Album: A Dying Machine
Release Date: June 8, 2018
Standout Tracks: “Desolation,” “Traipse,” “A Dying Machine,” “Trust,” “The First The Last,” “As the Silence Becomes Me,” and “A Lot Like Sin”
I have labeled half of the album as “standout,” if that is any indication of my love for Tremonti’s A Dying Machine. I had a pretty good idea from the moment the title track, which is the core of this rock opera, was released that I was going to adore this record, but nothing could have prepared me for the perfection that would soon be gracing my ears. A Dying Machine kicks off with the hard-hitting “Bringer of War” and carries the listener on an intriguing musical journey, concluding with the instrumental “Found.” In the middle is some of the best work I have heard from Tremonti.
While staying true to their metal influences with such songs as “From the Sky” and the blistering “The Day When Legions Burned,” Tremonti also takes a left turn into the unexpected (“Take You With Me”) and the emotional (“Desolation”). They have used everything in their creative arsenal to tell us this story.
A Dying Machine is the perfect lovechild of its predecessors, yet it surpasses all of them. With each album, the band — consisting of Mark Tremonti, Eric Friedman, and Garrett Whitlock — has evolved. Their musical prowess has reached new levels, enabling them to take chances that certainly have paid off. Mark has grown as a lyricist, and his vocals on this latest effort are magnificent. His performance on the title track from Dust, as well as “Unable to See,” heralded what was to come; however, he pushes himself further on A Dying Machine, using his voice to evoke emotion more than he ever has before.
I can’t praise Tremonti enough for their unwavering dedication to this new wave of metal, heavy and melodic, unafraid to include a softer, more vulnerable side, or to bring in elements that supposedly have no place in the genre (something Mark has been doing with Alter Bridge for years). These unique inclusions are what make Tremonti stand out. In fact, they make the band rise above many of its contemporaries.
Offering a breath of fresh air to the hard rock/metal scene, A Dying Machine is my pick for Album of the Year. I’m sure it’s no surprise that I rate this record 5/5 stars.
And keep your eyes open: there will be a book based on A Dying Machine.