(9/10) There is a pattern recognizable when it comes to releases of Grammy award winner Alter Bridge and solo records of some of the involved keyplayers. Following the latest Alter Bridge album it was earlier this year when singer and guitarist Myles Kennedy revealed his new solo record and a few months later it’s guitarist Mark Tremonti who launches his new longplayer. ‘A Dying Machine’ is the fourth disc of the iconic guitarist and it’s the first time that Tremonti releases an album via Napalm Records. The record is built with a concept-thinking in mind. For a long time Tremonti dreamed about writing a novel and he could finally realize the dream, working together with author John Shirley. It is a fictional book that accompanies the release of ‘A Dying Machine’. The album is almost a soundtrack to this book.
Next to the narrative character of this new album, it’s the music that leads to pure enjoyment. Tremonti’s newest delivery sounds like the most mature one he did to date. It represents the heavy side of Tremonti with perfectly executed riffs. The solo releases have always been the outlet for Tremonti’s passion for heavy guitar sounds and it still is. Songs that might be too hard for Alter Bridge were shining on the previous records and also this time it’s tunes like the mighty opener ‘Bringer of War’, the thrash-based ‘The Day When Legions Burned’ and the uptempo ‘Throw Them to the Lions’ that stand for the entire riffpower Tremonti offers.
Next to these really heavy beauties it’s Tremonti and his acoustic guitar that are friends on the new release, like with ‘Traipse’ and ‘As the Silence Become Me’. There’s in general more space for some calmer tones, which makes the heavy sections even heavier. At the end it’s a well-balanced mix that never compromises on power.
It goes without saying that the vocals, done by the axeman himself, are as good as we’re used to from records like ‘Dust’. The guitarist has a great voice. It’s the rougher way of singing, which helps the album a lot, since it’s not sugaring things at all. ‘A Dying Machine’ has these melodic and party catchy melody lines, but those never turn into something that’s too sweet and trivial. The melodies and aggressiveness goes together extremely well, something you can easily grasp by listening to the title track.
‘A Dying Machine’ is Mark Tremonti’s best release to date. It comprises of all the features we know from the earlier longplayers and still adds some new to the table. Tremonti evolved the sound of his solo outfit. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s melodic – it’s Mark Tremonti. I would be surprised if we wouldn’t see this album showing up on several 2018 year polls. Thumbs up.
- Bringer of War
- From the Sky
- A Dying Machine
- Throw Them to the Lions
- Make it Hurt
- The First the Last
- A Lot like Sin
- The Day When Legions Burned
- As the Silence Becomes Me
- Take You with Me
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: June 8th, 2018