American rock act Alter Bridge's third studio production “AB III” hit the markets in late 2010, and became an instant hit with fans of the genre. It broke away somewhat from their two previous albums, in terms of music and theme.
The album opens with “Slip to the Void” where fiery guitar-work and rip-through vocals wake you up after a grim intro. “Isolation”, the next in queue, kicks into full throttle without any fuss, and continues building up with signature styles of guitarists Tremonti and Kennedy. “Ghost of the Days Gone By”, the track to follow, lays back slightly after the boom. The lyrical tonality also eases out, and a sweet little solo adds the cherry on top. “All Hope is Gone” comes next, with no signs of receding. Nested right between the first two grizzly tracks and the flowing track 3, “All Hope is Gone” begins to bring in the depth factor of the album.
The album almost enters another phase with the next piece, “Still Remains”, with a bass-packed intro and familiar bursts and breaks. The standout for the song remains the catchy riff patterns, along with Kennedy's display of vocal prowess. “Make it Right” is the track to follow, with usual flare in a not-too-smashing fashion, with a brilliantly crafted lyric. Drummer Scott Phillips steps into top gear, and the chorus is as good as you can picture yourself screaming at a concert to; one of the standouts of the album. “Wonderful Life”, the next song, catches you off-guard in a blissful surprise, with immense feel and a gripping melodious ballad-like progression. Acoustic guitar interludes, yearning vocals and the sheer smoothness of the tracks makes you fall in love with the whole album. “I Know It Hurts” plays next, with a rather misleading intro that takes your mind to the opening tracks, but then glides in to the maturity of the album as a whole. The energy picks up again, only in proper proportions, to set you up for what comes next -- which is “Show Me A Sign”, that beautifully brings back the flavour of darkness and struggle, switching between chaotic riffing-drumming and a grave, inner-voice-style singing backed by a spooky guitar pieces. “Fallout” follows suit, with a refreshingly plucked intro, and builds up as the vocals depths are showcased. “Breathe Again” returns the sweetness, added to the voice-range skills of Kennedy, and marks for reasonably good listening. “Coeur D'alene”, the French-named song after a city in Idaho of USA, comes in typical Alter Bridge exuberance, generating horse-power without kicking the tempo up too high. A slash-and-move solo stamps this otherwise not-so-extraordinary song. “Life Must Go On” begins with a beautiful plucking, almost as if to remind you that the album is nearing a close. The lyrics releases positivity at the end of a thrilling ride, with a composition that has pretty much of all the makings of a track to go on repeat on your music player. “Words Darker Than Their Wings” brings the album to a fitting end, nicely summing up the striking elements that the album possesses.
One of the most fulfilling things about the album is that it is un-put-downable on the first go, and there are just so many tracks to return to later, you wouldn't mind giving all 14 tracks another listen: A definite must-have for the collection of every rock lover.