The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

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One Drew Remains
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby One Drew Remains » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:56 pm

Thanks. The mods were kind of coy about the Blood Machines thing when Fortress came out. So I now refuse to call them mods, lol.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby SHEAKENBAKEN » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:43 pm

CD, poster, and 2nd Shirt finally came just under 2 weeks after its release. God damn US-Canda customs.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Flet » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:29 am

MuffinMcFluffin wrote:
Fish Tacos wrote:Pretty much. And I think Mark especially feels like he's been slighted and betrayed a bunch over the years in the industry, so I could see him never switching if only out of a sense of loyalty / not wanting to hurt Elvis' feelings in a similar manner. If he views Elvis as more of a family member than a colleague, a switch is not likely.

He can stay as producer. Just hire a new sound mixer, or make him revert to any sound that is an interpolation of Blackbird, AB III, or Fortress.


Exactly. Elvis can remain producer, stay in the family, but have a different mixer come in...someone with fresh and non biased ears. David Botrill? The brilliant Max Norman. Andy Johns? Andy Sneap? John Cuniberti? So many options....

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby mikeyd23 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:41 am

Flet wrote:Exactly. Elvis can remain producer, stay in the family, but have a different mixer come in...someone with fresh and non biased ears. David Botrill? The brilliant Max Norman. Andy Johns? Andy Sneap? John Cuniberti? So many options....


I would bet if that scenario played out, the resulting record would not solve a lot of the sound woes expressed here. The band would still push for a certain sound, the guitar players would still track layer upon layer, Myles would still track layer upon layer of vocals, Elvis would still be in the producer chair guiding the band to do more of those sorts of things, etc... By the way, I don't necessarily see those as bad things, I don't think the production on TLH is bad, it's not great, but it's not bad in my book.

Additionally, having a different mixer wouldn't solve what I think is the major sonic issue with TLH (once again I don't think it's that bad) the mastering.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Flet » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:15 pm

Yes and no. A mixer has control of all the tracks, which would mean the potential of simply "not using" so many of the layered guitars and vocals etc...so it really depends on the amount of authority given to the mixer, and the relationship (and possible future collaboration) with said mixer/band. But the mixer most definately has the ability to not include tracks.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby mikeyd23 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:20 pm

Flet wrote:Yes and no. A mixer has control of all the tracks, which would mean the potential of simply "not using" so many of the layered guitars and vocals etc...so it really depends on the amount of authority given to the mixer, and the relationship (and possible future collaboration) with said mixer/band. But the mixer most definately has the ability to not include tracks.


Be careful not to paint with such a broad brush. A mixer might have that decision making responsibility, or they might not. It might be the call of the producer. It could (and has) worked both ways for many bands, it all depends on each individual situation, it's totally situational. But if we are addressing this, meaning AB, specific situation, all I'm saying is that Elvis is used to being in control, the band trusts Elvis, so if they did bring someone else in to mix the tracks, the line might get blurred and I have a hunch that you'd hear a lot of the same as the end result.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby gbruin » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:42 pm

Flet wrote:
MuffinMcFluffin wrote:
Fish Tacos wrote:Pretty much. And I think Mark especially feels like he's been slighted and betrayed a bunch over the years in the industry, so I could see him never switching if only out of a sense of loyalty / not wanting to hurt Elvis' feelings in a similar manner. If he views Elvis as more of a family member than a colleague, a switch is not likely.

He can stay as producer. Just hire a new sound mixer, or make him revert to any sound that is an interpolation of Blackbird, AB III, or Fortress.


Exactly. Elvis can remain producer, stay in the family, but have a different mixer come in...someone with fresh and non biased ears. David Botrill? The brilliant Max Norman. Andy Johns? Andy Sneap? John Cuniberti? So many options....

I love what Andy Sneap did with Nevermore.

We just need someone to remember that the sound between the notes is music, too.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby SHEAKENBAKEN » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:56 pm

Finally able to listen to the album on my dads stereo....Brians Bass is great on this record now that I can actually hear it. (Stereo has bass booster speakers). Plus I haven't encountered any skips yet. *crosses fingers*
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby One Drew Remains » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:10 pm

Just got done playing guitar with my brother at his house. He had me listen to some foreign thrash band. In turn, I told him to look up The Other Side. Three minutes in, I watched him bookmark the album page. WIN!
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby anguyen92 » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:25 am

Well, after reading a post from One Drew Remains regarding when Slash/Myles/Conspirators are returning and he mentioned that Myles did a recent interview that states they are talking about reconvening within 18 months or so, but that's not why I'm posting here. So I digged the interview up thanks to Google and, of course, like most interviews, they interviewed Myles about the new album, and the interviewer thought The Other Side reminded them of something from Alice in Chains, anyone else got that feeling?

