Alter Bridge: The Last Hero review – exhausting bombast from arena-metal tryhards

(Napalm)

The main problem with Alter Bridge’s sixth album becomes apparent about six tracks in. Cradle to the Grave brings a few moments of delicate restraint to the party, but up to that point every last second of The Last Hero is purposefully, relentlessly bombastic, as if every fader has been shoved into the red. Still much heavier and more overtly metallic than their modern arena-rock peers, the Florida quartet have always made music designed to resonate around stadia, but 66 minutes of this kind of overwrought caterwauling is a little exhausting. That said, there are great songs here: opener Show Me a Leader is a dark, fiery anthem, The Other Side deftly salutes Metallica’s genre-defining crunch and Crows on a Wire is a fine showcase for guitarist Mark Tremonti’s love of nasty thrash. It falls some way short of 2010’s ABIII – still their best album by some distance – but The Last Hero can hardly be decried as half-arsed. It’s just that there is such a thing as trying too hard.

Contributor

Dom Lawson

The GuardianTramp

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