Re: DUST Media Reviews
Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:42 pm
8/10 Review: http://www.brokenarrowmagazine.com/tremonti-dust/
‘Dust‘ is the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Cauterize’ by Tremonti . When Tremonti originally recorded ‘Cauterize’ they had the intention of having 2 albums worth of material – not just writing and recording 20 songs, using just 13 of them and having the extra 7 as ‘B-Sides’; that was never on the cards for Tremonti. The band, completed by second guitarist Eric Friedman, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (he’s not often a touring musician with the band as he has touring obligations to this little band his Father plays in – maybe you’ve heard of them – Van Halen!!!) and last but not least drummer Garrett Whitlock. Tremonti opted to split the 20 tracks amongst two records, releasing them 1 year apart from one another. What Tremonti managed to pull off here worked very well. They made two quality albums worth of material that work as one cohesive double album you can play back-to-back, or enjoy them as their own separate beasts entirely.
The album opens with untethered aggression in the form of the song ‘My Last Mistake’, blistering riffs accompanied with Mark’s vocal delivery adds to the feeling of aggression on the track, the chorus isn’t anything out of left field for Tremonti and remains somewhat predictable, but incredibly catchy nonetheless.
‘The Cage’ completely took me by surprise and it shouldn’t have. The guitars from Mark and Eric Friedman have so many hooks you roll through a verse, then a chorus, all the meanwhile thinking to yourself “Oh man, that was the best bit of the track! No wait.. it gets even better?!”
Then the earth shattering heavy bridge followed by the solo happens, and I have come to the conclusion that it might be one of the best songs by Tremonti I’ve heard.
‘Once Dead’ is a blistering heavy thrash song. Drummer Garrett Whitlock is MVP for this track though, showcasing his incredibly fast, hard hitting and dynamic playing style. Things slow down significantly for title track ‘Dust’. The vocal delivery and lyrics on this track speak a lot of emotion, especially when the chorus explodes into a real arena-rock style sing-a-long chorus “Why did you head out? Did you lack the love? Hide from our eyes now, the reflection of…”. The bridge after the second chorus builds great intensity as the song reaches it’s closing chapter, and as you can imagine the guitar solo explodes with colour balanced with equal parts shred and melodic phrasing.
‘Betray Me’ continues down the heavier path whilst the track after, ‘Tore My Heart Heart Out’, blends some of the slower more emotional moments with crushing riffs and breakdowns. ‘Catching Fire’ is an immensely catchy track. Punchy, fast and dynamic from start to finish. Perhaps the best bit of ‘Catching Fire’ is the second verse where the guitar goes quiet for a couple of bars and your left with just Wolfgang Van Halen and Garrett Whitlock pounding away at their respective instruments. If that isn’t my favourite part, then a close runner-up would be the guitar harmonies from Mark and Eric after the bridge. ‘Catching Fire’ really demonstrates how locked in with each other these musicians are and, also why they are all held in such high esteem by the hard rock/heavy metal community. ‘Never Wrong’ feels lighter and more reflective in it’s delivery and lyrical themes. ‘Rising Storm’ brings the aggressive approach back before the album finishes with the delicate and soothing acoustics on ‘Unable To See’. Unlike ‘Cauterize‘’s closer ‘Providence’ that feature some really heavy sections, ‘Unable To See’ feels more optimistic and lighter.
Even though ‘Cauterize‘/‘Dust‘ were recorded at the same time, overall ‘Dust’ feels heavier, which is strange because the balance and ratio of, let’s say ‘light’ and ‘dark’ songs is almost the same amount as ‘Cauterize‘. Whatever it is about this record, it just resonates slightly more with me personally, than the previous album. If you enjoy the darker shades of Mark Tremonti or any of his affiliated groups, like myself, I am sure you will highly enjoy this record.