ALTER BRIDGE – THE LAST HERO
Expected Release: Oct 07, 2016
℗ 2016 Alter Bridge
- Show Me a Leader
- The Writing On the Wall
- The Other Side
- My Champion
- Poison In Your Veins
- Cradle To the Grave
- Losing Patience
- This Side of Fate
- You Will Be Remembered
- Crows On a Wire
- Island of Fools
- The Last Hero
- Last of Our Kind (Bonus Track)
Whilst political machinations and maniacal manoeuvrings for the US top job, plaque or current affairs commentaries and intercontinental flooding of biblical proportions claim soul after soul. War and conflict at pestilent proportions, hunger, hate and violence at every turn, but people of the world…. now you must really brace yourselves and stand fast. Draw your dearest near. Shelter your beloved folk and tremble with them in fearful anticipation. Seek the solace of whichever deity or belief you hold most dear because this world will not be the same. The world will be forever changed. But fear not for added dismay further bulletins of the wretched forsaken. The Last Hero cometh right soon and souls the world over will rejoice in hope and celebration of musical magnificence. And if you’re of the belief that I’m overreacting. Wait until you’ve crossed the Alter Bridge into an altered state of existence through their latest offering…. It’s just that singularly outstanding.
We are guided into this collection in relative tranquillity as Show Me A Leader opens but, before long the malevolent but splendid guitar solo guide us into a powerful, powerful work. A true angler’s paradise with hooks a plenty. Then Myles blesses our aural canals with his archetypical style. It’s this early in proceedings that one realises that every protagonist is top of their game, struggling in competition for the listener’s favour, but collective so very magnificent. The chills crawl under my skin and automaticity send shudders of delight through my body as a realisation hits me to accompany the opener, that this album is going to be truly phenomenal.
The Writing On The Wall is an early testament to the fact that Myles is in brilliant vocal form, but together with Scott, Brian and Mark, has returned to the sweltering cauldron of musical creativity and concocted a masterwork of inherent appeal. Collectively the group have managed to manifest something scarcely describable as an album, rather more something that was just meant to be…something brilliant.
The Other Side is majestically powerful, pertinent and as apt a title as the dark journey could possibly summon. Littered with majestic performances by all yet again, however I can’t help but imagine Scott Phillips desirous of letting loose in percussive kit punishment to such a shadowy track. But it’s truly as perfect it is and demonstrative of the bands determination to keep astounding us with every track. Dark, mysterious and magnificent.
My Champion is a sensational alteration in pace, atmosphere and you are, quite literally launched into the stratosphere with inspirational intent. Just try to stop people ‘stepping up’ after this piece. Courage? No problem. One listen and your ten feet tall and bullet-proof. By no means a clone, but I can not help but be reminded by the brilliant lead guitar of the Thin Lizzy glory days with the likes of Scott Gorham, Eric Bell, Brian Robertson and Gary Moore providing the righteous riffage in the guitar work. Just magnificent but AB all over. I am not one to lapse into the melodramatic, nor attempt to gild an already shimmering jewel, but this track is so uplifting that one can see many hands of self-destruction stayed, and the courage to continue musically adorned by those sans hope.
Poison In Your Veins blasts us immediately back to the realisation that the entire band have dug extremely deep to produce this prodigious work of diversity and creativity. Then ‘hook central’ arrives with the utterly superb Cradle To The Grave. This track is utterly chilling and marvellously emotive. If there was ever a track where each protagonist could display the same volume and depth of emotion as indicative of Myles vocal capacity, then this is it. The perfection in percussion, the sensational rhythm provided by Brian and while not so gently, the guitars truly weep. Every contribution culminates in a glorious masterpiece. And what of Miles? Look up! He is soaring aloft in vocal majesty. Myles leads us to revel in the anatomical veinal modification as we are uplifted to aspirations of longevity, fulfilment and strength.
Losing Patience, followed by This Side Of Fate provides the sensation of sequencing bliss with the powerful former managing to highlight the creative brilliance of the latter. Each is performed and produced marvellously, but absorbed together, take the listeners appreciation to new heights.
You Will Be Remembered speaks for itself entirely and any words I attempt to use as adornment would be fruitless, and ultimately a futile gesture. Just listen, enjoy immensely and attribute to any residual feelings of life’s loss. Perfect.
The introduction to Crows On A Wire finds me resorting to violent exclamation in finest murder collective exclamation in faaaarrrk. Sound like an astonished crow? That is until 2 minutes and 35 seconds when we find ourselves rallied even further in unified amazed by a solo led celebration of relentless guitar brilliance. Listen in astonishment to this magnificence. I am left bereft an acceptable description of this sensational track. In fact, I find myself sadly self-assessed of adequate vocabulary for this entire collection. I am weighed, measured and left sadly wanting for words to describe the album finale in Twilight, Island Of Fools and The Last Hero. I am desperately desirous of expressing my thoughts, prompted by the completion of this album, but am certain it will lack in adequacy. Instead, I will refrain from an oration of descriptive diarrhoea and leave the remainder to the listener’s pleasure.
In vain attempt to summarise the monumentally magnificent in The Last Hero, I will simply refer to the phantasmagoria of sensations enjoyed through this masterpiece and a final referral to my oral aperture left agape in bewildered amazement.
Thoroughly spent and prostrate in musical bliss thanks to the 6.57 length dazzling crescendo that is the title track, I have only “thank you” Alter Bridge remaining. Just, thank you. That’s all I have left.