Despite erstwhile membership of the awful yet mega-selling post-grungers Creed, Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti is a fan of heavy music. Three years ago he proved this fact with All I Was, the debut from an eponymous side-band that tempered the usual dependence on melody with a previously concealed love of speed metal and thrash.
Letting rip with Radical Change, a rapid-fire opener that presumably sports black skinny jeans and high-topped trainers, Cauterize offers additional validation of Tremonti’s metalised alter-ego.
Arm Yourself and the title track further restate such a commitment, though it would be a romantic fallacy to state that things are moshpit-friendly from start to finish. Flying Monkeys isn’t so far removed from Alter Bridge at their heaviest, and there’s plenty of light and shade.
Tremonti’s vocals have character and force, and the presence of Eddie van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, on bass provides yet another talking point./o:p