The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

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DCooper727
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The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby DCooper727 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:05 pm

So I figured I'd save all of us some time and open this thread so it'd be open on the day that the album comes out.

*Post your review of The Last Hero here on October 7th*

With the release of The Last Hero, Alter Bridge have once again shown their resistance to complacency and stagnation, though that does not mean the album is without its faults.

The Last Hero showcases some of the band's most brilliant work to date while failing to be a cohesive album as a whole. There are songs for everyone, which is good in some aspects, but this "something for everyone" approach makes the album feel it has no identity; it tries too hard to be everything and the collection of songs just don't work together as well as the band's past work.

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The album opens up with Show Me a Leader, which has a brilliant, moody guitar intro by Myles Kennedy, though if I'm being honest, sounds entirely out of place with the rest of the track. The intro itself outshines the rest of Show Me a Leader, which is standard radio fare and to be honest, boring. Tremonti does showcase his guitar prowess well on this song, but also repeats a pretty memorable phrase from one of his solo tracks, The Cage, and the main riff is pretty nondescript for the most part. I also appreciate the subject matter of the song, but the intro and lyrics aren't enough to save this song from mediocrity.

The second track, The Writing On The Wall, is a slightly better offering than Show Me a Leader, but not by much. It is an entirely straightforward guitar driven track with a decent solo and a beginner's djent bridge back into the chorus. While nothing is wrong with the song, it's just a token heavy track from AB. This track might have impressed listeners when AB were transitioning into their heavy direction for the first time, but not now.

Up next is The Other Side, and while it retains AB's predictable song structure, the song itself is one of my personal favorites in their entire catalogue. Myles has come up with a haunting intro that leads way to one of Tremonti's heaviest riffs in AB history. The lyrical content is extremely dark for Alter Bridge, and to me it sounds as if the song's subject matter is religious terrorism. The swinging, doomy chorus is one of the best pieces of music that I think AB have ever written, and I truly do love this song. Repetitive, yes, but oh so good. If you liked ABIII, you will probably like this one.

Batting fourth we have My Champion, and this is one of my least favorite songs out of the AB catalogue. With a tonal sound that seems lifted straight from a Slash album, My Champion is utterly cheesy from beginning to end. If Writing On The Wall was the token heavy song, then My Champion is the token uplifiting song...only AB have written uplifiting songs in the past that far surpass this one. I don't really have anything good to say about this other than Myles' vocals sound good.

The fifth track, Poison in Your Veins, starts out promising enough (though the riff in this and Writing are far too similar for my tastes. They both have this rolling quality that I like, but there's nothing really unique about them) but soon descends into radio single territory. There's no new ground treaded here aside from Tremonti fully exploring a shreddy-blues solo that could easily rival Slash's signature sound/technique. The song's subject is nothing we haven't seen before and it again follows the same predictable song structure.

Cradle to the Grave is next up, and this is truly an exceptional track, the likes of which we have not seen from AB before. The lyrics are downright heartbreaking and you can kind of tell what you're going to be in for when the track switches from a pretty fingerpicked pattern to a much darker wall of noise. Right after that we have the chorus, and it is a thing of beauty. Its melody is very moody and the lyric is quite sad with Myles asking "Who'll be my hiding place when you're gone?" The bridge is pretty far out in left field and will certainly please the guitarists among you as will the solo. Overall this track is bound to be an underrated gem.

Losing Patience is another bit of a token heavy track with the same issues that plagued Writing on the Wall: bendy, rolling intro riff with a radio friendly chorus. I'll admit that I like this one far better than Poison/Writing/Leader, but that just boils down to it having a slightly darker sound than the aforementioned tracks. There's nothing really special about this track aside from the cool sounding bridge (you can hear a bit of Creed's "Bullets" here), but if I had to pick between the radio sounding material, I'd choose this track.

We reach the halfway point of the album with This Side of Fate, and I was honestly very grateful for this one. This song is without a doubt one of the BEST songs that AB have written to date. It's easily their most progressive song besides the title track, and there is a lot to love about this one if you favor AB's more progressive side. The lyrics are definitely the weakest part of the song, but that can be forgiven due to the way that Myles sings them. After two choruses, the song just takes a sharp turn with a very Dream Theater-esque riff that then leads into the most grandiose vocals/bridges that AB have produced so far. It's truly a magnificent moment for the band and one that will have your jaw on the ground by the time it's over. This track is nothing short of an amazing experience.

It's time for a breather, and You Will Be Remembered will certainly help you slow down after This Side of Fate. Alter Bridge always have one or two ballad/softer tracks on the album, so it should come as no surprise that this track exists. The lyrics are kind of sappy, but they serve their purpose as a gift to our heroes/soldiers. The chorus melody is quite good and overall I honestly enjoyed this track far more than My Champion. It's not a standout track among their discography due to tracks like Watch Over You and Wonderful Life existing, but it'll do. *It is pretty sad listening to it with context, FWIW*

This will likely be an unpopular opinion once the album is out, but Crows on a Wire is my least favorite song on the album next to My Champion. Crows starts out promising enough, but then the chorus hits, and I'd honestly rate this track higher if the chorus sounded different. It sounds like Myles made a conscious decision to parody his own vocal range multiple times in the chorus and it just ruins the entire track for me. Instrumentally, the track is on point (Myles' solo is really good) and so are the lyrics, but chorus is repeated so many times during the song that I just can't get over the vocals.


When I read the lyrics to Twilight that got posted long before the album came out, I thought for sure that I'd hate the track, but I was totally wrong. If you like the tonality/instrumentation of ABIII, then Twilight will be right up your alley. The upbeat tone juxtaposes the lyrics/meaning of the song in a way that's reminiscent of Ghosts of Days Gone By, and the song features one of my favorite bridges on the entire album and quite possibly their discography. In short, I really like this one.

Holy hell, Island of Fools is nuts. The intro riff (which Myles wrote) is quite possibly the most brutal riff (Gojira/Mastodon for comparison) among their 5 albums so far, and it only gets better from there. Island of Fools is definitely one of the fastest, heaviest tracks on TLH and will certainly quench the thirst for metal that some of you have. Myles definitely deserves recognition for his solo on this due to his phrasing and restraint, and the reason I mention restraint is because I feel Mark just wanted to play fast for his solo. It's just unrestrained speed in the beginning coupled with his wah, which makes the first half of his solo sound like a garbled mess. Aside from that, this track is phenomenal.

