Sound — 8
Notice the first member of the band that has been listed in every review? Mark Tremonti. As has been noted, Mark Tremonti always has and always will be the driving force behind Alter Bridge. It's a far cry from the backseat he took to Scott Stapp in his Creed years. The sound that Alter Bridge has adopted sounds like Creed trying not to be Creed. That's not a bad thing, and I don't mean it to sound negative. Alter Bridge starts where Creed left off, always on the edge of corny power balads, but pushes the envelope much further than Creed ever did. Very aggresive, and full of Mark Tremonti's trademark guitar fireworks, Alter Bridge continues to push it's identity in this new disc.
Lyrics — 4
Start Preheating the album, because these lyrics are as Cookie-Cutter as they come. I do give them credit for trying to put a positive spin on some of their songs like Rise Today and Before Tomorrow Comes. But overall, the lyrics lean toward the cheesy side of hard rock, lamenting a lost love, or questioning one's existance. "Leaves are on the ground, Fall has come, Blue skies turning grey, Like my love." No new ground being tread here. Although it has never struck a chord with me, I will admit that Myles Kennedy does have a very strong voice. One that he has obviously worked on for years.
Overall Impression — 8
Honestly, just hearing Mark Tremonti's guitarwork places Blackbird above all else in the genre. Replace Tremonti's solos, pick squeels, and riffs, and you would just have another hard rock band with a decent singer. But of course as I said before, it's really Tremonti that will drive this band to success.