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Album Review: Alter Bridge – Pawns And Kings

Artist: Alter Bridge
Album: Pawns And Kings
Label: Napalm Records
Release Date: October 14th 2022

Hard Rockers, Alter Bridge, having released their first studio album together more than 18 years ago,
return to the studio to deliver album no. 7 in their discography – Pawns & Kings.

Like so many acts over the past couple of years, the band was forced to cancel the remainder of
their ‘Walk the Sky’ tour in 2020. Not to be deterred, key songwriters Myles Kennedy and Mark
Tremonti continued to let the creativity to flow and, once again, engaged friend and producer,
Michael “Elvis” Baskette, to harness it into this latest album.

As with all new releases, fans will try to draw comparisons between this album and those that have
come before it. To my mind, however, although there is plenty of the heaviness of the previous
albums, this is a fresh sound for the four-piece.

Personal highlights – the instantly entrancing, angelic, harmonized vocals at the beginning of ‘Fable
of the Silent Son’- the gritty and dirty groove in ‘Sin After Sin’ – the catchy hook and tempo changes
in ‘Silver Tongue’ and the shared lead vocals with goose bump worthy harmonies in radio-friendly
‘Stay’. In my opinion, the standout track that holds all the qualities of an Alter Bridge fan favourite is
‘Last Man Standing’.

Fans of earlier Alter Bridge albums should find plenty to smile about, as the band endeavours to
return to a slightly less produced and more raw sound than previous offering, Walk the Sky.

Track Listing:
1. This Is War
2. Dead Among The Living
3. Silver Tongue
4. Sin After Sin
5. Stay
6. Holiday
7. Fable Of The Silent Son
8. Season Of Promise
9. Last Man Standing
10. Pawns & Kings

Myles Kennedy – Vocals, Guitar
Mark Tremonti – Guitar, Vocals
Scott Phillips – Drums
Brian Marshall – Bass


Since 2004, ALTER BRIDGE has been one of the most consistent bands to successfully represent the rock and metal communities with their driving melodies, blazing guitar riffs and topical lyrics that resonate with fans around the globe. Their seventh album, Pawns & Kings, continues that trend with 10 unforgettable new additions to their catalog. Coming off the launch of what was shaping up to be one of the band’s pinnacle moments with Walk The Sky (#1 US Billboard Top Albums, #1 US Current Rock and Hard Music, #4 UK Official Charts, #1 UK Independent and Rock/Metal, #5 Official German Album Charts), everything came to a halt as the world would forever be changed due to the events of a global pandemic.
The time the members of ALTER BRIDGE spent apart sparked a new fire and heaviness when the quartet comprised of Myles Kennedy on vocals/guitars, Mark Tremonti on guitars/vocals, Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums would reconvene for what would eventually become Pawns & KingsTeaming with longtime producer and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette, the album shines with massive, menacing arena-ready production while emerging as another sonic testament to the seasoned Kennedy/Tremonti songwriting dream-team. The band deliver three epic anthems, including two that clock in at over six minutes – the reflective and absolutely epic title track “Pawns & Kings”, grim-riffed, progressive influenced “Sin After Sin”, and the emotive eight-and-a-half minute journey “Fable Of The Silent Son.” “Silver Tongue” is backed by a punishing intro riff that gives way to one of the band’s most infectious choruses as Myles Kennedy sings, “Truth of a crime. You can’t outrun. Under the spell of my silver tongue,” while tracks like “Holiday” and “Season Of Promise” ebb and flow within the trademark multi-faceted metallic rock attack that has enchanted ALTER BRIDGE fans for a generation. Songs like “This Is War,” “Dead Among The Living” and “Last Man Standing” showcase the heavier side of a band firing on all cylinders, with soaring leads, hair-raising vocals and introspective lyricism abound. Mark Tremonti helms lead vocal duties on the uplifting track “Stay” – an interchanging of skills that first debuted on the band’s fourth album, Fortress, and continues to this day. Nearly 20 years into their celebrated career, one thing is for sure – Pawns & Kings offers a musical snapshot of a band that shows no signs of slowing down and continues to push itself creatively for the whole world to see. 

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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