Finally...the pinnacle of the album has arrived: The Last Hero. The title track is easily one of the best Alter Bridge songs EVER. The intro riff is extremely clever and the instrumentation only tightens/gets better from there. The lyrics are extremely poignant throughout the entire song and are the most well written on the album in my opinion. Once we get past 2 choruses, we're treated to an immediate onslaught of riffs coupled with a panick striken Myles who practically screams when asking "Tell me where are the heroes?!" And from there, we are treated to the most technical solo that Myles has ever played on an album. Seriously, it sounds nothing like him and instead sounds like the guys approached John Petrucci to guest solo. Once that's over, we're treated to a very cynical and droning bridge that segues into a softer version of the intro lyrics. After one last chorus, we get a remarkable solo from Mark (Myles belts his vocals over this and it's incredible) that leads into the intro riff which has lyrics sang over it ala the end of Cry of Achilles...and that's the end of it. This song is Alter Bridge at their very best and is truly their finest piece of work in my honest opinion. The Last Hero is their finest hour.

*Symphony of Agony* I honestly have no idea why this track is a b-side when tracks like Writing and Losing Patience made the cut as A-listers. This is a well put together track that could have made the album more cohesive had it been placed somewhere in the first half of the album. It's very reminiscent of the ABIII sound with it's heavy guitars, dark lyrics (the song is about murdering ants, FYI) and a very dark/moody bridge. This song also features the cleanest vocals on the album (Myles is quite nasally on a lot of the album) so that bumps Symphony of Agony up a few notches for me already.

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Lyrics: There are good, bad (looking at you, My Champion) and middling lyrics on this album. Compared to the other 4 albums, this may be the weakest of the bunch with a few exceptional tracks.


The Good:

The Last Hero:
"Can you hear the marching
The beating of the drums
Once again, the dogs are out for blood.
Words and accusations, history revised
But time is gonna tell that you were right.
Oh how you tried
I know that you tried to save us
Save us"

Cradle to the Grave:
"From the cradle to the grave
It's a fear I can't escape
Where would be my hiding place
When you're gone?

There's no way to deny
The brevity of life

As time keeps marching on
All we have is lost"

Twilight:
"Where do we stand? It feels like the end is near
I remember everything you said and what would come to be
A prophet of the future, now the future is reality"

"Divided by differences, now everything is torn apart
Tomorrow is contingent on the tolerance of every heart"

"I looked at the sky, praying for time
Hoping for what hasn't come
The dream's still alive but the nightmare just won't come undone

The tyrants will rage, there's no time to waste
There's no telling what we'll become
If we don't sustain
Some hope from tomorrow with love"

Symphony of Agony:
All of it.

The Bad:

My Champion:
All sorts of generic up in here.

"May this lift you up
When you feel you'll fall again
You cannot win, no
Hope these words are enough
For you to be strong, my friend

Sometimes you fall before you rise
Sometimes you lose it all to find
You've gotta keep fighting
And get back up again
My champion
Oh, my champion"

This Side of Fate:
The lyrics for this are overly simplistic/repetitive and seem rushed.

"We had a dream
Now it's gone
A future revealed
We were all so very wrong
We were all so wrong

This side of fate
Is blind
The choice has been made
It is time"

Losing Patience:
Very cliche and overly done in AB's case.

"Are you finally losing patience?
May you rise, your time has come
May you fight for what's been taken
Find your strength when there is none"

"This may be the only way you've got
A second chance to turn the page, move on
If you choose to wallow in these sorrows what will be the cost?
If you did and follow your tomorrow, find where you belong"

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Instrumentation:

Again, good and bad things abound in TLH.

The Good:

Myles is the MVP of this album without a doubt. His guitar/writing on the title track is nothing short of stellar, and even Mark said he just couldn't keep up with Myles on that track. If you missed it in my track by track, that first solo in the title track is Myles, and that's just one example of his playing. His guitar work on this album is near perfection and I'm extremely happy that he finally showed how fantastic he is on a studio album. Mark also recently stated that Myles prepared 90% of his solos before hand and it REALLY shows as he takes a more refined, technical approach to his writing.

Examples of his playing:

-The brilliant intro to Show Me a Leader.
-The first solo in This Side of Fate and The Last Hero.
-Mark said most of the riffs in The Last Hero were written by Myles.
-That stupidly heavy riff in Island of Fools.
-The solo in Crows on a Wire is fantastic (I THINK this is Myles).
-The e-bow in This Side of Fate is a nice touch.
-The slow burn intro to The Other Side is a perfect set up to Mark's riff.

Mark does well in certain places on the album and shows him moving towards a very loose, bluesy style with his solos.

-The Poison in Your Veins solo is extremely impressive and technical, and sounds like it would fit right in with 80s rock.
Despite not liking the song at all, I really liked this solo.
-The clean intro to This Side of Fate is beautiful and the bridge riffs are exemplary and really fit with the melody of the song. Some of their most complex work to date.
-The doom & swing riffs in The Other Side are great and work wonderfully with the vocals.
-The clean guitar that matches Myles' vocal melody in Cradle to the Grave is extremely well done, the bridge riff is killer and the solo is REALLY good.
-That Twilight solo, though.

There are a LOT of layers in this album and it's going to take a LOT of listening to hear all of it. The Last Hero is easily their most complex guitar work/writing so far, but it can be overwhelming at times and certain bits are easily missed. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, folks.


The Bad:

Surprisingly, this all has to do with Mark for the most part.
This album is lacking in identifiable riffs/licks in a really big way. Songs like Show Me a Leader/The Writing on the Wall/Poison in Your Veins/Losing Patience all have extremely similar riffs that have a heavy rolling sound that makes them far too alike for their own good. There's nothing unique about those riffs at all to me, and that's cause for concern when Mark has already been awarded the "Riff Lord" status and been called someone who "revived the riff." There are riffs that are very good and identifiable, but I'll list those out later.

The next thing that I have gripes about are Mark's solos. In the past his solos used to have very interesting phrasing and were generally well thought out, but on TLH he seems to just aim for frenetic speed and loose blues licks in a lot of cases. Island of Fools is one of the worst solos I've heard from him in a long time and it just sounds like slop to be frank. This is similar to what I said about the riffs: quite a few of these solos are far too similar and lack unique qualities that Mark used to be able to bring to almost every solo in the past. Honestly, it feels like he started to run out of ideas after writing so much for his solo band and Alter Bridge.

