Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Revisiting Bands - Alter Bridge

Another day, another Revisiting Bands blog. The last one, Slipknot, was a lot of fun. It has inspired me to do others about bands I love. This one however will be similar in a way to the Devildriver one in that I do like the band I’m covering in this post, but I’ve found myself going off them in the last year or so. I’ve barely listened to them since they played at Download 2014 – where I didn’t bother to go see them play. I instead went to go see The Pretty Reckless – which was a bad idea, and The Used, which was an ace idea. Alter Bridge have only released the four albums with a fifth due this year.

My Relationship With Alter Bridge – I got into Alter Bridge in the same way I got into Limp Bizkit – by hearing one of their songs as theme music for a wrestler. With Limp Bizkit it was The Undertaker. With Alter Bridge, it was Edge. I had no idea this band had risen from the ashes of Creed. I saw them live for the first time at Rock AM Ring 2008 and I remember being impressed with them. The most recent time was on their first UK arena tour where they were supported by Theory Of A Deadman (the least said about them the better) and Black Stone Cherry. Now, I am biased, but I think Black Stone Cherry were better that night. I missed their most recent arena tour, with Shinedown and Halestorm. I missed them at Download 2014 as mentioned above. They have announced a UK tour and they have Volbeat supporting. I will go to see Volbeat, but I want inspiration to hang around until the gig is over.

ONE DAY REMAINS (2004) – Find The Real is a good opener. The title track is the second album on the album and it is also a good song. Open Your Eyes, one of the bands biggest songs to date, is next. It is not hard to see why this became one of the bands biggest songs – it is great. Burn It Down is alright, but nothing special as far as I’m concerned. Metalingus is the song I referred to earlier as the song that made me want to know more about Alter Bridge. I still love this song. Broken Wings is a great song. I had forgotten how good this song is. In Loving Memory is a really good song, and one which I suspect could be used at funerals for years to come. Down To My Last is another good song. Watch Your Words is an alright song as is Shed My Skin. The End Is Here is a decent enough closer. This is a good album overall with some really good songs on it. Only the one which did nothing for me as well which is good.
Album MVP – Open Your Eyes
Also Recommended – Metalingus, Broken Wings

BLACKBIRD (2007) – I’m struggling to think if I’ve ever listened to this album all the way through or not. I’m sure I have but it must have only been once or twice. Anyway, it opens with Ties That Bind. I enjoyed it but I remember it being an outstanding opening track and it wasn’t. Come To Life is a good song, as is Brand New Start. I really like Buried Alive. Coming Home is alright. I like Before Tomorrow Comes. Rise Today is an excellent song, as is the title track. One By One just seemed to breeze right past me. Went back and gave it another quick go and it seems decent enough but on the initial listen, it didn’t grab me at all. Watch Over You is alright. Break Me Down is pretty good. White Knuckles is a good song. Wayward One closes out the album and it is a bit of a slog – decent song overall but yeah, bit of a slog. Overall, I would say the album is decent. It is tough to say whether or not it is better than the first one. Honest admission – I listened to this album a week after One Day Remains so it is difficult to conclusively state which is better.
Album MVP – Rise Today
Also Recommended – Blackbird, White Knuckles

AB III (2010) – So the first time I saw Alter Bridge live was at Rock AM Ring 2008. I didn’t know a lot about them then, but I enjoyed their set. This was the first release by them since I knew more about them so I was quite excited about this album coming out. The opening two songs, Slip To The Void and Isolation, are both fantastic. As is Ghost of Days Gone By. It is a different song to the first two and is similar to material you might find on the first two albums. It is excellent though. All Hope Is Gone is not as good as the 3 songs that came before it, but it is still pretty good. Still Remains is not a bad song as such, but it is one of those songs that I could easily not listen to again after this is done. Make It Right Is a decent song. I really enjoyed Wonderful Life. I Know It Hurts is another excellent song. Show Me A Sign is alright, as is Fallout. Breathe Again is a really good song. Coeur D’Alene is a decent song. Life Must Go On didn’t do a lot for me. The album closes on Words Darker Than Their Wings which is another alright song. Overall, I enjoyed listening back to this album. There are a lot of “alright” songs on the album though, and only really the three I have listed below that I would say stand out.
Album MVP - Isolation
Also Recommended – I Know It Hurts, Slip To The Void.

FORTRESS (2013) – Cry Of Achilles is comfortably the longest opening track Alter Bridge have recorded. I like it. Addicted To Pain is a great song, one of Alter Bridge’s best. Bleed It Dry is not one of Alter Bridge’s best, but it is alright. Lover is a decent song. As is The Uninvited. Peace Is Broken is really good. Calm The Fire completely passed me by (ironically enough, it became background music whilst chatting on Facebook with a friend about going to see Alter Bridge live). Waters Rising is alright. Over half of the album at this point has been unremarkable, which is a shame. Farther Than The Stream is pretty good. As is Cry A River. All Ends Wel is also pretty good. Just after I moaned about the album after 8 songs, it then throws 3 pretty good songs at me. The final song on the album is the title track. It is an alright song but in my personal view, is too long.
Album MVP – Addicted To Pain
Also Recommended – Peace Is Broken, Farther Than The Stream.

CONCLUSION – Alter Bridge are a good band but they have released a lot of inoffensive, middle of the road, alright songs. It wasn’t a tough choice choosing the standout tracks from their four albums. They have another one due this year and I hope it is better than these four. They are likely to headline Download Festival one day if it is a success (along with their arena tour selling well), and Download is in dire need of new headliners. As for me, I am going to go see them in November and not just for the support bands (those support bands though!) so I guess they won be over. Most of those songs I consider to be “alright” I doubt I will listen to again, which is a shame as there are quite a few. 

Next time I post one of these, it will be about another one of my favourite all time bands - Nine Inch Nails. That should be fun.