Blackbird review by Alter Bridge

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  • Released: Oct 9, 2007
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (463 votes)
Alter Bridge: Blackbird
5

Sound — 10
Finally, after their 2004 debut album, One Day Remains, Alter Bridge release their sophomore effort, Blackbird. Blackbird showcases everything that has proved Mark Tremonti as a brilliant songwriter and an awesome guitarist. Heavy distorted riffs, elegant and beautiful clean guitar parts, strong memorable choruses and brilliant solos are all part of this awesome album. What most sets apart this album from it's predecessor is the overall darker and heavier feel it has, and Myles Kennedy's clear contributions, mostly lyrically. Another thing that's different from ODR is Tremonti's backup vocals, which are more present and more felt. Like always Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips provide a tight rhythm session.

Lyrics — 10
I know there are some people saying that the lyrics are too generic or whatever but I disagree. The lyrics' themes vary significantly. Lyrics about war, alcoholism, sorrow, loneliness, positive social reform, death, and overcoming pain are all present in Blackbird. Myles continues to prove himself as one of the best voices in rock ever, with his magnificent range and voice control. He's highly emotional voice showcased in every song overcomes any feeling of blandness the lyrics might induce.

Overall Impression — 9
Alter Bridge definitely made a great album, miles ahead of anything release by other modern rock bands. I would say that technically Blackbird is better than One Day Remains as far as musicianship and production are concerned, but it still hasn't left the same impression of "freshness" that One Day Remains caused in me. 01. Ties That Bind - a good opener, nice fast-paced track. Myles's vocals stand out a lot in this one. The song finishes with a nice solo by Tremonti. 02. Come To Life - heavy track with a very heavy intro riff. Mark lets loose, once again, in the middle of the song with a solo containing some "shredtastic" passages. 03. Brand New Start - opens with a nice clean melodic intro. Has a catchy chorus, and a kickass solo. The solo is very melodic and emotional (like the rest of the song) and showcases, in my opinion, one of Tremonti's best ever. One of my album favorites. 04. Buried Alive - opens with an intro full of tasteful licks by Mark and then lands directly into the first verse powered by a slow and heavy riff. I found the bridge to be very contrasting with the song in general (definitely not a bad thing). Again, Mark comes through at the end with a awesome solo with Myles's vocals fading in the background. 05. Coming Home - opens with a heavy intro once again. This song is quite different from the rest of the material from the band. Nice verse and catchy chorus. Sorry no solo on this one. 06. Before Tomorrow Comes - a very nice, catchy song that sounds much like their previous material. It's one of the mellower tracks in the album. Myles and Mark's vocals really shine on this one. 07. Rise Today - nothing too special about this one. Has some good hooks and is maybe the album's most radio friendly song. The solo makes up for what the rest of the song lacks though. 08. Blackbird - my favorite song of the album. Opens with a beautiful, melancholic intro, then jumps into a heavy, distorted guitar riff. The song reminded me a lot of Opeth, with it's overall gloomy feel and it's dissonant guitar parts. The epic-like chorus is sung brilliantly by Myles. Myles also contributes a very melodic heartfelt guitar solo to the song, and when it's just about finished Tremonti unleashes the beast inside of him letting rip a huge solo. 09. One By One - opens with a good heavy riff. The most memorable part of this song for me is the chorus. Very catchy and emotional. It will stay in your head for days. 10. Watch Over You - this song is the ballad of the album. Nothing to big, has some emotional parts though. I'm really not a fan of ballads but it does a good job of setting a different feel from the rest of the album. 11. Break Me Down - another one of the album's less memorable tracks. Overall a catchy track but didn't standout from the rest. In my opinion, tied with Rise Today for the weakest track on the album. 12. White Knuckles - this song is great. Definitely picks up where Blackbird (title track) left off. The main riff is heavy and fast, reminiscent of Bullets (Creed). The track has an overall heavy and "in your face" feel. 13. Wayward One - very strong track to finish the album with. It starts with a clean riff that continues throughout the verse. The chorus is amazing, and after the second one the track turns a little bit heavier and darker with the bridge. Last but certainly not least Mark provides, in my opinion, his most technical solo of the album. Fast, shreddy and with lots of neo-classical influenced licks. In other words, a great way to finish a great album. Overall, the only thing that I didn't like about Blackbird is that it still feels as Mark and co. are still not pouring all their talent unto their music. And yes, I would certainly buy another copy of this album if it where stolen. Can't wait for their next one!

