Alter Bridge is…
Rather than getting carried away by the soaring vocals and intricate guitar riffs, I invite you to look harder at this heavy rock band. Alter Bridge’s instrumentation and lyrics are deep and delivered so effortlessly that it is easy to miss the band’s true complexity. Their content strikes a balance of emotively direct and conceptually metaphoric as they masterfully cast the trials of the human experience.
Alter Bridge musically and lyrically expresses life’s sorrows in their essence. Yet they show the listener that the only way out is through resolve and seeking truth, life, and redemption. But the pain of the soul and striving for the spiritual remains real. So listen well. There have been others here before you. Listen to these words of wisdom and let their songs help you transcend your darkness.
Note: The first two studio albums (One Day Remains, Blackbird) are of a lighter content than the later records (ABIII, Fortress). With each new release, the band takes song composition and sound to whole new levels. And even in the melancholy, Alter Bridge charges you with energy in each and every track.
Driving. Powerful. Intense. Combining the heady content with the powerful and complex minor/melodic sound, Alter Bridge demands an intentional listener. Because of this, those not in the mood for deep listening or for emotionally heavy lyrics can be exhausted or grow tired of their sound. Alter Bridge is soulful, but of a darker color that requires a strong heart to lock in to their messages and be able to endure. But when you do lock in, you’ll feel a connection that Alter Bridge can only deliver. Through the sorrows and triumphs, Alter Bridge will take you on an energetic journey through life like no other band.
Being Christian isn’t all about worship, surrender, and a great love. Alter Bridge reminds us of the pain we endure. Of betrayal. Of love lost. Of searching for meaning. Of carrying on in life. Of holding on. Letting go. Accepting the trials. And working through the destruction. Finding hope and God in all of that, even questioning God all part of a Christian walk. Ultimately, self renewal and deliverance is the aim, and Alter Bridge expresses such deep needs subconsciously, metaphorically, and in some cases spoken quite literally.
Alter Bridge is Myles Kennedy (Vocals and Guitar), Mark Tremonti (Guitar and Vocals), Brian Marshall (Bass), and Scott Phillips (Drums). This is far more than ex-Mayfield Four lead singer and former Creed superstars. It isn’t a super group. Alter Bridge is its own band and label. Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti together are able to play off the other’s supernatural talents and create something far beyond the sum of its parts.
Myles is masterful as a lyricist and brings not only his four-octave vocal range, but his blues/soul influences and gifted guitar-work. Mark Tremonti is also a brilliant and methodical songwriter, though he is renown as a modern guitar legend whose heady riffs spawn entire song arrangements and mesmerize the aspiring six-string generation. Their tastes and talents meld together and culminate into Alter Bridge’s top-tier musicality and ever-progressing direction.
Alter Bridge is all of these things. And more.
And yet…Alter Bridge can be sonically disastrous. It’s the sound engineering and production on their albums. Instead of transcendent vocals, the high points can be dampened and metallic in sound, too easily blending and getting lost with the cymbal crashes and electronic reverberations of the guitar. The power is there on a standalone basis, but the mixing pushes a wall of sound your way without any discretion, sonically reducing the output. The vocals don’t feel openly raw; you are always left wanting Myles’ voice to bleed just a little more. The guitar creates a muddled mess of chords behind the vocals and only stands out as it emerges to play single line riffs and bridges/transitions. And finally, the drums blend too much in the background and the clashing cymbal draws too much sound away from the vocals and guitar instead of providing the dynamic punch that sits behind the band. Overall this reduces the listenability of the sound since the ears have to strain to hear and pick apart the key moving lines. Honestly, ask yourself what you are listening to. Your mind and imagination tends to fill in the gaps of what is really there. When you pierce your ears into the sound to a particular object, you’ll find that the surrounding sound is simply noise that detracts. It’s no doubt Alter Bridge is a legendary band with incredible musicality. It’s just hard to hear amidst everything else.
Even with this frustrating aspect, Alter Bridge’s true gift is the journey of experiences shared in their lyrics and sound-scape. For this reason alone, discover and learn Alter Bridge’s life lessons, for they are truly timeless and woven into the very fabric of our reality.