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Titel / Title Cauterize 
Label Fret 12 Records 
Total run time
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Now the time has come. After three years of waiting, the second Tremonti album can soon be found in record stores worldwide. Once again, Mark Tremonti teamed up with Eric Friedman (guitar), Wolfgang van Halen (bass) and Garrett Whitlock (drums) to offer his fans some nice music.

It all starts off with the track „Radical Change“ – a very catchy song with a typical rock sound within - that sound gives a first hint of what to expect of this album. There´s a nice rhythm in the background, the guitar sound is edgy and memorable. Only the vocals sound a bit too compressed, and the reverb seems to be misplaced. But if you manage to get used to it, the song is quite well-made – the instrumental parts fit nicely to the song´s concept but still, they cannot turn the song into something special because in the end, it somehow seems to go on forever.

„Cauterize“ , the eponymous song of this album, is heading into the same direction, as it seems to be literally glued to one´s memory. Harmonious vocals and heavy guitars are the highlights here – but there is still something that is not working that well: the drums sound a bit tinny at times, and the instrumental passages once again leave much to be desired, as they seem to be killing the song´s suspense.

Regarding the sound, „Dark Trip“ and „Another Heart“ belong, as both pieces are on the quieter side and are more thoughtful than the rest of the album. „Dark Trip“ is really deep and has a darker touch, sound-wise, than any of the other songs – the vocals are strong and emotional, built on a nice melody and nicely accompanied by instrumental passages that cap it all. „Another Heart“ is going into the same direction, even though the song has more rock sound in it – there are still some melodic parts in the verses and also Mark´s vocals show once again what he is capable of.

Even though the next song seems to be quiet, it all turns out differently. „Fall Again“ - the peaceful mood with acoustic guitars and a minimalistic musical background is not lasting for long. The song quickly changes tack and the rock sound blows straight into one´s face. This change is really abrupt, for my taste, and, the song also seems to turn into something you might want to listen to whilst doing other things – it´s not made for sole listening anymore.

The probably most harmonious song off this album is „Sympathy“ . It contains a good mix of melodies but also properly rocking sound. Some might perceive it as a slightly shallow song but everything just goes well together – that´s why the song sticks to one´s mind. At least, to my mind.

Overall, „Cauterize“ is an album that pushes you and carries you along with the music. There is so much energy here, you simply have to feel it – you need to go along. But also on the quieter side, Mark Tremonti shows once again how much empathy he possesses and how he can bring it across with a soft voice - in contrast to his rougher vocals on heavier songs. All songs are strong and authentic. And for those, who cannot get enough: rumor has it, that there will be another album coming soon, called “Dust”. We´re looking forward to that!

Tips: Dark Trip // Sympathy // Another Heart

Carina Ullmann

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