Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Tremonti tears it up on Cauteize

REVIEWERS tend to be relatively hard workers, given most put in a shift in front of their computers after they punch in the hours in another job to pay the bills and earn beer tokens. But, compared to Mark Tremonti we're a bunch of lazy wasters. The man's picture is in the dictionary next to 'workaholic'.

For those not familiar with Mr Tremonti, he is the guitarist for Alter Bridge and former main man in Creed. After releasing his solo debut 'All I Was' in 20121 and recording and touring on Alter Bridge's 'Fortress' he has Tremonti back in gear with the first of two - yes two - releases of hard rock that at times borders on metal.

'Cauterize' is out now on Fret12 Records, and is soon to be followed by companion album 'Dust'.

The album kicks off with 'Radical Change' a frentic up-tempo blast that will pin your ears back right away; double bass blasts from Garrett Whitlock's drumming and Tremonti and Eric Friedman (also of Creed) tearing through riffs and solos.

None other than Wolfgang Van Halen - yes that Wolfgang Van Halen of Van Halen fame - provides bass duties and to a large extent fills out the sound.

To say that this is a hard rock album misses out on the heavier elements such as on title 'Cauterize' which owes a lot of speedier metal songs, without sacrificing melody.

Throughout the album that balancing act is carried off with aplomb.

The 10 tracks have a real sense of Tremonti and his collegues playing what they enjoy and thrusting a middle finger towards any doubters. If you get a chance to catch them this coming weekend at Download take it!

With 25 songs written when Tremonti began the process behind 'Cauterize' and the forthcoming 'Dust' in early 2014 and subsequent multiple sessions.

"We wanted to do a ton of songs," said Tremonti. "I decided to take me entire catalog [sic] of material, get everything out, and purge it."

And, the extra time put in for pre-production has payed off.

The album is packed with stand out tracks such as the metallic groove of 'Arm Yourself' and the stadia-packing chorus of 'Sympathy'.

One gets a sense that Tremonti wanted to flex muscles that were at times under-used in Creed and Alter Bridge. The chest is pumped out, the band ready for anything and delivering everything they can, such as on the lead-off single 'Another Heart' which stomps and bellows with a catchy as hell melody.

Of course, it would be easy too over-eulogize this release. It is by no means perfect, as many listeners may find it tricky to balance the thrashier elements, the dark moments on 'Dark Trip' and the title track with the more familiar Tremonti choruses.

But, for those that put the effort in it is a rewarding journey through the 10 songs. Cauterize is a release well worth more than a couple of listens, and we guarantee that you'll soon have picked out several favourites.

And we have 'Dust' to look forward to!

Cauterize is out now on Fret12 Records
Tremonti play Download on Sunday, 14th June

Review by Jonny


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