Alter Bridge — Pawns & Kings
Alter Bridge is back with their seventh studio album titled “Pawns & Kings”. The members of this band stay very busy with Myles Kennedy releasing a solo record and a record with Slash in the last year while Mark Tremonti released another record with his band Tremonti last year. This is the band’s first new studio release since 2019’s “Walk The Sky”.
As with most major releases, this one deserves a track by track breakdown.
“This Is War” — The opening track hits with a double bass and is reminiscent of something off a Tremonti record. It’s a heavy track quite melodic and a very good start to the record.
“Dead Among The Living” — Another heavier track with plenty of melody, this one reminds me of something that could have been off the last record. It’s hard to believe that this band is basically Creed with a different singer. Great track.
“Silver Tongue” — A blistering riff starts this one off. Now that I’ve heard more of the Tremonti stuff I’m starting to hear more of that influence on this record, especially in the heavy guitar riffs. But there’s that catchy chorus that brings it all together.
“Sin After Sin” — The first of three tracks that check in at over 6 minutes, this one starts off slower behind a drum beat but then the guitar kicks in with a plodding riff. The non-traditional chorus really works and we even hear Tremonti’s backing vocals more than I’ve noticed before. A really cool song.
“Stay” — So this one is a surprise as Tremonti takes the lead vocals which is the first song I can remember him singing in the band. I love the layered vocals as the two sound really great together. This song is incredibly catchy and is in the running for my favorite song of the year. It’s one of those songs that just makes you feel good. Just fantastic.
“Holiday” — This one feels very Myles Kennedy to me. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it has that Guns ‘N Roses feel to it. I can’t put my finger on it but I like it.
“Fable of the Silent Son” — This is the longest track on the record at over 8 minutes. It has that epic feel to it, starting off mellow with just a vocal over a mostly clean guitar. Kennedy shows off his vocal range which is so impressive. The song kicks in at the 90 second mark but there are more twists and turns to come. The song almost comes to a complete end around 3 minutes in but starts up again as almost a different song. I really enjoy songs like this that take you on a journey.
“Season of Promise” — From the epic song to the catchy rocker. This one grabs you from the very start. I’m really like the increased Tremonti vocals on this record, even when just in the backing vocals like on this track. It’s brings a cool layered feel that really works. Another great track.
“Last Man Standing” — When I think of Alter Bridge I think of this type of song. It has all of the elements that I like about this band.
“Pawns & Kings” — The title track ends the record and it’s another 6 minutes plus track. It’s heavy and epic and an appropriate way to end this record.
This band just keeps getting better. I didn’t think they could top the last record but I think they have. It’s heavy and catchy and interesting to listen to. It has all the elements I love about a record and the addition of more Tremonti vocals only helps.
I’ve only been through the record a few times but this one is a legit contender for my favorite record of the year. I’m going to be conservative with my rating but I can say for sure that you will see this record near the top of my end of year ranking.
Do yourself a favor and go get this record.
95 out of 100
01. This Is War
02. Dead Among The Living*
03. Silver Tongue*
04. Sin After Sin*
07. Fable Of The Silent Son*
08. Season Of Promise*
09. Last Man Standing*
10. Pawns & Kings *