“The Other Side” kind of reminds me of an Alice in Chains song, because of the dissonant vocal harmonies. Has anyone mentioned that to you yet?

No! It wasn’t something we were aware of, but now that you mention it, I can hear that. To me, that’s one of the things about Alice in Chains that’s always so special. Not only the fact they would do harmonies but the kind of harmonies they would use that were very dissonant at times and not just your standard thirds. They were very interesting harmonies. I think when we were in the studio, (producer) Elvis (Michael “Elvis” Baskette) and I we were experimenting. If I remember correctly, some of the harmony ideas and approaches Elvis really pushed for. He’s a brilliant producer. From my vocal standpoint with the lead vocal on that song, I was shooting for a Chino (Morino) sort of feel from the Deftones. To me, I love what he does. That’s where my mind was at least for the lead vocal, especially for the verses.


http://audioinkradio.com/2016/10/alter- ... interview/

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Lenishere » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:24 am

Alright well, it is time for me to provide my first ever review! Hope it goes well :lol

I think to review this album I need to begin by explaining the background of my discovery and journey listening to Alter Bridge. It will give you an idea of my thought-process during this review and provide a little perspective as to what this band means to me. Prepare yourself, this will be a long one...probably the longest review on here.

So I'll start right from the beginning.

INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND

I remember hearing songs like My Sacrifice, Higher, With Arms Wide Open, and One Last Breath on the radio ever since I was a child, and the melodies just stuck with me. I never bothered to look into who produced these songs, but would occasionally hear the melodies in my head and would jokingly sing "my mom's fried okra" (a parody of With Arms Wide Open) with my friend.

Years later (around 2008), once I got my first computer and discovered the internet, I began to look up these songs on YouTube and discovered Creed. I was always a fan of rock music with deep emotion and big hooks. Creed was exactly that. Sure, the singer was a little goofy sounding, but the introspective lyrics, the passion in which the songs were sung, and the incredible melodies hit me hard. The band fit my "musical palette" in a perfect way. The more I heard, the more I explored, the more the band became my absolute favorite. It wasn't just the singing that connected me either - the guitarist played with such deep emotion as well. I knew he was a badass guitar player. Even then, I could almost tell he had much more talent than he was letting on. I soon found out his name. MARK TREMONTI.

I had done my research. I knew Creed had disbanded years ago. I had also heard "Open Your Eyes" through YouTube related videos, but didn't pay much attention. Catchy chorus, but the singer was different. It didn't feel like Creed (it's insane how my viewpoints have changed drastically since then LMAO). It was then, to my surprise, that I noticed Creed's YouTube channel had posted that there was to be a reunion tour and a new album! I was amazed and thrilled. I would have new music by my favorite band! The album was released, and I was blown away again. However, I noticed something. Mark's guitar playing had evolved immensely. It was heavier, more technical, and more expressive. Needless to say, I was impressed. I had read reviews that stated Full Circle had a closer style to Mark's other band, Alter Bridge. I didn't get it. The name "Alter Bridge" remained stuck in the back of my head though.

Fast forward to 2010. I was still listening to Creed. However, one day I began humming the melody from some unknown song. I couldn't place my finger on it, but I knew I heard it somewhere. Suddenly the words came to me. Was it "open your eyes"? Yes! That was it! So I watched the music video on YouTube again and suddenly it all clicked. I loved it. Great melody, amazing solo, great vocals. In the related videos, there was a video for a song called "Isolation" by the same band. Curious, I clicked the link. The song played and this insanely heavy riff blasted through the speakers. What the hell was that?? It was so much to take in. I didn't really like it. In hindsight, I realize now that I just wasn't used to how intricate the song was in comparison to the Creed songs I had gotten into previously. Luckily, I decided to try one more song that was just released entitled "Words Darker Than Their Wings." This one did it for me. My mouth dropped. Wow, this guy can sing! And is that Mark singing with him?? Holy shit, I didn't know he could sing that well! From there, I followed the band and realized the new album ABIII was about to be released. I decided I would check that out when it did.

YouTube eventually alerted me to the album's release through suggested videos, so using Wikipedia to follow the order, I decided to give the full album a listen. Slip to the Void. Ghosts of Days Gone By. I Know it Hurts. Wonderful Life. Life Must Go On. Songs like this hit me like a pile of bricks. I felt something I had never felt before while listening to music. The emotions were stronger here than Creed. The playing was stronger. The songs more intricate. I had to find more from them. Through related videos, I then found the song that completely changed my life - Blackbird.

