8.5 out of 10
Alter Bridge is one of those bands that still feels like a “new” band even though they’ve been around for quite a while. The band, made up of powerhouse vocalist Myles Kennedy, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall, and drummer Scott Phillips, released their first record One Day Remains back in 2004, Walk the Sky is their sixth studio record and could be their best to date.
Alter Bridge was a force to be reckoned with from the start. There are few voices in rock that compare to Kennedy and Tremonti is easily one of this generations best guitar players, but for me, the songs and sound just weren’t working on some of the early records. That all changed with the release of 2013’s Fortress which really showcased the entire band and featured a full set of strong songs, firmly establishing the band in the upper echelon of the new wave of rock and metal acts. As Kennedy and Tremonti both have other high profiled projects (Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators and Tremonti respectively) keeping momentum can sometimes be difficult. The band arguably took a slight step back with 2016’s The Last Hero but return now with their strongest work.
Wouldn’t You Rather
Just what makes Walk the Sky different is hard to say other than you know it when you hear it. It’s a more mature record musically and production-wise. There’s less of the in-your-face heaviness that defined the band and more nuance and layers to the music. Vocally Kennedy is at the top of his game. Whether it’s the heavier tracks like “Pay No Mind” and “Indoctrination”, the soulful “Dying Light” or the brilliant “Godspeed”, Kennedy’s vocals and lyrics continue to lift this band far above their peers.
Like their previous records, there is a lot to absorb on Walk the Sky. It contains 14 songs and clocks in at just over an hour. When there is little variation in tempo and tone, as on The Last Hero, a running time of over one hour can feel like an eternity in a streaming culture but Walk The Sky avoids that overlong feeling. Longtime producer Michael Baskette creates unique soundscapes throughout the record to keep the listener interested for the entire record. Baskette is definitely an MVP of this record as he adjusted his production style to fit the songs Kennedy and Tremonti brought him rather than forcing the songs into a specific sonic style.
Take The Crown
Alter Bridge has been a force to reckon with for over 15 years now. Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti make perhaps the best vocal/guitar tandem of this century and now they have a record that lives up to their immense talent.