Fortress

Fortress Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the hard rock band formed by Creed members Mark Tremonti and drummer Scott Phillips was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette.
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  • Record Label: Roadrunner Records
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Post-Grunge
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Kerrang!
    Oct 7, 2013
    100
    Fortress is Alter Bridge's most aggressive album to date. [21 Sep 2013, p.52]
  2. Oct 7, 2013
    80
    The combination of guitarist Mark Tremonti's unashamedly metallic riffing and singer Myles Kennedy's (otherwise known as Slash's right-hand man) versatile and soulful voice ensures that every one of these 12 songs bristles with conviction.
  3. Oct 7, 2013
    80
    Fortress is a driving album that not only doesn't feel tired or stale, but is a monster of an album that makes a pretty solid case for being some of Alter Bridge's strongest and most dynamic work to date.
  4. Classic Rock Magazine
    Oct 23, 2013
    80
    Musically the album is AB's heaviest so far, but it's never heavy handed. [Oct 2013, p.90]
  5. Oct 7, 2013
    50
    Somehow, though, every song eventually leads to Myles Kennedy keening dramatically over guitar sturm und drang, and while that nicely showcase the band’s songwriting and instrumental skills, after a while it becomes predictable and monotonous.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Dec 5, 2013
    10
    The best AB album yet! I love how Tremonti got lead vocals (for the most part) in Waters Rising. I guess after All I Was, Myles decided toThe best AB album yet! I love how Tremonti got lead vocals (for the most part) in Waters Rising. I guess after All I Was, Myles decided to give Tremonti some time to shine! My top 3 songs are 1. Waters Rising 2. Fortress 3. Cry of Achilles Expand
  2. Oct 8, 2013
    10
    Alter Bridge is back after three years, riding high on the successes of their most recent effort, ABIII which had finally given them a muchAlter Bridge is back after three years, riding high on the successes of their most recent effort, ABIII which had finally given them a much needed boost in popularity, as well as their numerous side projects. Fortress is a true evolution of their sound, delving ever deeper into the hard rock scene they have been placed into, changing enough to keep long time fans engaged without utterly changing into something unrecognisable (see: Red, Three days Grace, Papa Roach).

    Fortress is a collection of heavy hitting, fast paced, head banging burners and a handful of those slower songs Alter Bridge always excels at producing.

    Opening with 30 seconds of acoustic picking in a Spanish style, the opener "Cry of Achilles" rips into savage shredding, blasting drum beats and ghostly vocals from Myles, until a sudden climax when the pace relents, building into a wonderful sing along chorus. A true highlight of the album.

    Of notable mention is "The Waters Rise", where resident shredder Mark Tremonti is charged with lead vocal duties, giving an excellent performance showing how his side project (Tremonti) has bolstered his singing skills. During the chorus of the song Myles harmonizes over Mark to tremendous effect as they scream "Don't let me drown!" over a strong descending riff.

    The last track which needs to be discussed in depth is my personal favourite of any of Alter Bridge's work is calm the fire. This seven minute epic starts of with slow picking and Myle's singing in a stunningly high pitch, showing off his incredible tenor vocal range. The song then lifts up with some amazing chilled riffs and extremely energetic drums from Phillips, into the soaring chorus about a world which needs more love. A truly touching, pulse pounding epic in every sense of the word. Perfection.

    The songs in the album are generally quite long, surpassing the 4:30 mark. the longest tracks are easily the best (see: Calm the Fire, Waters Rising, Cry of Achilles and Fortress), all of which are dynamic and progressive affairs which soar high enough to touch the heavens, every so often bringing the listener down to Earth every once in a while.

    A number of heavy, blistering tracks can be found too, such as "The peace is Broken", "Bleed it Dry" and "Cry me a River". These tracks showcase Alter Bridge in it's heaviest light yet.

    The production is excellent as to be expected from produce Micheal "Elvis" Baskette who has been in Alter Bridge's arsenal all along. The mixing, volumes and accents are all excellent.

    The only track I do not really enjoy is "The Uninvited", which just doesn't flow like classic Alter Bridge.

    A must own for any Hard Rock fan, a solid addition to any rock music collection. Be sure to check out their previous work too, especially if you enjoy the slower, softer tracks on this album!

    Please spread the word about this excellent group of musicians!!
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  3. Dec 30, 2013
    10
    one of the best albums i ever heard in my life, the guitar play of mark tremmonti is brilliant. the vocals of myles kennedy are absolutelyone of the best albums i ever heard in my life, the guitar play of mark tremmonti is brilliant. the vocals of myles kennedy are absolutely amazing, the supporting bass and drums are very nice, but i liked the drumming better in the Blackbird album. still this album is definitely worth buying. Expand
  4. Jul 20, 2014
    10
    Alter Bridge has officially solidified their spot as the best hard rock band currently producing music today. Throughout their previous threeAlter Bridge has officially solidified their spot as the best hard rock band currently producing music today. Throughout their previous three albums (One Day Remains, Blackbird, ABIII) the band consistently produced quality tunes, with huge, epic riffs and hooks heard in tracks such as "Isolation," "Open Your Eyes," and "Metalingus," among others. It is hard to find a weak track throughout their discography, and this theme continues in "Fortress."

