Despite the band's membership being at their busiest, what with Mark Tremonti releasing a solo album, Myles Kennedy working with Slash, Scott Phillips breaking ground on a new supergroup, and Creed touring and working on new material, Fortress, the fourth album from Alter Bridge, finds the band returning to the scene with an album that feels anything but spread thin. Given the title, the album seems to bring forth the notion of the band being a kind of creative haven for its members, a hard rock sanctuary where they're able to just pick up and rock, no matter what they might be doing with themselves on the outside. Bringing back their fine mix of melody and drive, Alter Bridge create a style of hard rock that really soars, exploding upward thanks to the thrust provided by Tremonti's massive guitar work and Kennedy's high-flying vocals. While the album does have its quieter, more downtempo moments, Alter Bridge seem aware enough of them to always pull things back toward hard rock before they go full-on power ballad, giving the album a feeling of momentum that helps to keep it moving. Given how busy the bandmembers have been with other projects, it would've been easy for them to phone this one in. Instead, Fortress is a driving album that not only doesn't feel tired or stale, but is a monster of an album that makes a pretty solid case for being some of Alter Bridge's strongest and most dynamic work to date.
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