I've been waiting very impatiently for this record and finally it's here and what can I say this band just amazes me every single time. Just when you think they can't surely get any better they go on to deliver magic song after soaring, magic song on their new platter. I'm fast running out of superlatives for this band and they deserve even more praise than I can heap on them. I am not certain yet as to my ranking for the album in comparison with Blackbird because I completely adore that album, but the new one is just fresh and I'm still absorbing whilst still being blown away. I didn't think it would be possible to top the last album but they might have just gone and bloody done it! Here is my song by song review.
Slip of the Void - A brooding start before the song proper starts with slow and grinding melodic riffs that let Myles do his thing over the top with his epic soaring melodies. The song is not that immediate but grows quickly to a huge riff and vocal fest. 8.5/10
Isolation - The lead and superbly catchy lead single off the album. It's not for reason that it was chosen as the single as the song is just wondrously catchy. Blessed by thumping mid tempo riffs and lead embellishments from Tremonti before the song breaks into a hugely catchy and goose bump inducing. The solo in the second part is just brilliant although a little too short for my taste. Just a brilliant and flawless melodic tune from start to finish. 10/10
Ghost of Days Gone By - Just when you thought things couldn't get any better they do! This is a less heavy and more melodic tune with wonderful mid tempo before the chorus bridge goes into typical AB style melodic epic song writing. The lyrics in this song are very melancholic as well reminiscing about better days. The song is just beautifully paced and emotional with great instrumental and vocals which build to quite a heavy tune. The "I don't wanna die" line from Myles sends shivers up the spine as does the following solos and vocal melodies. Can one give more that 10/10?
All Hope is Gone - A fairly slow and brooding start before the awesome Myles Kennedy melodies soon start to surface paced alongside the heavy Tremonti atmospherics. The chorus in this song is not so immediate but as a whole the song is a typically enjoyable AB song. The song goes into a heavy groove riff section in the second part which sounds very cool before another one of those great Tremonti solos kicks in this time with greater length which makes the song sound much more epic and better. 9/10
Still Remains - The song starts with a heavy and grooving riff which sounds very cool indeed before Myles' vocals kick in with awesome melodies and so we reach the chorus which is just killer it has to be said. You would thing there would a lull of some kind somewhere along the line but no just when you think they can't top or even equal the previous tuneage, they go and prove you wrong. This song has great rolling intricate riffs for guitar enthusiasts with big thundering riffs whilst never losing the melody which is truly phenomenal from Myles. 10/10
Make it Right - Starts off acoustically with steady pace and Myles singing his usual wonderful melody before the main guitars kick in once again with a crisp and beautiful melody. Less heavy and sitting nicely after the bludgeoning of the previous track to give you a little respite from heavy riffing but not from killer melodies which are still there in abundance. The song soars vocally and gradually gets a little heavier with Myles providing "wooooahhs" behind his own vocals in the chorus which sound very catchy indeed. The solo once again is spine tingling and I'm slowly running out if words to say without sounding completely gushing in praise. 9.5/10
Wonderful Life - A soaring ballad with an amazing vocal from Myles once again. The music is very atmospheric and wonderfully lush and semi orchestrated sounding. This song is all about huge vocal melody and not so much in the way of guitar acrobatics. Nevertheless it is just a gorgeous and uplifting song and very heart rending. Incredible song after incredible song. 10/10.
I Know it Hurts - After the previous ballad you would expect a heavier tune and this song starts in that vein with the opening thumping riff but the main verses are backed without the heaviness which of course returns in time for the chorus again. The vocal performance is again without flaw from Myles. The melody is one big giant sized hook guaranteed to pull the hardest hearted listener. the mid section of the song has a monstrously heavy riff which grinds away before Myles' soaring vocals again pierce the air with shattering precision and glorious melody. One of the catchiest songs on the album. 10/10
Show Me a Sign - The song starts off with a typical Tremonti heavy lick before slowing down to the opening verse and allowing Myles to once again delve into his box of vocal tricks. The melody in this song is more morose and not so upbeat but no less enticing in any way. The song is heavy and rocks pretty hard with big crunching grooves in the back and Myles wowing the listener in the front. The first solo in the song is a bit different being quite minimal but musically the song is one of the best and most intriguing with lots to devour for the ear. A brooding and moody song with a dark atmosphere. 9.5/10
Fallout - Starts off in typical AB fashion with a thoughtful and non-heavy beginning with jingly, acoustic guitars before the pre chorus whilst the main heavy guitars join Myles in one of his regular great melodies. Once again the song is a vehicle for Myles to spin his web of magic round your ears with a huge melody. The chorus is truly spine-tinglingly awesome. The mood of the song is a bit desperate and downbeat before the midsection goes into one of the best riffs on the whole album with it's great big hulking groove and stomp feel. The solo is once again earth shattering perfect for the song. Could be my fave song on the whole album but how can I say that after so many 10/10's already! 10/10 hehe
Breathe Again - The usual AB formula. Slow acoustic opening before heavy guitars join the chorus. Ok you can say the band is very formulaic but the formula in question is unbeatable so why change it eh. The vocal melody is very memorable and soaring from Myles in this song and hits the skies. Mid song the song improves even further when it goes into a heavier section before once again Myles' vocals reach the stratosphere one one particular note. I'm thinking he might have trouble replicating that live if they play this song. The song is just beautiful. 9.5/10
Coeur D'Alene - A moody opening and sinister start before a great big crunching thunders into view but is soon enough stripped back as Myles enters the fray with his usual bombast. The main crunching riff returns once again to give the song it's heavy backbone during the pleasing and catchy chorus before reigning back again during the second verses. The song is once again flawless in every possible way. At the heavier end of the AB spectrum but nevertheless with melodies that will stick like super glue. 10/10 How many is it now?
Life Must Go On - A soaring ballad after the heavy previous song. What else can I say about Myles Kennedy. The guy is just something else. Once again he's floored me with his vocal melodies in this emotional ballad. It is acoustic in feel but they are backed by electric guitars during certain parts and of course the chorus which is just brilliant once again. Do they ever run out of epic emotional melodies? It seems not. 9.5/10
Words Darker Than Their Words - The second song that was released early from the album and perhaps the only song that really didn't catch me yet. I was hoping for an epic of Blackbird proportions to end the album with but whilst it's a great stab at it, it cannot match Blackbird for greatness. However the song in itself is very emotional and deep lyrically and builds well acoustically allowing the song to breathe before setting down to the usual guitar groove that Tremonti is the master at. The vocal melody in the chorus is merely great rather than the amazing things we've heard in the previous songs. A slightly disappointing end but for anyone else this is a work of genius but AB have already performed miracles earlier in the album so all is forgiven. 8.5/10
So there you have it. A band unparalleled in modern rock circles. An almost flawless album.