    The album opens up with arguably their 2nd best track to date, and 2nd single of the album - "Cry of Achilles." This is a HUGE opener, beginning with a finger picked intro that segues into a gigantic intro riff that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The rest of the track takes you on a wild ride, with a truly epic chorus, a middle section that will throw you off with it's odd time, a classic Myles Kennedy solo, and a closing solo by Mark Tremonti that will leave you in awe. The musicianship here is top-notch, and lets the listener know that it is in for a real treat.

    "Addicted to Pain" is the first single from the album, and is a classic hard-rocker with a catchy chorus and head-banging riff that garnered the song significant airplay. As hard as this song rocks, it is doesn't even rank in the top half of the album, which is a testament to the quality of this album from start to finish.

    "Bleed it Dry" imposes itself upon the listener next in a big way, with a huge, heavy riff blazing right from the beginning. After more **** by Tremonti and excellent vocals during the exploding chorus by Kennedy, the song breaks down into a slower passage with some jazzy chords played by Kennedy. This establishes the base for the best guitar solo on the album to play over, and Tremonti really demonstrates his versatility as a lead guitarist here. Crank the volume up for this solo, the climax almost rivals that of "Blackbird."

    "Lover" slows things down, and gives Myles Kennedy a chance to demonstrate why he is one of the best frontmen in music with this dark, melancholic-yet-anthemic tune. The pre-chorus riff will have you rhythmically headbanging, before the closing section of the tune will leave you speechless, in vintage Alter Bridge vocal-climax fashion.

    "The Uninvited," a moderate-paced, Tool-sounding track kicks in next, and is a solid track in the middle of the album. Nothing fancy here, just textbook Alter Bridge **** and musicianship. It is important to note the progressive-metal feeling of the song, as this has been a theme over the last two albums for the band and demonstrates the band's musical progression.

    Next up is "Peace is Broken," and this one features a blisteringly fast legato riff with yet another huge chorus. One of my personal favorites from the album, it rocks hard from start to finish, and concludes with some Tremonti shreddage that will leave you satisfied.

    "Calm the Fire" is unlike any AB song before it, and is one that takes time to appreciate how great it truly is. The hypnotic opening vocal line and underlying arpeggios set the stage for what could be Alter Bridge's strongest lyrical work, dealing with racism and bigotry in today's society - "When I close my eyes, I dream that we are color blind, and now you know you can't deny, only ignorance to blame."

    "Water's Rising" is yet another personal favorite, and features Mark Tremonti on lead vocals with Kennedy harmonizing in the gargantuan, apocalyptic chorus. Great ****, solid progression, and textbook Tremonti solo before a doomy outro that will leave you thoroughly impressed (seems to be a trend with this album).

    The heaviest song on the album with a bit of a swing feel to boot, "Farther than the Sun" gets the blood pumping and head banging with a huge riff and chorus before treating you to a great trade-off solo between Kennedy and Tremonti. Very solid track.

    "Cry a River," although still a quality tune, is the most forgettable on "Fortress." Even still, it redeems itself with a phenomenal solo from Tremonti at the end.

    "All Ends Well" is the only track that would have fit on "One Day Remains," and gives you a chance to catch your breath, bringing you back up with a uniquely uplifting chorus after an otherwise dark and heavy rest of the album. Vintage Alter Bridge here, reminding you of tracks such as "Life Must Go On," and also of the fact that Myles Kennedy can flat out sing.

    "Fortress," the next and final track, is the perfect bookend to the album along with "Cry of Achilles." This Alter Bridge's "One," or "Hangar 18," if you will. The longest track on the album, it features an exploding chorus that will have you singing along out of impulse and a middle section that constitutes Alter Bridge's best instrumental work since the solo section of "Blackbird."

    The one word that I tried not to overuse while writing this review, but best describes the album is "epic." Give it a few listens, let it grow, and you see why and bang your head for months.
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  5. Jan 4, 2015
    10
    Fortress is an absolutely fantastic album from an already fantastic band. They take their signature sound from their previous albums and turnFortress is an absolutely fantastic album from an already fantastic band. They take their signature sound from their previous albums and turn it into a really heavy, ear blasting album. Just about every song hear is like a punch to the gut, and it's awesome. The lyrics are poetic, yet very catchy. And the musicianship is some of the best the band has ever done. This is without a doubt their best album and it's one you shouldn't miss out on. Expand
  6. Dec 11, 2013
    9
    I absolutely love this album. After what I felt was a disappointment with AB III, this album was a breath of fresh air for me. It's heavierI absolutely love this album. After what I felt was a disappointment with AB III, this album was a breath of fresh air for me. It's heavier than everything else they've put out in the past but their sound still hasn't changed at all. "Cry of Achillies" is a great album opener and other songs like "Lover" and "Calm the Fire" make this an album that is easy to recommend to people who might like their music or this type of music in general. While I don't think it's a good as Blackbird was, it's definitely up there and is easily their second best album. I highly recommend this for fans of AB and rock alike. It's definitely pushing for album of the year for myself. Expand
  7. Aug 23, 2015
    8
    So overall, Fortress, while not as phenomenal as some of AB’s previous work, is definitely an album that’s worth listening, for both olderSo overall, Fortress, while not as phenomenal as some of AB’s previous work, is definitely an album that’s worth listening, for both older fans, and newer one. It holds some of Alter Bridges best work since their formation and they definitely create some wonderful tracks on this album. Sure it does have a few dull moments, but it doesn’t necessarily make any of the songs dull at all, at least not entirely. It may not be the greatest thing you’ve ever heard, but it works extremely well in terms of its genre, making it another wonderful addition to AB’s discography. Expand

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