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Vocals:

I'm not going too in depth in this section, but holy shit there is a TON of nasal on this album and almost no low end/bite from Myles save a few sections. Another HUGE gripe is that the production is so muddy that I cannot hear Mark's harmonies/backing vocals whatsoever. If you were hoping for anything like the bridge to Peace is Broken, too bad. Whenever I used to show people examples of how amazing Myles' vocals were in the past, I could pick out almost any AB song, but I can't do that with TLH as there are just so many ear piercing nasally passages.

Examples of noticeable nasal:

-The Other Side chorus
-"We need you now" in This Side of Fate.
-Twilight. There are numerous spots in this song where nasal is present.
-The Last Hero: "Save us." "Have we lost all the heroes?"
"Build them up to tear them down. What we've done, I'm far from proud."
-Crows on a Wire. It's everywhere, and then there's the god awful chorus. :(


Of course there are also very, very good vocals throughout the album and I won't spoil them, but listen hard to This Side of Fate and The Last Hero specifically.

I understand that Myles just can't sing like he used to without destroying his voice, but I refuse to believe that the very, very noticeable Slash/nasal tone isn't of his own doing. Island of Fools and Symphony of Agony have next to no nasal in them whatsoever, and if it is there the production is masking it with layered vocals. I also would have loved to hear Mark's harmonies/vocals because his voice has always been a huge boon to their tracks, but I seriously cannot hear it at all on this album. It's like he's just been omitted entirely.

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Overall, this is a good album, but it is nowhere near the perfect album that so many media outlets are making it out to be. The Last Hero contains some of the best tracks the band has ever written but also contains some very mediocre/run of the mill tracks as well.

If you're a huge fan of the band, you'll certainly enjoy it, but tracks like This Side of Fate and The Last Hero hint towards what the band could be if they would just make the leap into more progressive areas. Tremonti even recently stated that the band flat out knows that they are at their best on these types of tracks and it saddens me to see them hindered by trying to write so many mainstream tracks to appeal to every type of fan. The Last Hero is a perfect example of what happens when you clip a bird's wings.



Tracks I actually enjoyed:

The Other Side
Cradle to the Grave
This Side of Fate
Twilight
Island of Fools
The Last Hero
Symphony of Agony

Keep in mind that this is just my opinion, and in my opinion, this album is 1 step forward and multiple steps back.
Last edited by DCooper727 on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Review Thread

Postby Jaredr24 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:10 pm

I got my Best Buy preorder a day earlier and I'm listening to it now! Might as well do my review track back track as I listen. Music major background coming from my review as well so I might have some deeper musical thoughts.

*****IF YOU DON'T WANT ANY SPOILERS ON SONGS JUST DON'T READ THIS THIS REVIEW*****

1. Show Me a Leader: Thought it was a great first choice for a lead single. Great chorus and the verses are really catchy. Love the Spanish influenced intro as well. Really glad to see Mark break out a 7 string guitar, the low Ab in the song makes it sound pretty thick and heavy. I'd give it a 7/10.

2. The Writing On the Wall: Very interesting intro and verse riff. Sounds like typical AB. Chorus has a good hook but I thought the bridge was really musical and had some atypical chords and melodic movement which I thought made it pop. Lyrics from Myles on this song sort of remind me of the lyrics from Bleed it Dry as far as Myles expressing his more political views on things which is cool. I'd give it an 8/10.

3. The Other Side: LOVE this song! Super dark and spooky vibes the whole song. Myles' lower register really shines in the verses of this song when he hits that lower Bb. The slow and heavy groove the whole song is sick and the bridge is solid. I'd give it a 9/10.

4. My Champion: Nice melodic song, very positive. Not my favorite postive or happy song they've ever written but still nice and uplifting message and tone. Really liked the guitar solo but it's more of a basic sounding song for them. I'd give it a 6/10.

5. Poison In Your Veins: Dat. Chorus. Hook. Has some serious old school vibes in this one which is cool. This one definitely could've been the lead single because it's that catchy and memorable. Still has some heaviness but nothing too in your face. Love how the chorus comes back after the solo from Mark. I'd give it an 8/10.

6. Cradle to the Grave: Got some AB III vibes from the clean guitar in the very beginning before the main riff kicks in which is cool. Glad to hear some more clean stuff from them. Verses are really stripped back and sounds like a slower, simpler, and happier version of Fallout to me. The chorus really makes everything more powerful and emotional. Bridge section has a cool riff which leads into a pretty solid guitar solo. Expected Myles to hit a huge high note at the end and was slightly disappointed but it was still good. I'd give it a 9/10.

7. Losing Patience: This one reminds me a lot of Poison In Your Veins which isn't bad but it has the typical AB sound with the big chorus with a similar chord progression. The bridge sounds like it could belong on a song on Fortress to me which is cool. Not a major standout track to me after the first listen. I'd give it a 7/10.

8. This Side of Fate: Intro has a Make It Right sound and feel to it and sounds really cool once the full band kicks in. First 6/8 time song on the album. I have my good headphones on and I can hear some programmed orchestral elements which is SICK because I love strings. The verse riff reminds me of Waters Rising. Chorus has a great melody and very memorable to me. Bridge is HUGE! Sounds sort of neoclassical with the arpeggios Mark is playing and Myles' soaring vocals. Both guitar solos = :cloud9 but Myles SLAYS on this song. Favorite track so far 10/10.

9. You Will Be Remembered: Nice clean intro and first verse. Very beautiful and melodic, in the same vein as My Champion. I hear some more programmed elements in the background (I think). Definitely the ballad of the album so far. Chorus is one of my favorites on TLH so far. I LOVE AB's ballads almost as much as any of their songs and this one is pretty good lyrically and musical but definitely different from past ballads. I'd give it a 9/10 because I'm biased and I love ballads :lol

10. Crows On a Wire: Heavy straight from the getgo. Very in your face, has some nice pinch harmonics in the first verse (love me some guitar squealies). First chorus short but still really memorable and catchy. The bridge comes in nice and powerful after the shreddy and heavy guitar solo and goes back into the chorus. Pretty memorable track after the first listen, I'd give it an 8/10. If you like heavy AB you'll love this one.