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kmchipower
    best band since the era of RATM, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, etc. these guys kick some serious ass. this album blows Velvet Revolver out of the water. i still can't believe these guys used to be in Creed.
    kmchipower
    mannyfresh is a moron...he obviously hasn't even heard alter bridge's music because he keeps on bundling them up with Creed some advice...listen...then talk
    mannyfresh wrote: HexaDakota wrote: I still haven't learned why everyone hates Creed. I know Scott Stapp was a loser and an hypocrite offstage, but the music they produced was solid. I think everyone hated Creed because their fan base was primarily 14 year old girls. Luckily for me I discovered Creed only a couple years ago, long after the "CREED SUCKS" pandemic spread throughout the underground. Good thing I wasn't tainted. Oh, and Blackbird is awesome. jesus tittie f'n christ.... you guys are hopeless go lock yourselves in your rooms and listen to your creed albums and blackbird "the greatest album ever made" according to tremont.....
    Istivar
    Mannyfresh. You really have no idea what you're talking about. They are NOT all about making cash. And the album is awesome. Stop being such an insufferable elitist. No one wants you here. Leave. Now.
    Eternal_One
    Ppl need to realize that metal and it's sub-genres didn't just fall out the sky and here we have bands like Cannibal Corpse and Immortal. It was a process by which things became heavier, more technical (one could argue) etc. ROCK bands like Led Zep, Uriah Heep, Rolling stones etc influenced musicians who in turn played a lil heavier and technically and they in term influenced the next generation etc. So for one to just say "hHey Death metal is brilliant, I can't believe ppl listen to shit like Led Zeppelin" then you gotta be pretty close minded and ignorant. Go check up on who influenced the artists YOU listen and u will find some rock, maybe classical even. It what makes a great musician, the appreciation of what came before them in addition to the other stuff we all talk about. As for the whole indie thing. I absolutely hate it when they claim to be (the fans anyways) better than those who listen to what , arguably, is called "commercial" music. A band creates music they love and are happy with, and they want to reach a bigger audience. Get their names out there. To be one the front cover of guitar/drum/whatever magazines along with their heroes and idols. To make a living and be successful. Just because they want that and try their life's worth to get there, how can u just crit them and say they are "commercial". Half the indie bands out there are probably indie because they can't get a record deal and publication coz they so shit. They then go home and say "I'm gonna stick it to the man and become indie". I have nothing against some of them but it has become more of a statement of "rebellion" to be "indie'.
    staind_dust87
    The best album from the last ten years! Its incredible, everything about it is. Do yourself a favor now and buy this masterpiece now!
    Radicall
    I've ordered the album as soon as it was released. Received it the very next day and couldn't stop listening to it. I'm absolutly hooked onto it, because in my opinion it's just awesome! It's darker and more agressive than One Day Remains, but it's a way more complete album. Every song is awesome. When I first listened to some songs by Alter Bridge of One Day Remains I thought it couldn't get any better, but really this is even better. I am so thrilled they are coming to the Netherlands on January 30th, and that I've got tickets to go see the show! I really can't wait for it! Really recommend this album for sure!
    kmchipower
    uhh...i have no idea why people would think death metal is superior to bands like zeppelin in the first place. do you people listen to music or do u just listen to how fast they r playin? and rock and hard rock bands like zeppelin only go fast when the music calls for it...but they CAN go fast. i challenge any death metal drummer to play a drum solo half as good as john bonham's moby dick (the live version).
    Eternal_One wrote: Ppl need to realize that metal and it's sub-genres didn't just fall out the sky and here we have bands like Cannibal Corpse and Immortal. It was a process by which things became heavier, more technical (one could argue) etc. ROCK bands like Led Zep, Uriah Heep, Rolling stones etc influenced musicians who in turn played a lil heavier and technically and they in term influenced the next generation etc. So for one to just say "hHey Death metal is brilliant, I can't believe ppl listen to shit like Led Zeppelin" then you gotta be pretty close minded and ignorant. Go check up on who influenced the artists YOU listen and u will find some rock, maybe classical even. It what makes a great musician, the appreciation of what came before them in addition to the other stuff we all talk about. As for the whole indie thing. I absolutely hate it when they claim to be (the fans anyways) better than those who listen to what , arguably, is called "commercial" music. A band creates music they love and are happy with, and they want to reach a bigger audience. Get their names out there. To be one the front cover of guitar/drum/whatever magazines along with their heroes and idols. To make a living and be successful. Just because they want that and try their life's worth to get there, how can u just crit them and say they are "commercial". Half the indie bands out there are probably indie because they can't get a record deal and publication coz they so shit. They then go home and say "I'm gonna stick it to the man and become indie". I have nothing against some of them but it has become more of a statement of "rebellion" to be "indie'.
    kmchipower
    and greater speed doesn't equal greater musical complexity and theres also something called improv and musicianship...which death metal music does not have too much room for and hard rock bands also have better singers
    kmchipower
    death metal is a bit much for me...but i am ALL FOR metal...i am a HUGE fan of Megadeth (my 3rd fav band behind zep and GNR). but do NOT say that metal > hard rock. they are just different and are judged on different standards. and in my opinion, the standards that hard rock are judged on are more musically comprehensive.