Overall Score: 7.5/10 Riffs: 8/10 Solos: 8/10 Standout Tracks: 7/10 Pros: Ever improving vocals | Cracking solos | Title track is stunning Cons: High standards can't always be maintained throughout
After the success of Cauterize, Mark Tremonti and the Tremonti solo project are back with their third album, Dust. Recorded at the same time as Cauterize, there is a big question awaiting the listener: could Mark and his collaborators, including Wolfgang Van Halen, produce two high quality albums at once?
Opener My Last Mistake kicks things off in familiar style. It’s rapid paced, the riffs have a real crunch to them and the thrash influences mesh well with a big chorus to create a very effective start to the album. Songs like The Cage and Once Dead continue the rapid fire start enjoyably without quite having the same impact as My Last Mistake before things then take a distinctive step up.
Dust (the albums’ title track) is a huge, soaring epic of a song that has the Tremonti band sounding as good as they ever have. Mark’s powerful vocal delivery (particularly on the chorus) and one of the finest solo’s he’s ever delivered in any of the bands’ he has been a part of make Dust the highlight of the album bearing it’s name. Some of the songs in the second half of the album are perfectly acceptable without standing out but there are also more moments of true quality. Rising Storm features pounding drum routines throughout from Garrett Whitlock underpinning the guitar work which by now is almost taken for granted to be excellent – and sure enough, it is.
Throughout the album, the musicianship is nothing less than one would expect from Tremonti and friends, with much to enjoy and little to fault. One of the fears of Tremonti releasing two albums within a year was that Dust would essentially end up as the B-Sides album to Cauterize. There is definitely enough here to show that hasn’t happened (and thus preventing a Stone Sour House Of Gold & Bones Part Two situation).
There is a line of thought that says had the very best of Cauterize and the very best of Dust been combined into a single album, you would have had an outstanding album, rather than two very good ones, but regardless Dust is a very enjoyable listen in it’s own right. Dust has to go down as another success for a man that can do very little wrong, and hopefully this form will continue into the next Alter Bridge record that is due later this year.
Dust is released on the 29th of April 2016 through FRET12.