11. Twilight Sounds like a mixture between Coeur D'Alene and Make It Right to me which I think is a good thing. Another 6/8 time song. The ascending guitar lick in the main riff in the background is really cool to me. More of a positive sounding song (major key). Bridge gets a little darker which makes it a little more tasteful and diverse but still stays true to the song and fits. Nice simpler track. I'd give it an 8/10.

12. Island of Fools: Awesome heavy riff to kick things off and stays that way going into the first verse despite a small key change which is interesting and musical. Chorus isn't as memorable to me as some of the other ones on the album but still good. Great swing to this song. Short and sweet guitar solo from Myles (I think) but pretty shreddy for him which is cool. Solid track but not one of my favorites after the first listen. Might be more of a grower for me. Mark's solo at the end was pretty good and fit the song well. I'd give it a 7/10.

13. The Last Hero: This one kicks straight into Myles singing the first verse to the song which is something they don't really do too much which is cool. Flip's constant ride cymbal hits stand out to me for some reason. Another AB album closer in 6/8 time. A lot faster and heavier than I thought this song would be before I heard it. This song is very driving all the way through and sounds more like the middle section of the song Fortress before going into the first solo. Has a lot of quadruplets after the solo and very chuggy and heavy before everything dies down and Myles sings the same lyrics he started the song with. I definitely understand why the band said there's a trilogy in this album because it definitely fits with the album opener well and is a very fitting end. Ends very suddenly.

14. Last of Our Kind: First bonus track. Was supposed to be named The Symphony of Agony but of course something got messed up with the bonus track again :lol Has a nice heavy groove to it in the verse that sounds like it could be a song from BB to me for some reason. Myles does say "The Symphony of Agony" in the chorus so that's definitely supposed to be the same but oh well. Love the chorus, then it goes into a riff that sounds like the bridge riff in Still Remains (same tuning) for the bridge. Mark's solo is really good and not as shreddy but fits the song perfect. Very solid bonus track and I'd give it a 8/10.

15. Breathe: Song starts the same way in the clip they posted not too long ago. Of course, this song is from ODR era and definitely sounds like it. Second verse is a lot more upbeat than the first and a lot heavier guitar tone wise. Bridge is really interesting, has some interesting chords but isn't too impressive to me after the first listen. Reminds me of Broken Wings a lot. Dies back down after the bridge and then builds back up to the chorus "I'll rest my eyes and let the earth breathe." Song ends with the same riff that opened it. Very solid track and I'm surprised it's taken so long for us to hear it. Should've made the cut on ODR to be honest. Great song and I'd give it an 8/10 because nostalgia and it's actually a pretty solid track.


Overall, I'd give The Last Hero an 8.5/10 rating. It's a solid album but I definitely feel like I'll have to listen to it a few more times to digest everything and fully appreciate it but there are a lot of good songs on this album. I feel like it's a natural progression from Fortress and has elements from all of their past albums. So glad to have some new AB!
Last edited by Jaredr24 on Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~{AB fan - Go Tops! #WKU}~

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Review Thread

Postby phatnonphatness » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:02 pm

Well, it's almost lunchtime October 7th here and I've given it a good few listens. So my brief review...

After the monster album that was Fortress, I was expecting big things from the follow-up. Maybe not an album quite as good, but at least one that shows how far the guys have come. Unfortunately, I have to be perfectly honest in saying that The Last Hero is fairly disappointing.

That’s not to say it’s a bad album, by any means. There are some good songs, and even a few great ones. But none of these songs seem to reach the lofty heights on Fortress. This album is not nearly as consistently strong, and the songs just aren’t all that memorable.

There’s something missing on this album, and I can’t quite put my finger on what. It feels more like ‘Mark Tremonti feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators’ at times. That Alter Bridge feeling just isn’t there, save for brief moments on tracks like Twilight and This Side Of Fate.

I’m not really digging the new sound. Feels like generic modern hard rock. Musically, there are some great moments. Riff wise, Tremonti is on form. Also, Myles' solos on This Side Of Fate and The Last Hero are both incredible. But generally, the album is overly-layered, and some of the vocal melodies are honestly a let-down.

My favourite tracks are The Writing On The Wall, This Side Of Fate, Twilight and The Last Hero (easily the stand-out track).

The rest of the album is pretty good too. But it suffers from only being good in parts. I dunno, it just feels a bit uninspired, or lacking in something. Maybe I just expected too much…

EDIT: Just wanna say I agree with a lot of what DCooper has said in his criticism.
Last edited by phatnonphatness on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Review Thread

Postby DCooper727 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:10 pm

Well, just edited-in my extremely lengthy review. Hope some of you take the time to read it.

Edit: Phatnonphatness gets what I was saying, apparently. The AB sound is just missing from a bunch of those generic, modern tracks.

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Review Thread

Postby Dolo » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:26 pm

I'm not gonna give an extremely elaborate review, just a few observations.

For the last couple of years I've been taking a slight departure from this particular kind of rock/metal genre, focusing more on progressive, more 'ambitious' realms of heavy music, so I may be slightly biased, but I find TLH neither the strongest nor the weakest release in AB's own league. I consider it less exciting and captivating than Fortress, based on the number of spins I gave to the both of records. TLH feels a bit too long, so with the rather static type of songwrting it may just get pretty hard to sit through the whole record.
I was expecting more of surprising song structures and sections, more Cry of Achilles-, Fortress-esque twist and turns. The title track is a nice try but aside from that, none of other tunes really do any difference songwriting-wise.
As phatnonphatness mentioned, there might be something lacking on this record, something you really can't put your finger on. Lack of vibe that was so tasty on ABIII perhaps, or lack of Blackbird's magic.

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Review Thread

Postby DCooper727 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:08 pm

I know what you mean by it being hard to sit through; I have more skip tracks on TLH than I do with any prior AB album.

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Review Thread

Postby anguyen92 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:10 pm

So, judging from the first few reviews so far, they are not feeling it too highly as I hoped for. That's pretty concerning for me.

