The word epic is banded around all too frequently and easily these days, but when it comes to Alter Bridge‘s new album the ‘E word’ is more than deserving.
The Last Hero starts with an almighty bang, leading off with Show Me A Leader – the first single to be released from the album. It starts off with an unassuming delicious guitar lick before launching into a grandiose crash of noise and a superb laboured guitar solo that feeds into a heavy smash of guitar, which leads into the opening verse. What follows is five minutes of absolute brilliance that sets the tone for the remainder of the album.
Second track Writing On The Wall picks up from where we left off, with big guitar riffs and warbled vocals giving way to a distinctively Alter Bridge mix of awesome singalong vocals and guitar brilliance.
Next up, The Other Side kicks off sounding like a moody chugging Metallica classic, featuring the trademark big booming vocals before a cool electronic fused interlude gives away to a manic outro.
The other single to be released from The Last Hero, is My Champion. This is about as feel good as metal will ever get, with uplifting – literally – lyrics and laid back chords that gradually build up into a solo that flows into one final rendition of its big chorus.
The pace picks up again with big, bold anthem Poison In Your Veins, before the grand almost Cradle To The Grave, which sounds like a cross between a slow Guns’n’Roses epic and a James Bond tune.
As the album progresses it sounds more and more Guns’n’Roses-esque, continuing relentlessly with huge track after huge track like Losing Patience, This Side of Fate and Crows on a Wire.
Without sounding negative, the album seems to go on forever with the final three songs all lasting in excess of five minutes – including 6:42 of title track The Last Hero. Trademark guitar riffs support powerful vocals as the album draws to a quality, fittingly epic conclusion.
Alter Bridge embark upon a European tour in early November, which includes seven UK gigs beginning in Manchester on November 23rd. More information is available on their website.
Alter Bridge’s fifth album could well be their best offering yet, so go and get your mitts on The Last Hero.