From the opening notes to the powerful prechorus riff to the soaring chorus to the beautiful guitar solos, I had chills. I felt a flurry of powerful emotions. What I heard suddenly made me realize why people online would comment "Alter Bridge is better" on Creed videos.

I listened to the entirety of the Blackbird album. Loved most of it. Eventually I heard Down To My Last on a tribute to the video game Halo, and listened to the entirety of One Day Remains. Myles Kennedy, a powerful vocalist and guitar player with a massive range and passionate lyrics. Mark Tremonti, an incredible guitar player with endless amount of skill and emotion. Brian Marshall, a strong bass player, and Scott Phillips, a drummer with amazing variety and power. The band had the whole package. Don't take this the wrong way, but it literally was Creed...but UPGRADED.

I became obsessed with the music. Quite literally. :rockon Every single song I eventually liked. EVERY SONG. Listening to their albums was like a journey. You headbang one moment :slam , you cry the next. :mope

With these happy memories, however, there were also depressing ones. No one else that I knew liked Alter Bridge. No one had heard of it. No one wanted to. I was almost too shy to admit to people this was the music I listened to consistently. Everyone loved the latest Lil Wayne album or whatever crap was on the radio. I didn't mind a lot of it either, but it didn't hit me like Alter Bridge did. Maybe it was because no one felt like I did at the time...I remember in high school being trapped in my room with no friends to hang out with. My grades sucked, so I was grounded. I never could get a girlfriend, and things felt hopeless. I can confidently say that Alter Bridge saved my life. Songs like Life Must Go On and Before Tomorrow Comes lifted my spirits and made me feel as if I could take on the world. Listening to certain songs bring tears to my eyes even to this day if I tune everything out and get lost in the music. I know it sounds stupid, but Alter Bridge was my only friend at this time of my life. I would lie down, with my headphones on and listen to the albums while staring at the ceiling.

A few years went by. My brother began listening to select Alter Bridge songs. Slowly but surely he became a fan as well. Not as big as me, but close enough to have Alter Bridge be his second favorite band. I mentioned before I was sort of shy about my love for the band, because it seemed like no one heard about them or cared for them. But eventually, I gained the courage to show one of my best friends Alter Bridge. I remember the first song I showed him. Wonderful Life. He loved it. Apparently he did his research, because eventually he became a fan of the band and we bonded over our appreciation for the band. Alter Bridge became his favorite band as well. We would discuss the music, speculate about the new album that was releasing later that year entitled Fortress, and wish that Alter Bridge would play a show in Michigan again. This was one of the happiest years of my life. Fortress was eventually released and we were blown away. Every single song was a masterpiece to us.

I had always dreamed of someday seeing Alter Bridge live but had no one to go with. I didn't want to go alone. Suddenly I had a best friend who was ready to go whenever the opportunity arose. So we waited. In 2014, Alter Bridge announced they would be in Ohio for Rock on the Range. That was it. We had to go. Our cars sucked so we rented a car and drove for four hours to Columbus, listening to just about the entirety of the Alter Bridge's discography on the way there. We had crappy seats, but it didn't matter. We were about to see our favorite band live. The band hit the stage. We cheered. Blackbird played and we honestly teared up. It was truly an incredible experience. The next day, I had the opportunity to meet Mark Tremonti with my best friend and my brother. I was amazed at just how humble and nice this guy was. Such immense talent, yet so humble. I showed him my artwork of him, and he provided high praise. He humored my brother's ridiculous question of whether or not he watched "My Little Pony" (he said he was more of a He-Man guy :lol ). I had asked if Alter Bridge planned on playing a show in Michigan, to which Mark replied they planned on it September-October. He didn't lie. In October I finally had the chance to see my first headlining show with my best friend and brother. We bought the tickets instantly.

Come October, my best friend had a family member visit from another country, so he was unable to go. My brother came with me though, and we had the time of our lives. There were multiple times I almost lost it. During the solo of Brand New Start tears were welling up in my eyes. Laugh if you want, seeing the band that inspired me and helped me out of my depression was very powerful to me. This further cemented my belief that Alter Bridge was my absolute favorite band.

The following year, I had a falling out with my best friend who loved Alter Bridge. For a brief moment in time, Alter Bridge music was soured for me. I couldn't listen to the songs without thinking about him and how upset I was that he betrayed me on a deep personal level. Plus there was no one else that I knew personally that loved Alter Bridge like I did. For whatever reason, that saddened me. Who would I discuss new music with?

