Alter Bridge
Walk the Sky 2.0
Napalm Records
Remember in the 90’s when artists would release CD ‘Maxi-Singles?’ They would usually feature the radio single along with a few live tracks to make fetching a ten-dollar price tag worth it. Well, it’s 2020 and Alter Bridge is bringing back the Maxi-Single! Sort of – they are calling this ‘Walk the Sky 2.0;’ a compilation if you will of six tracks culled from the bands 2019/2020 Walk the Sky US tour, and one new song recorded during the band’s pandemic downtime.
Trying to be as non-objective as possible, “Last Rites,” is the kind of song that I hoped the follow-up to 2016’s The Last Hero would sound like. Upon first listen I got immediate Alice in Chains vibes with a touch of Pantera from it. The harmonized vocals and overall mix of the song are spot on and beg to be put on repeat, repeatedly.
I hate to say however, that the only down spot of the disc are its live cuts. After owning Live from Amsterdam, Wembley, O2, and Royal Albert Hall, these tracks sound good, but not up to the standard of past live releases. The shimmery, “In the Deep,” comes off very harsh, while “Native Son,” sounds buried and cluttered. Disc closer, “Dying Light,” which was my favorite from Walk the Sky, just doesn’t seem to hold the same burn that its studio counterpart carries. Overall, the live tracks sound like they were recorded for a radio special.
Many a fan and completist will enjoy repeat listens to the bands return to heavy form with “Last Rites,” while its live cuts will serve their purpose as the rush of what should have been a massive touring year for Alter Bridge.
-Matthew Pashalian

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