last Hero
13. The End Is Here
14. Words Darker Than Their Wings
15. Waters Rising
16. Lover
17. Wonderful Life / Watch Over You
18. This Side Of Fate
19. Broken Wings
20. Blackbird
21. Open Your Eyes

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Alter Bridge fans can be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu. But, while Live At The Royal Albert Hall is dropping less than a year after Live At The O2 Arena, the once-in-a-lifetime circumstances surrounding this release more than justify its existence. Not only was it recorded in an incredibly prestigious venue, but it was done so while Florida’s arena-filling favourites were flanked by the 52-piece Parallax Orchestra. It’s a performance that feels like Alter Bridge taken to the extreme, with both the drama of their melodic metal anthems and the emotion of their ballads amplified by an epic, symphonic backdrop. Thus, tracks like Blackbird, The End Is Here and Fortress – which balance heavier choruses with more sombre verses – excel the most here. They all cruise through soaring highs and crushing lows, before achieving a climactic and earth-shaking catharsis previously untapped in the studio. Myles Kennedy’s solo acoustic rendition of Watch Over You makes for a sorrowful apotheosis, transforming a normally subdued song into a cinematic supernova.

However, the DVD’s insistence to regularly stop the concert so it can inject behind-the-scenes footage can grow tiresome, and will leave viewers reaching for the fast-forward button. Instead of having the show and the making-of as separate features, they’re jammed together, making the experience feel disjointed. While the video provides the stunning display of masterfully shot camerawork, if you’re a fan who only desires to feel the larger-than-life power of this spellbinding evening, the CD is your best bet.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.