Around the time of this drama, Tremonti released his two albums Cauterize and Dust. The aggressive nature and themes on these albums fit my anger towards my friend and in another way, Mark Tremonti helped me through my personal issues again. Around this time my girlfriend (now my fiancé) had become a fan of Tremonti and Alter Bridge herself, so things again seemed to be on the upward. I have seen Tremonti and just recently Alter Bridge with her and both experiences made me feel extremely proud and happy with where I was in life.

So naturally, I was more than excited to hear about the latest album in preparation for release by Alter Bridge - THE LAST HERO. Fast forward to later in the year, and now we have the new album!

THE REVIEW


SHOW ME A LEADER:

It’s late July. I had just celebrated my engagement with my fiancé, and had my college graduation party. However, there was one particular experience I was waiting for that was now here: AB’s new single. Enter SHOW ME A LEADER.

My fiancé heard Show Me a Leader and was not a fan. To be perfectly honest, I like the song but it still has not clicked in the exact way I wanted it to. It's just a good song. Perhaps it’s because the song was released first and I’ve heard it the most, but this song is one of the songs I listen to the least.

The song begins with this awesome intro, featuring some nice finger-picking and an explosive guitar solo by Myles that fades out and leads directly into the song’s riff. Through a frantic and energetic pace, Myles sets the tone of the album. Featuring lyrics that immediately resonate in the current American political climate, Myles begs to see a leader that represents hope and wants the best for the country as a whole.

The chorus is very unique in due to it’s multiple pauses, pauses that seem to divide a great number of fans. While I wasn’t sure of them myself, after multiple listens I began to enjoy how unique it was. As for the “noooo’s” I could take them or leave them. They are a bit annoying, but I’ve heard many songs with a similar moment in them and I realized they will work well for crowds.

One of my favorite aspects of this song is Mark’s backing vocals. I love how much he is pushing himself on this song. I actually hear Mark singing in the verses as well, and it’s a shame they cannot replicate this live as well. Mark’s solo after the bridge is another highlight.

It’s a nice start to the album, although in comparison to other opening tracks, I’d say this one of the weaker album openers. Either way, I highly enjoyed it.

THE WRITING ON THE WALL:

Fast forward to the album’s release. Always an exciting journey to experience a new Alter Bridge album in full!

First new song after the single is THE WRITING ON THE WALL.

The song opens with a dark, doomy intro, leading into Myles going “AhhhhhhhhhAHHahhhhhhh” and then to Myles going all out against those who deny climate change. There is a definite rage to him you can feel deep down.

The chorus has a good groove to it. Very nice melodies. The “so I’ll say it again” line is a bit silly but I still enjoy the chorus overall.

The bridge is alright. Pretty standard. As usual, the guitar solo slays.

I absolutely love the way this song ends. The drums pound, guitar chugs, and Myles belts out a classic long note.

Mark has backing vocals here as well, but much less prominent. One of my major disappointments from this album revolves around the lack of Mark vocals, which we will get into more later.

Great song either way.

THE OTHER SIDE:

Next up is THE OTHER SIDE.

The song starts with an acapella section featuring Myles going “ahhhh” again and a riff that slowly builds. Suddenly another dark, heavy riff begins, but this time the riff is at a much slower tempo.

The lyrical content of this song is a bit more difficult to interpret. The way I see it, Myles seems to attack religious extremists or simply those who do evil things in the name of their own religion. Basically Myles seems to be saying there will be no heaven to those who commit atrocious acts, even though they might think their evil is the key to getting there.

It’s very nice to hear Myles singing in his lower register in this song during the verses, and the chorus is very aggressive lyrically. There is also a very creepy bridge that leads into one final chorus in this dreamy dark epic.

To be perfectly honest, this was one of my least favorite songs on the first few listens. However, this song was a grower for me. I began to like it more and more as I continued to listen to the full album.

I think it’s a pretty good song.

MY CHAMPION:

I remember in early September the first time I heard MY CHAMPION.

This was exactly the type of song I needed at this moment in my life. Even though I’ve already graduated college, for whatever reason I was feeling like a bit of a loser (yeah, yeah, I know. I sound like I bitch and moan a lot. I promise you I’m generally a happy person lol). Where was I going in life? I had been searching for an entry level position in my field since May and couldn’t seem to find one anywhere. I couldn’t seem to find my life’s purpose. So really, I was feeling like quite the opposite of a champion. This song entered my life and hit me like a ton of bricks - a good ton of bricks.