That stated, I'm not going to go ahead and try to judge the album on the basis of comparing it to their whole catalog, I feel like that's setting impossible expectations. I will state that I'm probably going to think about the album in terms of "what story are they trying to tell? Are they telling it well? Are there going to be a lot of enjoyable songs for me to hear?" If they fill these points well, it's a 10/10 album for me.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Reviews

Postby Harry© » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:16 pm

I skipped the released tracks and started on track 2 then track 6 and onwards.
So far I dig it.
Cradle to the grave sounds awesome.
There's definitely a smoother tone from myles. I kinda liked it when he got twisted and a bit pissed of because that's normally how I like my vocals.
I will say there are two types of Alter Bridge fans, those who want to hear myles call upon every dog in the land with his beautiful range during a ballad and those who want Tremonti to let rip and show the world how worthy he is along side his influences like Hetfield.
I'm the latter.

It is interesting to hear some modern metal moments coming through.
This song as the moment has gone all Muse like. Coming from Alter Bridge that's interesting to hear.

You will be remembered sounds great. I expecting something much more soppy and slightly self indulgent but this could be a real big song for them.
Last edited by Harry© on Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Reviews

Postby TABN Admin » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:20 pm

You guys got an early start! This is the place to talk about your thoughts and review "The Last Hero".

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Re: "The Last Hero" User Discussion

Postby alterchris » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:22 pm

In my opinion, this album is very diverse, but definitely a departure from early Alter Bridge. Not including the four pre-releases, my favorite songs were (after only one listen):

1) Cradle to the Grave
2) You Will be Remembered
3) Crows on a Wire

I really enjoyed the melodies in these three songs and definitely the verses in Cradle to the Grave... such a great song (again in my opinion).

I tend to favor the more melodic tracks and I always have. I've listened to Alter Bridge since day one and my favorite records are Blackbird and ODR followed by everything else.

I really don't mind that Alter Bridge is kicking up the in-studio production with multi-layered sounds, but if the melodies sound off then it's really hard for me to get into the music even if I'm relating to the lyric. The "epic" tag that some folks have given songs like This Side of Fate and The Last Hero... well I didn't feel that after only one listen. To me the songs were lengthy but sounded a bit forced in spots. Some of the melodies just didn't do it for me, unlike Blackbird where the melody and length of the song seemed to have purpose.

I do, like some of you, favor most of the older Alter Bridge catalog of music. This album is pretty good overall and I REALLY dig a handful of the songs. To my ears it sounds as if Tremonti's super heavy influence is being forced into some of the songs. Again, some of you will dig that but it's not what I prefer.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Harry© » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:36 pm

Island of fools - insane!
Hands down favourite

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby The Plotblocker » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:47 pm

Wow, some really long reviews there, and quite honestly I have read sooooooo many in the last week I cba to do all them right now. I just wanted to finally say I am living this album so much!! This Side Of Fate is a fucking masterpiece! Myles solo gives me fucking chills. Also really loving You Will Be Remembered. Such a beautiful piece of music. The album as a whole is great, not as good and Fortress or Blackbird IMO, but good enough. My only real complaint is the mixing. Wall of sound over compression bullshit ruins the sound so much and makes it near impossible to differentiate instruments at many points. The loudness war needs to end fast!
Also, Last of our Kind should have been in the first half of the album, between WOTW and The Other Side. 14 tracks would have still been fine. (On a side note, is it Last of our Kind or Sympthany of Agony? Is this another Never Say Die/Outright fiasco?)
Overall rating 8.5 (For now lol)
Top 5 picks (also for now)
-This Side Of fate
-Crows on a Wire
-You Will Be Remembered
-The Last Hero
-The Other Side
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Suzerain of Night » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:58 pm

[This is NOT a review. ]

I love this album. There isn't a track IMO that doesn't call up emotions inside you, or speak to you on some level.

4 main reasons why I loved it:
- There are elements of the previous albums in many of the songs.
- The lyrics is just marvelous.
- The music is just AB being brilliant again.
- The themes (and social commentary) are more than timely.

Note: My Champion is Myles's ode to his parents, so I'm not too harsh on it (especially since I like it).

Maybe I'm biased, since I've been a fan of the band since it's founding (and having been a fan of Creed and The Mayfield Four), but there isn't a song in any of the albums that I don't love. It's as simple as that.

Rating: 5/5
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Harry© » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:00 pm

I think they need a new producer personally.
I've thought this for a while. The guitars have only gotten less articulate over time as they cram more stuff into the spectrum.
I tried making a tone like Bleed it dry in my Axe Fx and it required a stupid amount of push around the 4-5k area. The area that sounds really harsh and nasty.
Some of the pre release songs actually got me a little frustrated because it seemed like the guitar was taking a back seat and I could barely hear the riffs.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby The Plotblocker » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:15 pm

Harry© wrote:I think they need a new producer personally.
I've thought this for a while. The guitars have only gotten less articulate over time as they cram more stuff into the spectrum.
I tried making a tone like Bleed it dry in my Axe Fx and it required a stupid amount of push around the 4-5k area. The area that sounds really harsh and nasty.
Some of the pre release songs actually got me a little frustrated because it seemed like the guitar was taking a back seat and I could barely hear the riffs.


Agreed. Either "Elvis" needs to let go of his wall of sound obsession or the guys need to look for a new producer. This is by far their worst sound mix to date and as yo say, it kills the guitars a lot, and also Marks backing vocals are far to buried.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Ubik » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:16 pm

Okay that was a fantastic opening post DCooper, which I'm going to completely fail to live up to as I give a brief list of my favourite bits of each song:

Writing on the Wall – that verse groove. Actually the continual groove, right into the solo. THE GROOVE!

Cradle to the Grave – Whole thing is beautiful, standout was the Queensryche-esque “Nothing lasts forever!” Also Bowie pronunciation of “grave” during the chorus. Has Myles sung so directly about his family before?

Losing Patience – That sudden swell and launch to begin. Bees!

This Side of Fate – THAT FIRST SOLO THOUGH. That whole bridge to be honest, more Muse than Muse of late. Fantastic song.

You Will Be Remembered – Prefer the pre-chorus to the actual chorus (by a loooot)

Crows on a Wire – So sad but TRUE! Myles solo.

Twilight – Solo is great

Island of Souls – SAAAAAVE YOOOURSEEEEELF, and the whole damn incredible thing, this song is godly, their best all out heavy song in their catalogue

The Last Hero –Those triple bass drum hits, the callback to the end of Cry of Achilles at the end, and “Can you hear the marching?”

Last of Our Kind – THAT NOTE. You know the one I mean.

Overall this is my second favourite album behind Fortress I think, which is about what I was hoping for. Some songs I'll skip (You Will Be Remembered, cannot get into it at all) and some that will be in my top five (certainly top ten) Alter Bridge songs.

