Weekly Focus: From Ashes to New, Day Three

From Ashes to New — “Lost and Alone,” from the album Day One (2016).

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Avenged Sevenfold to Release New Album…Tomorrow

I’m not going to write some long-winded announcement about this, but it was confirmed today that Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, entitled The Stage, will hit stores tomorrow (October 28th). This is a rather abrupt change, considering I had read that the record wouldn’t be out until early December.

Tonight, Avenged will be streaming live from Hollywood. You can watch it here, or via VRTGO or on Avenged’s official website.

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Review: Alter Bridge’s The Last Hero

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Band: Alter Bridge

Album: The Last Hero

Genre: Rock

Release Date: October 7, 2016

Standout Tracks: “Show Me a Leader,” “My Champion,” “Cradle to the Grave,” “You Will Be Remembered,” “Twilight,” and “The Last Hero”

 

I don’t know the best way to describe Alter Bridge’s The Last Hero. Several words come to mind — magnificent, flawless, great — but I don’t believe any of them quite cover it.

Chills erupt the instant “Show Me a Leader” begins. Musically, the track is exceptional, and lyrically, it is powerful and relevant and doesn’t pander to either side, a feat that is very difficult. Vocalist/guitarist Myles Kennedy’s brilliant songwriting is showcased from the get-go.

“Show Me a Leader” is followed by two heavier tracks filled with social commentary, “Writing on the Wall” and “The Other Side.” Touching on an edgier, darker vibe, these two songs should satisfy even the pickiest of metalheads.

With the rapidity that only Alter Bridge can manage, the album then takes a complete one-eighty, and we are given “My Champion.” I would categorize this as a more basic rock song musically, except for that guitar solo. However, the words are some of the most beautiful I have ever heard. Myles is the king of encouragement, of writing lyrics that make you both laugh and cry. “My Champion” is my favorite, by far.

After this breather, the album plunges back into the harder side of things, with the darkly melodic “Cradle to the Grave” and “This Side of Fate.” These precede “You Will Be Remembered,” the only thing resembling a ballad on The Last Hero. Beautifully written, this is definitely another highlight for me.

The album concludes with the title track, “The Last Hero,” a fitting close to such an amazing album.

From the first second until the final note, The Last Hero is fabulous. Filled with tasty guitar licks and complex solos, carried by masterful bass and drums, and topped with Myles Kennedy’s million dollar voice, this album is a 66:13 rollercoaster ride, speaking of social frustration and hopelessness, but also of personal triumph and self-belief. As soon as it is over, you want to jump on again.

I don’t have a rating system, but The Last Hero gets 5/5 stars. After a three year wait, this Alter Bridge fan is 100% satisfied.