Myles is literally singing to me in this song. “You gotta keep fighting, and get back up again.” Cheesy lyrics normally, but in the context of the rest of the song, and it’s relationship to my life, it fits perfectly. Alter Bridge makes the best feel-good songs, and this song is no exception. You need a boost? Listen to MY CHAMPION.

The song begins with a classic rock style guitar lick, interchanged between Mark riffing an upbeat lick, and then the verse starts.

Myles is very endearing in his lyrics, and regardless what others might say, they are very relatable to me. Mark’s backing vocals again really shine. In the prechorus and chorus, Mark’s vocals soar right along with Myles and this adds a lot of depth to the vocals in my opinion.

The guitar solo, as always, is beautiful, moving, and very heartfelt. This leads into one final extended chorus and an outro where Myles sings his heart out and then hums as the song ends.

While I do agree that maybe some of the lyrics could be a bit better, this song does exactly what it’s supposed to. Hit you where it counts. Feel relatable. In that, it succeeds.

POISON IN YOUR VEINS:
Here comes another fast-paced uplifting song. After telling you to keep your head up, now Myles is really pushing you to be the best. To make the best of everything in your life.

The song moves fast, leading into an extremely catchy chorus that inspires you to “rise and be much more.” The bridge is especially unique to Alter Bridge in this song, almost reminding me a bit of his Slash material. The guitar solo is truly unreal in this song. Mark is doing things I’ve never heard him do.

Just as soon as the song starts, it ends. It’s a good pump-up song before the album takes a nose-dive into darker territories in the next track.

CRADLE TO THE GRAVE:

This one is a masterpiece in the making. Eerie, beautiful guitar playing begins the song, as a darker riff hits and leads back to slower strumming. Right from the start the song is a journey.

Myles sings about his fears of losing the ones he loves, as he realizes that time is flying by. As he gets older, more so do your parents. Similar to Ghosts of Days Gone By, Myles explores these conflicting feelings, expressing sadness and also grief.

Mark has an incredible solo after the bridge. Possibly one of the most emotional on the record.

Honestly, there isn’t much more I can say about this song. It’s just one that takes you on a journey through the feelings you get while reflecting on where your life is going as you grow old. A must listen for sure.

LOSING PATIENCE:

I see what people mean when they say the song starts like a “swarm of a thousand bees.” To be perfectly honest, it’s a bit ear-piercing. Not my favorite start to a song.

The verses are alright. Very different than other verses on the album for sure. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. Good because of it’s uniqueness, bad because it’s honestly a bit boring.

In contrast, the chorus is pretty awesome to me. Very catchy. I like the “ooooooohs” in the background of the chorus. The bridge sounds pretty nice as well.

I don’t know what else really to say. This is probably one of my least favorite songs. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. I like every Alter Bridge song I hear. But it’s just alright in relation to the others.

THIS SIDE OF FATE:

Very pretty start to this one. Similar to CRADLE, the song explodes into a heavier riff, then slows back down.

Unique sound to the verses. A bit repetitive though. I definitely wasn’t sure how to feel about the chorus being the same lyrics as the beginning either. Without the change in the bridge, this song would definitely be a bit of drag. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the first part of the song, it just needs the bridge to add more flavor to the song.

Speaking of the bridge, you can definitely hear a Muse/Queen sound similar to Calm the Fire on Fortress. This is the best part of the song and makes it sound like a journey. Myles has an awesome solo here as well. I think it might be one of my favorites from him.

I really LOVE how the last chorus is played an octave down. Makes the song that much more unique, and again saves the song from becoming repetitive and boring.

Mark’s solo also slays. Very emotive as usual.

Pretty awesome song overall.

YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED:

I’m honestly quite surprised at the lack of appreciation for this song. Maybe it’s because I have a particular affinity for ballads (I loved Creed after all), but this seems to be a touching ballad for those who serve the country in the general. I can understand if you do not glorify the military, but I was under the impression that this song is directed towards ANYONE who serves the country.

Beyond that, it’s a very unique ballad for Alter Bridge. The way the song builds up fits the sound of the album, and the chorus is very unique. The lyrics, while simple, make sense in context of the song. Myles appreciates those who give their lives for everyone else. That’s the general idea in my opinion.

This song has a good bridge, an interesting chorus, and a lot of emotion. It’s classic Alter Bridge ballad with a twist.

CROWS ON A WIRE:

One of my favorites on the album. This is a kickass riff. Mark fucking rocks and we all know it.

The verses are awesome right off the bat. The vocal and guitar riffage fits perfectly together. Leads perfectly into a soaring catchy chorus. My brother began singing the chorus after the first listen.

The guitar solo and bridge also slay. Really don’t even know what else to say. This song is just awesome and really catchy.

