(Running time: 71:46 minutes; 14 Songs)
("Napalm Records" & "Alter Bridge Recording LLC"; CD; 2016):
Next one coming in, and you know the deal, this time it's a 2016 release that we will have a closer look on and then with the next one we will do the same thing with a 2017 release of my choice. So, yes, now here we have the last years's and so far for all what I know still current album of (the mighty) ALTER BRIDGE titled "THE LAST HERO". ALTER BRIDGE were before this one beside some few singles pretty much unknown to me and so don't expect any comparing-attempts to/with former records of them, just that you know this right from the start. I bought this in the december of 2016 after finally listening to "SHOW ME A LEADER" on YouTube, hm, and they got me promptly with this one, totally caught me offguard and so it was only a matter of time before I would finally buy this release, and so then I finally did. The band groups around the "grandmasters" Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti who both share vocal and guitar duties and so one thing is clear and that is that you can expect high(est) quality being delivered by ALTER BRIDGE; and one thing is questionable and that's why the hell did I not earlier fell for ALTER BRIDGE... damn it... but maybe it's no wonder that it's right now that I fell in love with ALTER BRIDGE, after especially from 2015 on my big old love for honest and real, great and passionate Rock and Hard Rock music in general finally grew bigger and bigger and is today perhaps going stronger than many, many years before. Okay, so now you may have already a good idea of what we all get here, yes damn fucking great Rock/Hard Rock leaning here and there slightly (sometimes more, sometimes less) towards (Heavy) Metal and this all done in a sort of a modern way so maybe Modern Rock (or Modern Hard Rock) and in parts even surely Modern Metal are also pretty good descriptions of ALTER BRIDGE, even this somewhat modern-approach is more to be found in a very fresh and totally up-to-date and also sort of over-the-top approach of the songwriting and the songs/music in general and shouldn't be "misinterpreted" as a trendy or "artsy-fartsy" dingledangle and hell no any sort of Rap/Rock-Fusion or "Electro-Rock"-stuff or what the hell else ever of this weird kind of things we definitely don't get (but that should have been clear anyhow right away so anyhow). But instead of such (mostly anyhow just) non-sense expect often a pretty epic approach to it all and also even ALTER BRIDGE nearly create sort of anthem after hymn and hymn after anthem and so on and it's all by any positive means catchy as hell and the giant melodies and the singing rhythms not to talk about the outstanding guitar leads and the siren-like solos and then also and especially the phenomenal (shared) vocals really mark the songs and joining forces in creating incredible hit-like killer-songs, all and everything is on a very high level of skills and pretty complex structured and arranged and also is everything refreshingly free of any blatant clichees, and this is really just absolutely first class. This is incredible strong (Modern) Rock/(Modern) Hard Rock or/and maybe also Modern Metal that should (in any at least only a little-bit just world) also take every Rock Radio Station by storm, but at the same time this all is thrilling and refreshing and absolutely self-contained and high skilled and multi-layered, in every positive sense, yes, truly a demanding record, but this all without becoming anything like too "proggy" or something like this. And what also sticks out is the high intensity-level and also the heartfelt passion and emotional deepness as well as"thoughtfulness" that marks "THE LAST HERO" in a tremendous way. The songwriting is highly diverse and very, very rich on variations and surprises and just intense, often breath-taking intense. Maybe try to imaging sort of a mixture out of CREED, GARY MOORE, and DISTURBED, but all just in pretty small doses and add to the rest a huge and great own identity and own approach and then you maybe get a pretty good (but anyway "only") first imagination of what ALTER BRIDGE (and "THE LAST HERO") are all about, to start your journey in discovering this band, this album, and then (far) more. Expect tons of nothing but amazing and larger-than-life guitar work on all fronts (rhythms, leads, and also especially the solos), absolutely oustanding once-in-a-million vocals, a fantastic rhythm section, fanstastic changes, twists/turns, and daring and winning plays with large portions and doses of different emotions, moods, and feelings, first-class "multi-level" arrangements, thrilling pace-changes, grapping tension-building, and hell, even far more. My personal favorites (at the moment) are "SHOW ME A LEADER", "THE WRITING ON THE WALL", "MY CHAMPION", "CRADLE TO THE GRAVE", "YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED", "TWILIGHT", "ISLAND OF FOOLS", and the impressivly grapping up-building epic title track itself: "THE LAST HERO"; but don't misunderstand this because the here and now not listed or mentioned songs are not weaker by any means, just to get this straight. And damn it, it's just breath-taking fantastic to see (or hear) outstanding musicians writing outstanding music, hell yeahr, I love this album. High Quality lyrics, a absolutely beautiful artwork, and a first class premium bombastic production-sound finally setting the crown on the head of this fantastic creation named "THE LAST HERO", and ALTER BRIDGE made it high up with this one in/on my personal best-of-2016 list and up to this day it is on heavy rotation and I'm in an ongoing love affair with this album. So, yes, this is recommended the highest ways so if you still don't have it and your are into Rock/Hard Rock you absoultely need to have ALTER BRIDGE's "THE LAST HERO", that simple things can sometimes be. Fantastic!!!
PS: My version of this album comes with a bonus track, "LAST OF OUR KIND", and it's a more than just decent one and so a true "rich-it-all-up-affair", and especially the guitar solo work really shines bright on this one, again.
(10 of 10 Points)
https://www.alterbridge.com/ (-the link to the band's homepage, check it out)
ALTERBRIDGE - "ISLAND OF FOOLS" /live\ (2016, "THE LAST HERO")