Many alternative hard rock fans may not know this, but there is a band that is comprised of three of the four members of, arguably, one of the best and most successful bands in rock-n-roll history! They already have released three epic albums. Their live shows are something anyone in attendance will surely never forget. And the style, talent and musicianship stands above their peers. Who are they you may ask?…they the Alter Bridge!
Formed in Orlando, FL in 2004 after the breakup of Creed, Alter Bridge feature former Creed members Mark Tremonti (lead guitar/backing vocals), Scott Phillips (drums) and Brian Marshall (bass). After holding auditions for the new project without finding a suitable vocalist, they hand choose Myles Kennedy (lead vocals), formerly of to front The Mayfield Four, a band which the former Creed members were fans of. Mark Tremonti has stated the the name Alter Bridge is taken after an actual bridge which used to be on Alter Road near his home in Detroit.
The band began working on their debut album, entitled One Day Remains, was released on August 10, 2004 by Wind-up Records (the record label for Creed). Despite the great success of Creed, One Day Remains received mixed reviews upon its release and only managed to achieve gold status. This was a far cry from the success three of the four members were used to, as Creed has achieved multi-platinum status many times over. One Day Remains did however peak at the #5 position on the Billboard Charts for fourteen weeks.
Before the final leg of the One Day Remains tour in 2006, Alter Bridge’s relationship with Wind-up Records, who did not share the band’s vision, began to deteriorate. The band asked to be released from the label since the release of One Day Remains, but their request was consistently declined until April 2006 when all recording, publishing, and merchandising agreements were finally terminated. The band was hoping that this would be a fresh new start for them, but they continued to face difficulties including criticism and resentment over the disbandment of Creed, pressure to reform Creed, false reports of Creed’s reformation and some critics claiming that they were merely ‘Creed with a different singer’.
Eventually, Alter Bridge signed on with Universal Republic Records and began work on their sophomore release, Blackbird, which debuted on October 9, 2007. With Blackbird, the band saw a departure from the Creed based sounds found on One Day Remains and produced a more musically diverse and ambitious effort. The songs featured greater musical showmanship, facilitated by the expansion of Mark Tremonti’s willingness to incorporate more solos and Myles Kennedy’s expanded role in song writing and guitar duties. Songs like White Knuckles have hints of the thrash and speed metal that Tremonti grew up loving, while Blackbird is a truly epic arrangement full of musical changes, non-traditional song structure and even a dueling solo!
In 2009, it was announced that Creed would reunite and Kennedy would tour as the frontman as the for legendary rock guitarist Slash’s new project. They continued to write music for their next release and left Universal Republic to sign with Roadrunner Records in July of 2010. The band’s third release, ABIII, had split international release dates, being released in North America November 9th, 2010.
ABIII further marked the bands musical evolution, as they made it a darker album with a departure form previous lyrical themes. The lead single, Isolation, is had driving, guitar heavy track that comes closer to Tremonit’s metal roots than ever before, while Ghost of Days Gone By has a lighter, more brooding feel that would work well as an arena rock anthem. The album was garnered the best critical acclaim the band has experienced to date, with MusicRadar even calling it ‘one of the greatest guitar albums of the year’.
Though they continue to be snubbed by many critics compared to their mainstream contemporaries (only One Day Remains achieved a RIAA rating), rock audiophiles know that Alter Bridge deserve a much greater place in the musical lexicon.