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Two years passed since Alter Bridge released their last album titled „AB III“ – now, their latest album, bearing the name „Fortress“, is out in the stores. This album immediately starts off rocking, with its title track “Fortress”. A melody that sticks to the mind and a nice but partially over-worked vocal performance welcome the listener to the album. It´s a solid opening track but could´ve been far stronger and more impressive.
My song recommendations from this album are „Cry of Achilles“, „Lover“ and „Calm the Fire“. „Cry of Achilles“ is a really strong song. It starts with an acoustic guitar solo and then continues electrically. The well-thought out overall sound makes the song special: the powerful and catchy chorus, the edgy and expressive vocals, plus a really tight production as the cherry on top. „Lover“ sounds a bit too electronic when it comes to the vocals, but sounds much better when played live – nevertheless it´s a song that I immediately like. One reason are Myles´ vocals, which are full of meaning and at the same time really fragile – a perfect match to the song´s lyrics. Quiet verses and a rocking chorus, harmonious transitions and a great guitar sound make this song worthwhile. And last but not least, I´d like to put Calm the Fire into the spotlight: incredibly expressive, powerful and at the same time vulnerable, this is how Myles presents his vocals here, always nicely accompanied by the music. The combination of slow and rocking parts in the song works out very well, making this song clearly one of the strongest on the album! Also the other songs offer a pleasant mix of rocking and rousing passages as well as slower and more melancholic parts –always nicely implemented music-wise and matching the strong vocals!
Overall, the album shines with its really good sound, especially when it comes to the guitars. The vocals were, for whatever reason, edited way too much – there´s too much echo or they sound too toned down and don´t really match the songs. But despite that post-production blemish, Myles´ voice is, as expected, really lovely and versatile, and at all times full of expression – sometimes edgy, sometimes aggressive and occasionally, incredibly fragile. The band managed to create an album with a really well-chosen mixture of songs that surely deserves its space on the CD shelf!