At last. All of the anticipation, the teaser trailers and the hype have led to this moment. I have in my hot little hands a copy of the new Alter Bridge album, ‘The Last Hero‘. The boyfriend bought it for me yesterday afternoon; I left it in my bag, waiting for the right moment in which to reverentially unwrap the cellophane, smell the ‘newness’, read the liner notes and take time to study the whole package … it’s now Sunday; it’s a glorious, sunny, chilly morning and there’s not a sound to be heard except for the birds on the rooftops. This is the time. I’ve got my headphones on, I’m sitting back with a cup of tea … so, read on, dear follower, read on.
So. Alter Bridge five is here. ‘The Last Hero‘ has been eagerly anticipated for months; produced and mixed by Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette (as well as previously working with Alter Bridge, Baskette has also worked with Tremonti, Slash and Trivium, among many others), it is a 13 track opus (14 tracks if you have the special edition CD) that screams ‘platinum seller’ at the top of its lungs. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a stunning masterpiece of an album that will uplift, thrill and delight you. Let’s take a closer look …
Opening track ‘Show Me A Leader’ catapults us straight into the action with a nice guitar lead in. This is a huge song; it has an upbeat, uptempo feel and makes for a pretty thrilling introduction to AB5, making you excited as to what might come next, which is …
‘The Writing On The Wall’ intro has a military feel to it, with some immense drums – there are just layers of sound here that made me want to listen again and again. This is a track with plenty of attitude which sounds quite dark.
Third song ‘The Other Side’ is a pretty sexy track; it has a good, chuggy feel to it and I think it has real crossover appeal to fans of other genres as again, it is quite dark. There are some naughty sounding vocals from Myles and it’s just a full on, stunning track. I’ve listened to it five or six times already and it’s a firm favourite; if they don’t play it live in November, I’ll be really disappointed!
‘My Champion’, ‘Poison In Your Veins’, ‘Cradle To The Grave’ and ‘Losing Patience’ are all bangers; any and all of these songs will go over very well live. They are also unmistakably ‘Alter Bridge’, featuring some nice harmonics. ‘My Champion’ is particularly uplifting.
Eighth offering, ‘This Side of Fate’ is a huge track. With beautiful vocals and a lovely melodic guitar sound, it’s part ballad and part epic masterpiece. The song has a particularly rousing bridge, which reminded me a tiny bit of early Muse, but the whole thing just soars in your ears, making your heart pound and your fingers tap … it made me a little bit sad when the song came to an end.
The melodic ‘You Will Be Remembered’ brought tears to my eyes as it got me thinking about my Dad – a lovely song which is well followed up by the bruising ‘Crows On A Wire’; taking you straight back into the action with a heavy intro featuring some choice pinch harmonics, it’s another definite favourite of mine already.
‘Twilight’ is a powerful and melodic song that is a pleasure on the ears, with some thoughtful lyrics and again, that big, big sound. ‘Island Of Fools’ and bonus track ‘Last Of Our Kind’ are two more great tracks and ‘The Last Hero’ is also stunning, with some marvellous vocals.
Alter Bridge (Source: teamrock.com)
To sum up, ‘The Last Hero‘ is pretty much everything I hoped it would be and so much more. It’s epic and immense. Baskette has done an amazing job with the production and this album has undoubtedly taken Alter Bridge to the next level. I would have given it 10 out of 10, but … well, where would be left for them to go with number 6?!
There is no doubt that non-fans of Alter Bridge (which is in itself an alien concept – I mean, who wouldn’t be, right?) will say that there is nothing new in this record, that it sound like, well, Alter Bridge. If you are a fan and have even one other album, you will agree that it sounds like AB. But you will also realise that there is so much more to ‘The Last Hero‘; it’s a brilliant, themed journey from start to finish, rather than just a random collection of good songs.
Roll on November – I can’t wait to hear the new material and to be part of the Alter Bridge live experience once again.
Track listing: –
- Show Me A Leader
- The Writing On The Wall
- The Other Side
- My Champion
- Poison In Your Veins
- Cradle To The Grave
- Losing Patience
- This Side Of Fate
- You Will Be Remembered
- Crows On A Wire
- Island Of Fools
- The Last Hero
- Last Of Our Kind (Bonus Track)
Alter Bridge: –
- Myles Kennedy – vocals and guitar
- Brian Marshall – bass
- Scott ‘Flip’ Phillips – drums
- Mark Tremonti – guitar and vocals
The Last Hero: –
- For fans of – Alter Bridge (nobody else sounds quite like them!)
- Queen of Rock rating – 9.5/10
- Stand out tracks – Show Me A Leader; The Other Side; This Side Of Fate; Crows On A Wire; Twilight; The Last Hero
Lyric video for ‘Show Me A Leader’ – here
Video (audio) for ‘The Other Side’ – here