Top three on the album - This Side of Fate, Island of Fools, The Last Hero. Cradle to the Grave very close to them as well.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby benjoAB » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:49 pm

Ubik wrote:Okay that was a fantastic opening post DCooper, which I'm going to completely fail to live up to as I give a brief list of my favourite bits of each song:

Writing on the Wall – that verse groove. Actually the continual groove, right into the solo. THE GROOVE!

Cradle to the Grave – Whole thing is beautiful, standout was the Queensryche-esque “Nothing lasts forever!” Also Bowie pronunciation of “grave” during the chorus. Has Myles sung so directly about his family before?

Losing Patience – That sudden swell and launch to begin. Bees!

This Side of Fate – THAT FIRST SOLO THOUGH. That whole bridge to be honest, more Muse than Muse of late. Fantastic song.

You Will Be Remembered – Prefer the pre-chorus to the actual chorus (by a loooot)

Crows on a Wire – So sad but TRUE! Myles solo.

Twilight – Solo is great

Island of Souls – SAAAAAVE YOOOURSEEEEELF, and the whole damn incredible thing, this song is godly, their best all out heavy song in their catalogue

The Last Hero –Those triple bass drum hits, the callback to the end of Cry of Achilles at the end, and “Can you hear the marching?”

Last of Our Kind – THAT NOTE. You know the one I mean.

Overall this is my second favourite album behind Fortress I think, which is about what I was hoping for. Some songs I'll skip (You Will Be Remembered, cannot get into it at all) and some that will be in my top five (certainly top ten) Alter Bridge songs.

Top three on the album - This Side of Fate, Island of Fools, The Last Hero. Cradle to the Grave very close to them as well.


Island of SOULS?? Better track name to be fair :D

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby Ubik » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:54 pm

God darnit. I always think of Island of Lost Souls :lol My brain is small and easily befuddled.
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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby RuRo » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:16 pm

There will be plenty of opportunity to dissect the album later, but for now I will just post some disorganised thoughts after listening through a few times in the past day or so (I was luckily able to hold off on the leak or any other released songs until now, and steered clear of this place, so only had listened to Show Me A Leader before getting the whole album).

-I have to start out by talking about The Other Side. Often I find there's one song on a new Alter Bridge album that hits me straight away and impresses me with them doing something that sounds very different and executed well. For the last 2 albums those songs were Cry Of Achilles and Slip To The Void, here it was The Other Side. I am not sure if it will hold up as well as those two but on first listen I'd be tempted to call if my standout track, and it's definitely among the best. It is a song that really embraces the dark atmosphere and feels really organically built around that.

- My Champion... if this was the overall direction Alter Bridge was going in or the height of their ambition, I would be pretty disappointed. But honestly this seems a pretty good and enthusiastic execution of a cheesier, upbeat rock anthem. It won't be mentioned among the better Alter Bridge songs, but I think it's a nice addition to the album. Meanwhile Poison In Your Veins, I was pleased to hear the heavy intro and verse, what may have been the best energetic heavy material on the album so far. Paired with a more lighthearted, catchy chorus it is certainly an enjoyable song, I wonder if it might have been better if it fully committed to being a heavier track.

- Cradle To The Grave - now this is a very impressive and interesting song, that goes on a hell of a journey. Very nice bluesy verse, a major shift in direction with heavy riff and blistering guitar before a positively epic bridge and finale, with what I think may be one of the best solos on the album. A standout song that also feels unlike what we might expect from what we might call "epic" Alter Bridge songs.

- Speaking of epics, the dual epics of This Side Of Fate and The Last Hero are also standouts. This Side Of Fate feels a bit like a classic metal epic, that veers into the Muse territory that I think Alter Bride has been touching on a little in their last couple of albums. The easiest comparison to me for both of these songs is probably the title track from Fortress, with its quiet beginnings and eventual launch into fast paced metal riffs and extensive soloing, I know the band mentioned these songs being sort of spiritual sequels to each other (along with Show Me A Leader), and they definitely felt as though they could be connected. Might need some more time to really digest these songs though, especially The Last Hero as to be honest it is a bit overwhelming for my focus at the end of a long album.

- Crows On A Wire is an excellent heavy Alter Bridge song, possibly among the heaviest they have done, and the comparisons to Tremonti are obvious (and I mean that positively) but it also manages to feel distinctly Alter Bridge. If this song is not a live staple for this tour then they have missed a trick.

- Finally Island Of Fools, another standout and definitely one of my early favourites from the album. It begins with one of the heaviest riffs ever from Alter Bridge, but it is definitely not a purely heavy song like Crows On A Wire. The word epic can get overused describing an album like this, and this song is certainly not what you might call a structural epic, but I think it is s fitting word for the chorus and bridge to this song which just have a certain grandeur to them. One of the top picks from the album.

Also, The Last Of Our Kind / Symphony Of Agony is great too, glad there was no messing about and this "bonus track" was readily available on the deluxe edition of the album. It is better than several other songs on the album and is a perfect addition to it.

I haven't really mentioned things I don't like or that haven't grabbed me yet. With a lot of songs to get to know I will take a bit of time to be able to say much about some of the other songs. But I did feel a little like the more memorable or ambitious songs were basically every other track on the album, with songs that felt a lot more standard or that didn't make as much of an impact inserted between them. Overall though I am very impressed with the album. I wasn't too sure what to expect from this album (other than the general good quality of music I know I can expect from Alter Bridge), but on first impression I am actually particularly pleased with the variety and ambition of a lot of the songs.

Top picks (after a couple of listens):
The Other Side
Island Of Fools
Cradle To The Grave
This Side Of Fate
The Last Hero
Crows On A Wire.

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Re: The Last Hero - AB Nation Discussion

Postby AHart96 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:43 pm

Going through the album track-by-track as I type this, will probably be a lengthy one. You have been warned. The ratings are based off of AB's entire catalogue.