The attitude of this song is pure awesome. Fast paced and heavy, what’s more to like? If you are a fan of Alter Bridge’s heavy side, definitely listen to this one.

TWILIGHT:

This one is definitely a call-back to ABIII in my opinion. The style of the opening and during other moments of the song hit that nostalgia button that takes me right back to 2010.

I like the unique sound of the verses. But the prechorus is one of the catchiest parts of the song. There really are some great melodies here.

In a way I like the chorus and in another way I don’t. As many of us know, Myles’ voice has been changing over these past few albums, and he sings in a much more nasal tone than we remember from back in the One Day Remains/Blackbird days. In general, I don’t mind it, but it’s songs like this that really exemplify his more nasally side. “TWAAAAAAAAEEEE-LAAAAAEEEEEEEEE-EAT” whoa there, Myles. A bit much. For some reason, when he sings this part it sounds like an old Shinedown song. That being said, I still like the chorus. It’s just a bit more nasally than I would like.

This song does have some great lyrics. The bridge is pretty interesting as well, yet feels like classic Alter Bridge. This and the guitar solo is reminiscent of Blackbird and ABIII.

Good song overall.

ISLAND OF FOOLS:

Three words: HEAVY. AS. FUCK.

This is probably the heaviest song on the album. The first songs that came to mind while listening to this one: The Ties That Bind and White Knuckles. It’s like they slammed into one another and a baby was instantly born.

The heavy opening riff and steady groove of the verses instantly get your head bobbing. No seriously, you can’t stop.

The chorus sounds pretty nice, although it’s not until the 3rd chorus when it feels perfect. I didn’t expect the drawn out sections there.

I really love the bridge of this song as well. Feels like an amazing Blackbird bridge.
The songs starts and ends strong. One of the best on the album as well. Easily among one of the best of their heavier material.

THE LAST HERO:

So here we go. The official last song of the album (I’ll be reviewing the two bonus tracks as well). Boy, this one definitely doesn’t disappoint.

The song immediately starts. No intro guitar needed. Straight to the vocals. That earns bonus points with me for trying something different. The riff? Pretty good. Although a good majority of the song feels really similar to Cry of Achilles.

That’s not to say I don’t like the song. It’s fucking awesome. Especially when it hits the chorus. This is an opinion that will probably get me castrated here, but I personally like the chorus of this song better than Cry of Achilles.

If I’m still alive after you read that last paragraph, then I guess I’ll mention that the bridge of this song is another highlight. Amazing solo here. Myles is on FIRE this album. He really steps his game up in this album. I was very impressed. I also like the chugging guitars after the solo.

The final chorus hits and Myles holds one final note as Mark sends us home with an incredible solo to match. Finally, the album ends as Myles borrows from Cry of Achilles again with a vocal outro.

Even with the similarities, this song is really amazing and one of the best from the album. It’s an incredible ending to another great album by Alter Bridge.

LAST OF OUR KIND (SYMPHONY OF AGONY):

Just kidding! Well kind of.

This is the final track recorded for the AB5 sessions.

I like the riff. However, the vocals on this song are particularly nasally and kind of repetitive. I’m not a fan of the verses at all, and the chorus is just okay. I suppose this is why the song is a b-side.

There are some interesting vocal moments (like the “fight forevermore” right before the second chorus), but most of the song falls flat for me.

The highlight of the song for me is Mark’s guitar solo. It’s unique and expressive. It seems to tell a story.

Overall, probably another one of my least favorite songs on the album. It is okay though.

BREATHE:

A very refreshing way to end the album. The smooth tones of the guitar, Myles in his prime vocal ability. Quite literally, the song breathes.

You can really feel the emotion pouring out of the band here. Being able to hear a song lost for so many years was truly a goosebumps-inducing moment.

While I understand how you could say the chorus is a bit weak, I actually think it fits the more restrained approach of the song.

I really enjoy how everything just flows in this song. It’s honestly a way to cool down from the high-energy approach the rest of the album has. It’s the end of the 15 song epic that is THE LAST HERO.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m not going to give the album a rating. My opinions are always adjusting slightly, and to assign a number or ranking to an incredible band like Alter Bridge just doesn’t work for me.

That being said, this was another great album by Alter Bridge. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any shortcomings. I’ll start with the bad and then work towards the good. I’ll end the review on the best note I can.

