Sound — 10
Alter Bridge returns with their sophomore effort "Blackbird," lead by terrific songwriter/lead guitarist Mark Tremonti. Fans of Tremonti have long awaited for him to break out as a guitarist, which was seen on Alter Bridge's debut album, and further regarded by sparkling guitar work on Blackbird. Alter Bridge were quoted as saying that this was their most aggressive material to date, and they haven't lied. They have definitely gone heavier with more drop tunings, and riff oriented songs. Tremonti also plays more leads on this record, which is a good thing. Myles Kennedy's vocals soar on this record, planting his powerful range as one of the best voices in modern rock today. Myles also co-wrote the material with Tremonti and played guitar on the record as well, as he is a talented guitar/songwriter in his own right.The band is anchored by Brian Marshall on bass, and Scott Phillips on drums, both who do a great job and do not get the props they deserve in this highly talented band. This record will not let fans down and will likely impress more than the band's debut, "One Day Remains."
Lyrics — 8
Once again, Alter Bridge tends to stick with issues in life, mostly with overcoming challenge, and moving on. Overall, the lyrics maintain more of a positive tone, with few exceptions, like the title track, "Blackbird." Myles Kennedy continues to impress with his incredible vocals, showcasing a dynamic range. Being a tenor in a rock world full of baritones, Myles puts forth a unique and recognizable sound.
Overall Impression — 9
Comparing Blackbird to One Day Remains, the former is definitely the more accomplished album. Mark Tremonti is constantly trying to improve his already adequate guitar skills, and it continues to show in the band's music. Stand out tracks include: "Ties That Bind," the lead off track to the record is a fast paced, heavy rocker that drops the jackhammer to state Alter Bridge is back; "Brand New Start," a melodic tune that is sure to race up the modern rock charts; "Buried Alive," another heavy track that showcases some of Tremonti's best guitar playing; and the title track, "Blackbird," a true masterpiece which showcases Tremonti's songwriting, and Myles' vocals and guitar playing. Tremonti, being a student of the guitar is always trying to improve and showcase his talents, which is why Alter Bridge have produced such some great songs. One thing I would like to see is the use of the rhythm section in the songwriting process as both Marshall and Phillips are talented in their own right. Overall, "Blackbird" is a dazzling rock record that will continue to impress current fans, as well as attract new ones.