RUMORS OF THEIR DEMISE have been greatly exaggerated.
Silencing the headstone-etchers once and for all, Florida’s Alter Bridge have reaffirmed their commitment to muscular, arena-friendly rock with Fortress, their fourth studio release and their first real sign of life for eighteen months. But what a resurrection. Within the first week, the album stormed the charts and easily commandeered the number one slot on the iTunes Rock Album’s chart. Not too shabby considering that many of their own fans had expected an obituary before a new album.
Rewind eighteen months and Alter Bridge’s prognosis offered little in the way of encouragement. Frontman Myles Kennedy had accepted the gig as full-time vocalist in the Slash’s new band, committing to a relentless touring schedule and eventually releasingApocalyptic Love, the legendary guitarist’s blistering sophomore outing.
Meanwhile, Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti, still a full-time member of Creed, caught rock audiences flat-footed with the release of his first solo album, All I Was, a jackhammered and marauding celebration of his heavy metal roots.
2012 additionally saw Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips—also full-time members of Creed—embark on a high-profile tour with that band, and not to be outdone, Phillips also hooked up with his own side project with members of Sevendust and Submersed.
Consequently, reports that Alter Bridge had convened in early 2013 to begin work on a fourth studio album generated near-hysteria in the AB ranks, but outside of those fans, others speculated that perhaps the sun had already set on the band’s relevance. After all, with the four musicians all committed to other critically and commercially successful projects, where was the incentive to resurrect Alter Bridge?
Fortress has levied a thunderous response as the band’s heaviest album to date- a sweeping blizzard of precision riffage and unhinged rhythmic fury, coursing beneath the brawny vocals of Myles Kennedy. Anything but a rehash of their tried and true formula, Alter Bridge’s latest salvo has revealed their ambitions to be as expansive as their enthralling new sound.
As the band prepares for a fall campaign through Europe, we caught up with Myles to discuss the new album and the future of Alter Bridge.