Being a big fan of all things Alter Bridge and Tremonti meant I was waiting very impatiently for his follow up solo disk to drop and the signs were all good as the lead single was a tasty little morsel indeed. Now that we can listen to the whole thing it's time to do a full review of this disk.
Opener Radical Change tumbles out of the speakers with an aggressive and typical Tremonti solo riff before Mark's vocals kick in to take the song in a more melodic direction. The song is very cool and thrashy indeed with a soaring chorus. A great way to start the album indeed with power and intent. 8.5/10
Flying Monkeys follows next and for the life of me I can't see anything great about it. It's a slow heavy riffed affair like a heavy Metallica tune. His vocals sound good but the melody doesn't really capture me much. This song reminds me of Soundgarden for some reason. I just can't get into this song at all. 5.5/10
Title track Cauterize sees the pedal to the metal style return and hell yeah we're on that famous Tremonti riff attack whilst his vocals are again much more melodic and better than the previous track. The chorus soon arrives and it's a corker made to be sung along with. It's a super catchy refrain but the riffs are a real machine gun attack on this track. I love the pace change that leads into the chorus which allows the melody to shine bright. A totally amazing track 10/10!
Arm Yourself is another machine gun riffed typical Tremonti song with heavier angst ridden vocals before a nice powerful chorus sweeps the carpet from underneath your feet. The song has a brooding mid section whilst Mark's vocals go full crooner before that monster chorus returns to take us breathlessly to the finish line. 8/10
Dark Trip starts off like a typically acoustic driven Alter Bridge track and I can imagine Myles Kennedy singing this song but Mark himself croons and does a great job vocally himself. The song is dark and brooding as the title would suggest but the melody is so strong and memorable as heavier guitars power the chorus skywards. This dark and brooding power ballad is stirring and emotion soaked, typical of his day job actually. 8.5/10
Another Heart is the lead single and show cases what a Tremonti solo release is all about. A heavy crunching opening riff followed but a melodic vocal line that leads into a chorus to be sung from mountain tops. The melody sends chills before that riff roars out again and crushes all in its path towards the end. One of the best choruses on the album no doubt with some of the best riffs Tremonti has ever written. 9.5/10
Fall Again brings back the darkness and is again a plaintive power ballad that would sit well on any Alter Bridge album. The song soon picks up heaviness with heavy grinding riffs as Mark sings the awesome yet simple chorus and reaches the sky with emotion. A superb track packed with drama and emotion with a perfect solo as well. 9/10
Tie The Noose follows up with a typically snaking jackhammer Tremonti riff the likes of which are all over the album. You could say Tremonti has a certain style which he sticks to religiously but damn if ain't broke don't fix it. The chorus on this bad boy soon makes its first appearance and it's a typically engaging and twisted Tremonti melody that grips the listener and won't let go. The feel of the song is a bit desperate like someone is reaching the end of their tether but the melodies are truly captivating and the song is power packed to the finish whilst the tempo remains at the mid pace. 8.5/10
Sympathy is my favourite song on the whole album. The feel of the song is quite upbeat strangely enough although the lyrics are very sad indeed. The melody is somehow uplifting to me although the chorus is obviously very dark and painful lyrically. His vocal melodies on this songs are absolute perfection. Another song that would have easily been on the last or a future Alter Bridge album. Some would say why make an album that sounds just like your day job but what the hell an amazing song just needs to be heard regardless of the style. An amazing emotion packed tune. 10/10!
Providence starts off acoustically again and Mark croons over the top mournfully but the melody is glorious before guitars enter the fray and add that typical Tremonti flair to the proceedings. Another typical Alter Bridge tune I'm afraid to say and all the better for it. The song builds layers of power and emotion to its conclusion. I can imagine this song being much more fleshed out had it been an AB tune. It seems Mark cuts all unnecessary fat from his solo compositions and makes sure the song remains intact without getting bogged down in over dramatisation. Providence is the longest track on the CD and it's only 5:44 so hardly a slog. I would have probably preferred a heavier track to end with but this mini epic is a monster melodic tune in its own right. 9/10
So there we have the new Tremonti album which is just a magnificent album and great follow up to the debut. I just don't get Flying Monkeys at all and wish it wasn't on the album although it's only one song and it's not that bad, I just don't have any love for it all. The other songs sees Tremonti at his absolute best with powerhouse riffing and vocal melodies that drag the songs soaring to the heavens. he's already done the follow up so I can't imagine what that album's gonna sound like. My guess is it might be even heavier with more power still as he might be holding the powerful songs back a little bit but who knows. We'll see but for now Cauterize is a hell of ride!