The Last Hero review by Alter Bridge

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  • Released: Oct 7, 2016
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (46 votes)
Alter Bridge: The Last Hero

Sound — 10
"The Last Hero" is Alter Bridge's follow up to 2013's "Fortress" and it's just... wow. This album is a total monster. I was really impressed with "Fortress" up to the point that I bought it after my first listen (which does not happen that often) and loved it since then. So I was really curious and maybe even skeptical if there is room for any more improvement on this record.

Album opens up with "Show Me a Leader," which was at first released as a radio-edit version, without the amazing instrumental intro, followed by pretty straightforward but great guitar work. Rest of the album is an incredible mix of heavy,rocking and ballad-ish type of songs, mostly driven by Mark Tremonti's amazing guitar work. That guy is seriously one the best and most inovative players out there these days.

Another cool fact about the album is that although some of the songs are focused more into certain style, some being really heavy, almost to a point of doom metal or sludge ("The Other Side," "Crows on a Wire") or some having more of a rock vibe ("Show Me a Leader," "Poison in Your Veins"), most of them will combine a bit of everything Alter Bridge is known for. This good blend of styles is in my opinion what sets the band apart from other modern rock/metal bands on the scene. It also makes the album enjoyable from start to finish, without getting bored after three songs.

Bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips don't have any moments where they can shine, but they are locked tight together and flawlessly provide top-notch rhythm section and background for Tremonti's solos and crushing riffs.

Myles Kennedy's vocal delivery hasn't changed much throughout their career and he manages to hit even really high notes without any problems, but on the other side, those who are not familiar with band's discography might find his singing a bit repetitive after a few songs.

Lyrics — 8
Having read a couple interviews with Myles Kennedy about the lyrical theme of this album, I have to agree with him that while some of the lyrics touch the subject of politics a little bit, they do not aim to speak for a certain political ideology, but are rather just thoughts and feelings of normal person.

Also, this album is not as dark and heavy like the band's record "AB III" when it comes to lyrical subject. "My Champion" for example, has a really positive vibe to it and shows a much lighter side of Kennedy's writing than before.

Overall Impression — 9
I really enjoyed this album a lot and I would have to be really picky and in really bad mood to find a flaw on it. Every song has a different feel to it, which is something I find to be quite rare in the rock/metal scene today. I wasn't bored for a single second while listening to it. Also, as a big Tremonti project fan, I really, really hope that Mark has some riffs left for his next solo album, because his playing on this record is probably the best I've ever heard from him.

If they manage to top this one when their next album comes out, it might as well be a milestone in rock music after a long time. It certainly is the best album in their discography, at least for me.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Each Alter Bridge album before The Last Hero seemed to have an identity of its own in overall tone and song structure. It's not that The Last Hero is bad, it just feels like Fortress 2. It's not like any of the written music is bad, but the album totally lacks restraint. One Day Remains, Blackbird, and ABIII all have a couple songs that were softer and specifically written not to be an explosion in your ears but Fortress and The Last Hero are like a nuclear blast in comparison. Someone needs to tell them that some of their best work was some of the clean and acoustic guitar noodling they used to do. You can't ignore that part of their sound if you're an Alter Bridge fan.
    See, my biggest complaint is that I thought it was a step back from Fortress. AB3 and Fortress showed these guys experimenting a lot more, adding a lot more to the mix (Myles playing more lead guitar, Mark doing more lead vocals, overall increases in both heaviness and progressiveness,) and then they went and squashed the piss out of the recording.
    "I've always thought of Alter Bridge as being somewhat like a 21st-century Van Halen" Epic comparison fail.
    I really enjoy listening to this album, my only complaint is that Marks backing vocals are basically inaudible. I really enjoy hearing his vocals compliment Myles' and I reall had to strain to hear him. Other than that I have had a lot of fun listening to this record.
    Somehow he went from singing an entire song by himself on fortress, putting out his best vocals to date on Cauterize/Dust and then they dont use him at all?? His guitar work on this one was maybe his best yet but I missed his vocals. Less of Tremontis vocals and its harder to tell which solos are Marks and which are Myles. Overall I rate it up there with blackbird, Fortress is still my favorite but this came close
    He is on there man, just as much as always. Just he has been buried under the layers and layers of guitars and Myles vocal tracks.
    I saw them live a few weeks ago and the new songs sounded great with Mark on backing vocals.I agree with you saying he was very underutilized on The Last Hero.
    Heavy breathing after seeing Alter Bridge appear on the new release section, even after I outgrew the phase where I would play them on listen.