Where the hell are you Mark? You’ve proved time and time again you are an accomplished singer in your own right. So why don’t we hear you in this album? I understand that they want to differentiate between Tremonti and Alter Bridge, but we have clearly established the difference between the two vocally from Waters Rising. Even though Mark is singing on that song, it is clearly not a Tremonti song. In my own opinion, Alter Bridge missed out on a perfect opportunity to add some more variety to the songs. I think one or two Mark lead vocal tracks or at least some trade off lead vocals similar to Words Darker Than Their Wings would have added so much more to the album. Even in the backing vocals you can barely hear Mark. It’s frustrating to be perfectly honest. Their voices blend so well together. But oh well, I guess I can’t complain after two albums full of Mark vocals.

Speaking of vocals, what the hell is going on Myles? He is more nasally than ever here. Traditionally, he would have a bit of the nasal singing going on, but there was always a smoother approach to his vocals in comparison to his work with Slash. For a long time, Myles was singing live with his more nasal vocals, but in his recorded work he attempted to keep his smooth tone intact. For whatever reason, he threw this out the window. Maybe it was to sounds more like he does live…but then again he double tracks his vocals in this album a lot, so that can’t be replicated now. I don’t know. I honestly just think his voice is changing. And let’s face it. Myles is getting older. Your voice changes. That doesn’t mean he lost his voice. It’s still strong. Still powerful. Just sad to see that smoother tone disappear a lot more in this album.

Let’s address the elephant in the room now…the production. Honestly, I don’t mind it as much as others do. But let me be clear, it can be taxing on the ears. This album is very loud, and consistently loud. However, so were the last two albums as well. I think the problem lies more in the style of music Alter Bridge is making this album. This album is very heavy, and almost explosive – even with the ballads and slower material. It’s a lot to take in. I do wish Alter Bridge would possibly try someone new to produce their next album. Do I think that will happen? Nah. That’s okay though. I think they will be fine.

I really think the lyrics needed more time here. Myles uses the word “rise,” “deny,” and “forevermore” way too many times in Alter Bridge’s discography. If I’m being completely honest, I think Mark is a much better lyricist than Myles. If they worked together, I think the lyrics would honestly be a million times better on this album.

Those are my main criticisms with the album. Now onto my thoughts on what I loved.

Alter Bridge is still Alter Bridge. They refuse to settle, as usual. The band strives to push the boundaries and make a progressive, yet anthemic album full of hills and valleys. Songs that rock really rock, and songs with more emotion hit just as hard as always.

Myles and Mark have amazing chemistry as always, and their unique playing styles allow each other to sound more dynamic. Great guitar playing, great singing.

With the amount of content you get on the full album with bonus tracks, it’s immensely satisfying to have 15 new tracks to listen to on the long 3 years before the next album (I still can’t wait!).

As usual, this album is a journey. You go from being uplifted, to torn down, to picked back up, to being smacked right in the face. There is no other modern hard rock band that hits just like Alter Bridge does. I say with firm dignity that Alter Bridge is still the best out there in the modern rock game.

Even though this album is possibly their heaviest, the songs still feel dynamic and interesting. I just hope next album we can get more dynamic and maybe try more new things.

I know it seems like at the end I was hard on the album especially since there is more text describing the bad, but I promise you I still love this album. Alter Bridge saved my life. And it continues to help me on a day-to-day basis. While things could be improved, I’m just glad the band that helped defined me is back.

Going all the way back from Creed to the birth of Alter Bridge and to where we are now, I truly feel I’ve grown along with these guys. Congratulations on the great new album AB, and remember guys that this is a special occasion, regardless how you feel about the new album. I’m excited to have this now, and of course, I am definitely excited for the future.

If you got this far through my review, thank you.

Enjoy the album everyone!

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WaywardOne
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby WaywardOne » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:11 pm

Two things from the recording session pics I want to know about:

1. Which song was the Ebow used on? Is it just the intro of This Side of Fate?
2. Which song was that hollow body guitar used on? I expected something super bluesy to come from that, but nothing really stands out that points to such a different guitar being used.

Trmills823
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Trmills823 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:51 pm

I have come to the conclusion, as others have, that the mastering is the biggest problem with the album. Some of the songs are good but not great, while the great ones are some of their best. But the decisions in mastering hurt the whole album. The overall EQ seems too upper-mid heavy. Cymbals, guitars, and even Myles's voice all get lost because they all end up sharing the same space sonically.

Combine this EQ with a ton of compression, and there are places where the wall of sound is way too shrill, lacking much bottom end. Compare this to Fortress (as I have jumped back and forth in my car with a solid sound system), and you'll immediately notice a richer, fuller tone to the guitars and drums, even with the wall of sound still present. I still really like the album as a whole, but find it wears on me much quicker than previous ones.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby mikeyd23 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:44 am

Trmills823 wrote:I have come to the conclusion, as others have, that the mastering is the biggest problem with the album. Some of the songs are good but not great, while the great ones are some of their best. But the decisions in mastering hurt the whole album. The overall EQ seems too upper-mid heavy. Cymbals, guitars, and even Myles's voice all get lost because they all end up sharing the same space sonically.

