Overall Score: 7.5/10 Riffs: 9/10 Consistency: 7/10 Memorable Songs: 7/10 Pros: The riffs | The solo's | Mark's improving vocals Cons: Some songs blur into each other
“Take the sun, and cauterize, make us pure again”
One of the most welcome album announcements of 2015 was the news that Mark Tremonti had reconvened the Tremonti Project for 2015 with Alter Bridge taking most of the year off. Again teaming up with Wolfgang Van Halen on bass, as well as Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock, the result has been not one but two albums due to be released this year. The first of those is Cauterize.
Radical Change sees the album go full throttle from the outset with a tremendous galloping riff / drum combo, a breakdown lesser metalcore bands can only dream of and a short chorus that sees Mark doing his best to live up to the heady standards set by his Alter Bridge bandmate Myles Kennedy (he doesn’t quite hit those heights, but very few can). Cauterize’s title track sees arguably Mark’s finest vocal performance to date and is a definite album highlight while lead single Another Heart ticks all the right boxes for a very good hard rock song and is likely to be lapped up by rock radio on both sides of the Atlantic. Moving through the album, Tie The Noose has some particularly notable riff work and the closing track Providence is an eight minute plus slow burner that keeps the listener absorbed throughout (complete with a trademark fret melting Tremonti solo), providing a fine way to close off the album.
Throughout, the performance level is exactly what one might expect from a band involving Mark Tremonti. The riffs and solos are more than plentiful while the rest of the instrumental work tight as Fort Knox. Tremonti has also taken more risks with his vocals this time around than on début All I Was, perhaps reflecting his increasing confidence with taking lead vocal duties.
The only slight niggle with the album is that outside of the named tracks, the remaining ones, whilst still enjoyable have a tendency to blur together in the memory and don’t stand out enough in their own right. Hopefully this will not lead to a Stone Sour-esque “House Of Gold And Bones” situation – where Corey and co would have been much better off releasing one album crammed full of the best bits rather than spreading them across two.
Overall Cauterize is a very enjoyable album and Mark has once again proved he and his band can stand on their own feet in their own right without any links to Alter Bridge, Creed or any other bands. It will great to see the Tremonti Project in the flesh in the UK at Download, and the second of the two albums to be released (called Dust) will be eagerly awaited.
Cauterize is released in the UK through Fret12 on Monday the 8th of June.