Pawns & Kings
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ALTER BRIDGE – PAWNS & KINGS – ALBUM REVIEW
What an incredible story Alter Bridge are when you sit back and think about it; forming from the ashes an enormously successful band, with a relatively unknown but highly talented singer, with said singer even later auditioning for Led Zeppelin.
That singer then joining the legendary Slash for a new project and the original act briefly reforming; and then both the singer and guitarist of this band pursuing very successful solo careers. There is even a Frank Sinatra covers album in the mix now, but throughout all this Alter Bridge have remained ever present and ever evolving.
Now regrouped again, the band have bestowed upon us their seventh studio album, ‘Pawns & Kings’. Despite all the distractions, this continues their record of a new album every three years having started that pattern with debut album, ‘One Day Remains’ back in 2004 – which is somehow almost twenty years ago!
During this time the band have delivered many hits and a few misses, but this album feels important. The band have established themselves in rocks arena filling ranks, but haven’t shown any measurable growth in a decade or so. Whilst charting reasonably well their previous two albums have met mixed reviews and it does seem like Alter Bridge need an injection of momentum.
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‘Pawns & Kings’ may well be just what the doctor ordered. Starting out fast, heavy and soaring, the band set the bar high with ‘This Is War’, ‘Dead Among The Living’ and ‘Silver Tongue’.
‘Sin After Sin’ and ‘Stay’ then demonstrate that evolution we mentioned. Myles Kennedy as a vocalist and Mark Tremonti as a guitarist are often ranked as amongst the best in their fields. In recent years the two have proven themselves well equipped in each other’s departments and on ‘Pawns & Kings’ the two show just how far their dexterity has come.
Throughout the second half of this album, Alter Bridge maintain the quality that has perhaps tapered off on recent albums. This isn’t a token effort with a handful of quality singles. This is an old school Alter Bridge album which shows the cohesion that made sophomore album ‘Blackbird’ such a success.
The story of Alter Bridge is truly unique and it’s a testament to the talents of those involved that this far into their career, even with multiple side projects, they can still deliver a album as magnificent as this!
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