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Alter Bridge live review - o2 Arena, London

Gallant Gauls rule an international roost

A picture of Myles Kennedy on stage
(Image: © John McMurtrie)

On an otherwise incredibly strong bill, the dated, clichéd radio rock of LIKE A STORM [2] is a mere afterthought thanks to GOJIRA [10], who look, sound and are received like headliners. Much has been written about the expansive new material from Magma, but the addition of an emotionally crushing The Cell to the final piece in the puzzle for anyone still trying to work out who the greatest metal band in the world are right now. It’s Gojira. End of discussion.

They might have the crowd on their side and some brilliantly fun songs like Sad Man’s Tongue and Lola Montez, but do VOLBEAT [7] ever suffer by comparison to what has just happened. Even the appearance of Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway on a rip-snorting Evelyn can’t help them look anything other than slightly above average. They may not seem the most vital or groundbreaking band around, but there’s nothing average about ALTER BRIDGE [8]. Myles Kennedy has a breathtaking voice, sounding pitch-perfect live, and the musicians around him have managed to craft hard rock songs like Isolation and the closing Rise Today that are both a savage gut punch and soaringly uplifting. To see them dominate a venue of this size is both a pleasure and a triumph.

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.