Show Me A Leader: We've had the most time with this song, loved it in the beginning, love it still, and love it even more after hearing it live the other night. Myles' clean intro as well as his solo is fantastic. The entire instrumentation of this song is great. The riffs and solos are right up my alley and fit in perfect with the vocals. Myles sounds great, not overly nasally, and I LOVE the chorus. Shred Tremonti solo to cap things off, and this song is a successful opener to The Last Hero.
*Highlights: Everything about the first minute plus, on-off chorus, backing bridge vocals, Mark's solo
RATING: 8/10

The Writing On The Wall: This intro riff sounds EXACTLY like the bridge riff of Farther Than The Sun. The chorus melody sounds exactly like SMK&C's "Shadow Life". In short, this song is nothing we haven't heard before. Even the church bells in the background have been done multiple times before. Not sold on this one.
*Highlights: Ehhhhhhh. It's not WDCAA
RATING: 6/10

The Other Side: Creepy fade-in vocals. Sick guitar intro, that arpeggiated line set up the main riff perfectly. This song is HEAVY. Without being super-fast. I like. Love that Myles is using his lower register, God I miss it. These lyrics are DARK. "You're Insane!"-wow Myles is up there. The chorus is alright, but I love the guitar that is being played underneath it. Now I see what Monty meant by "Halloween Rock" in this bridge. Myles sounds pretty triggered in this bridge. This song actually is aided by having no solo, it would have seemed out of place. Decent song, I like it, but don't love it. I was bored at certain parts.
*Highlights: Myles' vocals throughout, guitars in general, and the lyrics were very well done
RATING: 7/10

My Champion: Ahhh, the most divisive single AB has released. Same as SMAL, I loved it then, I love it now, and love it even more after hearing it live and in person. This song actually sounds different (looking at you, Writing On The Wall) compared to their previous work. That lead guitar line is super enjoyable, one of my favorite recent Mark licks. The lyrics may be a tad cheese, but I'm all for uplifting AB. Myles' vocals are spot on, especially that final line leading into the bridge. The solo fits the song, and I think it was a great choice for a single. Wish it wasn't as hated by some as it is. There's nothing wrong with a simple, uplifting, catchy song every now and then. Doesn't have to always be so dark.
*Highlights: Myles' droning guitar intro, the main guitar line, UPLIFTING ALTER BRIDGE
RATING: 8.5/10

Poison In Your Veins: The guitar riff at the beginning reminds me of Cry a River (Maybe?). What's going on with the guitar during the verse? Sounds like Mark's pickup trick that he uses during the bridge of Ties That Bind. I like it. Standard rocking AB with a little more Slash influence. Chorus is alright, I like the verses better. DAMN THAT GUITAR SOLO IS SHRED-TASTIC. Love the ending of the solo and Myles moving to an even higher register in the final chorus. I like the song, but it's pretty much nothing new. Cool little rocker. Moving on.
*Highlights: The guitar work in the song is pretty great, especially the solo
RATING: 7/10

Cradle To The Grave: Fall Again? Whoops, wrong project. The distorted intro reminds me of Show Me A Sign, which isn't a bad thing. Dig that acoustic guitar line, matches the vocal melody beautifully. Man, these lyrics are really deep. That being said, I HATE the chorus melody. Myles sounds great, but the melody and lyrics aren't gelling the way they should. The bridge, however, is sheer brilliance. And whoever is playing that bridge guitar line is one hell of a guy. I can't tell if that's Mark or Myles soloing. Props. Man, I just cannot get into this chorus. The rest of the song is great, but the chorus just brings the rest of it down. Not as epic as some have suggested, I was bored at times.
*Highlights: The lyrics, Mark's acoustic guitar line, that bridge though
RATING: 6.5/10 (Would've been higher if not for the chorus)

Losing Patience: Gross, gross, gross. I HATE when they do this to Myles' voice. The verse and pre-chorus really don't set a good tone for this song, luckily the chorus saves some of it. Love the backing vocals going on there, whoever that may be. At least they don't have the vocal effect going during verse 2, but I am not a fan of the melody. The chorus has been the only thing I enjoy about this song so far. Meh bridge. No solo? Okay. Dud. Slightly better than The Writing On The Wall, but not by much. Again, nothing we haven't heard before.
Highlights: Backing chorus vocals, that's it.
RATING: 6.25/10

This Side Of Fate: Spanish-style guitar intro, I like it. Verses are great, signature Tremonti fingerpicking going on there. Myles' vocals in the chorus are impressive, but the lyrics and melody don't do anything for me. This is an "epic", and what's an "epic" without a blues-style post-chorus lead? Hey, when did AB turn into Muse? REALLY dig this bridge. Instrumentally and vocally, Myles kills this section. Like first-degree murders it. Love that second bridge/post bridge riff. Ooohhh back, to quiet. Appreciate these dynamics. Back to heavy, and HOLY HELL MYLES, LOOK AT YOU ON LEAD GUITAR. One of his best solos. Ever. More dynamics. But unfortunately back to the chorus, man that's a let down. Decent solo from Mark, but not one of his best. This song had a lot of potential, but unfortunately did not realize it. The chorus melody and lyrics were a big letdown. The first AB "epic" that I do not love. I wanted to so badly, but I don't. Good song, but not great.
*Highlights: All of the acoustic guitar parts, Muse-style bridge, Myles' vocals and solo
RATING: 7.5/10

You Will Be Remembered: Love me some acoustic guitar. Throw in some low-register Myles vocals and I'm hooked already. I can see this one hitting a lot of people hard. Beautiful chorus, one of my favorites on the album. This is a much better One By One. Two different types of songs, but both are military tributes. This wins in a landslide. The palm muting right before the second chorus set it up perfectly. Myles is doing some great vocal work here. Very soulful Tremonti solo, and this song is a win. Absolutely beautiful.
*Highlights: Myles' vocals and the melody throughout
RATING: 8/10

Crows On A Wire: The riff once the whole band kicks in reminds me of Seth Rollins' entrance theme. Very heavy riff, I like it. Pretty decent verse, Myles sounds good, and the lyrical content is pretty interesting. Unfortunately, this song has one of the worst AB choruses ever. Hate it. Myles' delivery isn't fantastic, and again, not a fan of the melody. Who is soloing here? If it's Myles, he REALLY stepped up his game on this album. Pretty cool bridge, I can actually hear some harmonizing going on between Mark and Myles. But back to that God-awful chorus. I can't tell if this is worse than Writing On The Wall, they both have the same rating. That song was just boring due to bringing nothing new to the table, but there was technically nothing wrong with it. This chorus just killed all the potential this song had.
*Highlights: Main riff, Myles' (?) solo, harmonizing bridge
RATING: 6/10

