Review ALTER BRIDGE ‘Pawns & Kings’

For many years Alter Bridge has been one of the most popular and successful bands in recent rock and metal history. A cornerstone for this successful career of the band is the consistent line-up. Since 2004 Mark Tremonti, Myles Kennedy, Scott Phillips and Brian Marshall play together and are a well-rehearsed team. What certainly contributes to the fruitful collaboration is that each of the band members has enough freedom for their own (solo) projects, which fosters new ideas and inspiration.

The band premiered in 2004 and has in the meantime released six outstanding albums.

Now ‘Pawns & Kings’ is the next longplayer of the quartet and the expectations are high. After the title track has already been unveiled as a single in the summer of 2022, the curiosity for the new album has increased even more, as the track reflects all the trademarks of the Alter Bridge sound. Hard riffs meet great vocals and well thought out melodies. A few weeks later a second single followed with ‘Silver Tongue’ and here the typical sound of the four musicians is again echoed. ‘Silver Tongue’ fascinates also with a clever interaction of verse and chorus, which gives the track an entertaining variety.

‘Pawns & Kings’ is a hard album where riff power is in the spotlight. This is evident when listening to the opener ‘This is War’. The song does have a few quiet moments. Nevertheless, it is the loud riff assaults of Tremonti that encourage you for headbanging.

The seventh Alter Bridge album is bursting with energy and you can feel how happy the guys are to make music together again after lockdowns and distancing. The power that songs like ‘Dead Among the Living’ spread is contagious.

Also worth mentioning is ‘Stay’ with Tremonti on lead vocals. The song shines with its catchy melody line and gives the band the opportunity to attract new fans. After this musical excursion Alter Bridge kick it up a notch again with ‘Holiday’. In addition, the song comes with a chorus that is simply irresistible and immediately invites you to sing along. Everything that makes up the sound of the band is merged in this song.

The centerpiece of the album, however, is ‘Fable of the Silent Son’. With eight minutes running time, the song surpasses all other songs on ‘Pawns & Kings’. Furthermore, the song gives the band the opportunity to present the entire musical and emotional range in one song in a varied fashion.

Atmospheric, rather dark, powerful and epic, this is how the song presents itself to the listener and manages to inspire the audience. This track is definitely a highlight on the album and at the same time shows the versatility that defines Alter Bridge.

‘Diversity’, that is a good cue. ‘Pawns & Kings’ in its entirety is extremely rich in variety. No song is like the other and yet it is the typical trademarks that tie everything together. Alter Bridge had released only good to very good albums so far. This continues with ‘Pawns & Kings’. Their new longplayer is the most mature and varied in the band’s 18-year history and you can already look forward to seeing the guys live on stage again.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. This is War
  2. Dead Among the Living
  3. Silver Tongue
  4. Sin After Sin
  5. Stay
  6. Holiday
  7. Fable oft he Silent Son
  8. Season of Promise
  9. Last Man Standing
  10. Pawns and Kings

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: October 14th, 2022

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