Alter Bridge
Fortress
Universal

Onto album number 4, Alter Bridge’s latest effort, Fortress, is a jumbled progression from 2010’s ABIII disc. While many salute the band for trying to develop a signature sound recognized as all their own, Fortress does just that – it tries. From the band’s debut effort One Day Remains, the band has basically been a heavier version of three fourths of the band members other band, Creed. While it’s hard to run from your own  sound, they are somewhat able to do just that within songs such as the Zeppelin-esque disc opener “Cry of Achilles” and “Calm The Fire.”

Tunes such as first single “Addicted to Pain,” the gallop to a waltz of “Bleed It Dry” and the first pumping “The Uninvited” definitely stand on their own as tracks the band could be more known for as they harken back to the sound of previous releases. While the band tries to run from the sound its members are known for, “Water Rising,” which features guitar god Mark Tremonti on lead vocals, actually works against the band as his vocal delivery just brings his other band back to mind.

The down tuned plod of the acoustic driven “Lover” works surprisingly well before it reaches this odd 70’s arena rock tone halfway through that off puts things, while “All Ends Well” comes off as a leftover from vocalist Myles Kennedy’s other project with guitar legend Slash. However, at least Myles didn’t recycle vocal melodies on Fortress like he did on the last Slash album. I have to admit that after all of the hype behind this album I was expecting a more enjoyable listen than ABIII and have been left disappointed. –Matthew Pashalian

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