Twilight: Major key, that lead guitar line sounds like the one in Outright/Never Say Die. I like it. However, not a fan of the first half of the verse. The melody is eh. The second half leading into the chorus is pretty good. Same issue with the chorus, the melody is just not there. Love the lyrics though, probably the best so far along with The Other Side. Another average bridge, which is sad considering that is usually what AB does best. Pretty good solo though. However, this song just bores me. Strong lyrically, but the melody just does not interest me one bit.
*Highlights: Outright/Never Say Die-sounding lead guitar line, great lyrics
RATING: 6/10

Island of Fools: Was most hyped for this based off previews, and so far I'm digging the lead in. They really are setting up the song well. HOLY DAMN THAT RIFF. I may have just pissed myself a bit. It's like Ties That Bind on steroids. God yes, I love this verse. Myles' vocals match the music perfectly. Just beautiful. Digging the pre-chorus as well. Chorus is average, but not as bad as some of the key offenders on this album. I could just listen to this instrumentally for the rest of my life and be okay, the guitar work is that good. Myles' solo is badass, short but super sweet. Second only to his solo on This Side Of Fate. Digging the bridge, and back to that perfect main riff. Back to the average chorus, except the first half of it had a half-time feel. And there is Mark just shredding his heart out. One of the fastest runs I've ever heard him play. Pretty good solo to cap off the song. This is among their best heavy songs ever. It's that good.
*Highlights: Juiced up Ties That Bind main riff, Myles' verse/pre-chorus vocals, Myles' fantastic solo, the entire instrumentation of this song
RATING: 8.5/10

The Last Hero: Vocals right out of the gate, that's different. I dig. Very simple but very heavy main riff, I like it. Back to mellow mood. I can already tell this song is going to have a lot of dynamics going on. Pretty solid verse, I like the lyrics. But, as with the majority of the album, very let down by the chorus. Not a fan at all of Myles' delivery and the overall melody. This song is going up, down, left, and right dynamically. "Tell me where are the heroes! No!" Cringe. Cringe lyrics and delivery. But holy fuck, that may have been Myles' best solo ever. Not even kidding, may have been better than his Blackbird solo. THAT BRIDGE RIFF. MAJOR HEADBANG. That bridge was something else. Back to quiet, and repeated lyrics from the intro, cool. This song is all over the place, in a good way . Except the chorus, I just can't get into it. Damn Mark, you really let Myles outshine you on guitar. Not a bad solo, but nowhere near Myles'. To be fair though, that was probably Myles' best. Cry of Achilles-style vocal ending, and I'm exhausted. I'm sorry, but 0/2 for the "epics" on this album. The chorus is such a key factor in music for me, and the melody and delivery brought down what was an otherwise fantastic song. Take it out, and you have one of the best songs they've ever written. Just did not reach the heights that their other epics have hit.
*Highlights: Very interesting song dynamics, pretty solid lyrics, Myles' ungodly solo, the pure mental post-solo guitar breakdown
RATING: 7.75/10 (Would be a perfect 10/10 without the chorus and shouting section)

The Last Of Our Kind/Symphony of Agony: I feel like I've heard this intro before. Actually, I feel like I've heard this whole song before at one point or another throughout each section. Nothing new here at all, but again, I have to point out how weak the melody is throughout, especially the chorus. The solo is the only redeeming quality of this song in my opinion. I can absolutely see how this was the B-side
*Highlights: Mark's solo
RATING: 6/10

Breathe: Man I got goosebumps listening to that guitar tone and the fingerpicked intro. The production is fantastic, everything sounds so clean. And MYLES' voice is heavenly. I know he's aged and he has provided some of my favorite vocal moments ever on the past few albums, but THIS is the best he has ever sounded vocally. This song isn't the greatest, it's good, but the biggest takeaway is just hearing old Myles and Mark and how truly special they were then. ODR isn't even in my Top 3 AB albums, but I would be a fool to say there wasn't something different about the band then. Cool song, but nostalgia is what gives it a boost.
*Highlights: Mark's clean fingerpicked intro, Myles' heavenly voice
RATING: 7/10

FINAL THOUGHTS: I know I may have sounded harsh at times throughout, but I DO NOT hate this album. I actually think it was a pretty solid album. But does it live up to what they've done before? Was there anything relatively new brought to the table? Was this a step up from Fortress? The answer is sadly no. A lot of these songs had potential but never fully realized them, and that really bothers me. Don't get me wrong, there were some fantastic moments on this album. Instrumentally, this may be their best album. However, while there were some special moments, there were no life-changing songs. They never reached the heights that were reached 3 times on Fortress (Achilles, CTF, and Fortress) as well as other songs like Blackbird and Words. I truly think Myles needs a break. Outside of a few songs, the lyrics were not the best and I was bored by a lot of the vocal melodies. One of the main things that drew me to AB were the huge, larger than life, catchy choruses and bridges. Those were largely missing on this album. They weren't bad (except for Crows On A Wire), but they were not great and were not interesting for the most part. I do want to commend the band though, specifically the rhythm section of BMarsh and Flip. There may not have been any standout moments like the intro of Metalingus or the bridge of Cry of Achilles, but they were great and complimented Mark and Myles perfectly throughout the whole album. Also, Myles stepped up his game BIG TIME on guitar. That was the highlight of the album for me. So overall, it was a good album, but not great. I was disappointed because it was not the follow up or progression that I had hoped for following Fortress, but it was a good album. Good, but not great. That's the best I've got.

FINAL RATING: 7.5/10

Album Highlights:
-Show Me A Leader's first minute, along with the chorus and solo
-The lyrics for The Other Side, Cradle To The Grave, and Twilight
-Uplifting AB at their best in My Champion and You Will Be Remembered
-The Muse-influenced bridge of This Side of Fate
-Myles' contributions on guitar, especially the main riff of Island Of Fools and his best solo ever in The Last Hero

Song Rankings:
1. Island of Fools
2. My Champion
3. Show Me A Leader
4. You Will Be Remembered
5. The Last Hero
6. This Side Of Fate
7. Poison In Your Veins
8. The Other Side
9. Breathe
10. Cradle To The Grave
11. Losing Patience
12. Twilight
13. The Writing On The Wall
14. Crows On A Wire
15. The Last Of Our Kind

Alter Bridge Album Rankings:
1. Fortress
2. Blackbird
3. AB III
4. One Day Remains
5. The Last Hero
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