Combine this EQ with a ton of compression, and there are places where the wall of sound is way too shrill, lacking much bottom end. Compare this to Fortress (as I have jumped back and forth in my car with a solid sound system), and you'll immediately notice a richer, fuller tone to the guitars and drums, even with the wall of sound still present. I still really like the album as a whole, but find it wears on me much quicker than previous ones.



Yeah man, good post. I certainly agree about the upper-mids fighting each other (see the intro of Writing on the Wall). I also agree that Fortress has better separation and sounds a bit richer. The one place I'll disagree is in regards to the bottom end. I think TLH has a good amount of bottom end, I haven't found it lacking in that regard.

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The Plotblocker
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby The Plotblocker » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:15 pm

I can see the mixing/mastering of this album being discussed and debated for a very long time.

Side note, wtf is the "Blood Machines" thing about? I was not a member here during the Fortress promotion and release times.
"Something something deny..... Something something blame..." - Myles Kennedy - Every lyric writing session.

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The Plotblocker
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby The Plotblocker » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:29 pm

Ubik wrote:Just remembered that before the release, Mark mentioned that they originally had the intro of Show Me a Leader at the beginning of another song before moving it over - where do we think it might have been?


Harking back to this again. I think it is Island of Fools.

AB23 wrote:okay screw all of you in Facebook chat that called me cray cray CUZ IM NOT CRAY CRAY


There is a ABN Facebook chat?!?!
"Something something deny..... Something something blame..." - Myles Kennedy - Every lyric writing session.

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AHart96
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby AHart96 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:29 pm

The Other Side has REALLY grown on me the past couple of days. Originally wasn't super high on it, but the more I listen, the more I like
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Rock Never Dies

Thanks for the sig Don Harry!

Trmills823
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Trmills823 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:56 pm

mikeyd23 wrote:
Trmills823 wrote:I have come to the conclusion, as others have, that the mastering is the biggest problem with the album. Some of the songs are good but not great, while the great ones are some of their best. But the decisions in mastering hurt the whole album. The overall EQ seems too upper-mid heavy. Cymbals, guitars, and even Myles's voice all get lost because they all end up sharing the same space sonically.

Combine this EQ with a ton of compression, and there are places where the wall of sound is way too shrill, lacking much bottom end. Compare this to Fortress (as I have jumped back and forth in my car with a solid sound system), and you'll immediately notice a richer, fuller tone to the guitars and drums, even with the wall of sound still present. I still really like the album as a whole, but find it wears on me much quicker than previous ones.



Yeah man, good post. I certainly agree about the upper-mids fighting each other (see the intro of Writing on the Wall). I also agree that Fortress has better separation and sounds a bit richer. The one place I'll disagree is in regards to the bottom end. I think TLH has a good amount of bottom end, I haven't found it lacking in that regard.


Yeah I plugged in my UE7s into my phone and was able to pick up more low end for sure. But yeah, I think we can all agree the mix ain't right. But the overall album has definitely been growing on me for sure.

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Flet
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Flet » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:57 pm

Well, maybe we will be lucky and they will release a remixed (if needed, and I say yes it does) and a remastered version in 13 years or so like RUSH did with Vapor Trails.
Artists should start giving several stems to fans so we can just remix and remaster as we see fit.

Trmills823 wrote:I have come to the conclusion, as others have, that the mastering is the biggest problem with the album. Some of the songs are good but not great, while the great ones are some of their best. But the decisions in mastering hurt the whole album. The overall EQ seems too upper-mid heavy. Cymbals, guitars, and even Myles's voice all get lost because they all end up sharing the same space sonically.

Combine this EQ with a ton of compression, and there are places where the wall of sound is way too shrill, lacking much bottom end. Compare this to Fortress (as I have jumped back and forth in my car with a solid sound system), and you'll immediately notice a richer, fuller tone to the guitars and drums, even with the wall of sound still present. I still really like the album as a whole, but find it wears on me much quicker than previous ones.


Absolutely, that last statement is the problem. It's such a shame to KNOW we have a great album in our hands and yet it's hard to listen to and fully take in because of production issues. Issues that we know they can fix.

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AB4Lyfe
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby AB4Lyfe » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:11 pm



I don't think they realize how awesome this song really is...
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