Alter Bridge is again on hold, singer Myles Kennedy has once again joined Slash and his conspirators on tour, so guitar master Mark Tremonti has plenty of time to work on his newest band. With two new albums coming out this year, he’s been keeping himself really busy. Joining him for the second Tremonti album ‘Cauterize’ are the already familiar names guitarist Eric Friedman, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen and drummer Garrett Whitlock.
It all started out with Tremonti writing some songs that were maybe a little too heavy for Alter Bridge – and definitely too heavy for his first project Creed . You might say Tremonti has become less of a solo project and more of a band though. And ‘Cauterize’ has the coherency of a full album rather than just being a collection of loose songs that were occasionally written by some musician in his spare time.
Starting off the album is the heavy riffing of Radical Change. Tremonti immediately falls in with some melodic singing lines that show he’s been growing as a vocalist. Especially the chorus really sucks you in. Although Alter Bridge’s latest release Fortress is never far away, Tremonti still stands out with his more aggressive riffing and vocals.
The grooving Flying Monkeys takes down the pace. The chorus once more consists of very melodic singing lines. With the title track coming up next, the pace really gets up again with a speedy intro riff. A pace that goes down just a bit for the chorus.
Dark Trip stands out as a song that initially sounds a lot less heavy, after the first verse the overdriven guitars kick in for the chorus. After that, you get overwhelmed by an intense atmosphere that lasts until long after the guitar solo fades away.
Next up is first single Another Heart, not really blowing me away at first but it kind of grew on me. I still prefer the songs on this album with the higher pitched, more screamy vocals. It just fits the heavy riffs and intense drumming better.
Fall Again also consists of restful parts (intro and verse) before getting all tight and intense for the bridge and chorus. It’s another prime example of how well Mark knows his ways around good sounding singing lines.
Album closer Providence once more reminds me of Alter Bridge, more specific the song Fortress itself. The build up is pretty comparable, and with lyrics such as “Tear down the walls we build from the wars we wage” you probably completely catch my drift. Just like the former, this is pretty much the highlight of another great album.
Tremonti or Evil Invaders? It’s a Graspop dilemma I still need to figure out. At least I now know for a fact that the mastermind behind Creed, Alter Bridge and Tremonti is still growing towards the highlight of his songwriting and playing skills. At least I still have a week to decide. And I have an excuse to give this new album a couple more spins. As if I really needed one.