Tremonti Makes Bold Statement With Career Defining 5th Studio Album
Since emerging on the music scene in the 90’s, Mark Tremonti has kept his foot on the pedal, writing songs and telling a story in his songwriting and playing. As he matured, so to his talents. Fast forward to early 2004, Mark formed Alter Bridge where he continued his journey of personal and professional growth, crafting and perfecting his craft like only he could. Marching In Time to 2012, Mark decided to form a solo project, aptly named Tremonti. Mark Tremonti looked to step from side to center stage and show the world that he was capable of something many fans knew he was capable of all along.
Five albums later, Tremonti is back out of the ashes of a dark time in the worlds history, like a scorching Phoenix, soaked in rage, purpose and quite possibly the filthiest riffs and all around tonality of any of the band’s catalogue we are presented with “Marching In Time”. Mark Tremonti, Eric Friedman, Ryan Bennett and Tanner Keegan have sculpted something so rare and so needed for moments in time such as these.
Join us as we breakdown this monster of an album from today’s most prolific guitar player and his band of behemoths. I’m sure we are both in for one hell of a ride, so let’s dive in!
A World Away (Track 1)
Putting on full display the power of his band, Tremonti seemingly and seamlessly orchestrated this song to work for each spot in the band to shine individually and collectively. Friedman can be heard harmonizing beautifully and playing right on time with Mark. Tanner Keegan can be felt from a distance away on bass with his deep licks and Ryan probably had to buy another kit after recording this one in the studio. The song is polished off with a full throttled solo and drum outro unlike anything we’ve heard from the band.
Now And Forever (Track 2)
The intro alone is enough to sell you. With a barrage of what I’m calling “rock face riffs” (don’t hate me), you’re transported to a place that feels all so familiar lyrically. As if the song was written about the current times we’re all being faced with. If this song teaches you anything it affirms that Tremonti writes songs you feel in your chest as well as songs you can relate to on a personal level. There’s a filthy breakdown around 2:30 that just makes you say “dayum” followed by a tasty solo reminiscent of the band’s song “New Way Out” which has a special place in my heart. Overall, this is how you keep the momentum of an album going!
If Not For You (Track 3)
Sonic waves of thrilling moments are weaved in and out of this one, brilliantly placed chugs and down beats behind the kit, allowing us to take a ride down an alley of dismal hope. A well timed breakdown again here with poignant lyrics to follow, “take me far from this place, we’ll run forever, leave here without a trace”. Song structure is a very obvious key component for the band as it really stands tall and shines in this one. Brain piercing solo to cap off a brilliantly placed 3rd track.
Thrown Further (Track 4)
Frenzy. That’s the word that comes to mind when this song opens up with a disgustingly beautiful intro. Lyrically you’ll relate to this in many ways. Looking and listening to this for what it is, which is a musical piece of history in the band's growing discography, you just need to prepare yourselves to have your faces melted clean off. This is possibly the most impressive guitar work all around by Tremonti. “Thrown Further” proves you can have your cake and eat it too by balancing dark tones and a continuity in the structure of the overall song, while remaining what is possibly your most metal song to date.
Let That Be Us (Track 5)
Can metal be declarative? I’m going to say “hell yes” because this song opens up by smacking you right upside the mouth and descending into a lyrical statement of hope, seemingly keeping itself grounded in the roots of its metal soil. Tremonti has come to fuck shit up and chew bubble gum and they’re all out of bubble gum. This song is filthy as hell while remaining lyrically relevant. You’ll just have to come back to this song once you’ve played through the album. This one is a favorite of mine for sure!
The Last One Of Us (Track 6)
Instant identity. With the first chord, you feel as if you’re listening to a Mark and Layne Staley from Alice In Chains collaboration. It feels very familiar but also so new. It’s important to honor our influences and I’m not saying that this song was directly or even remotely inspired by that AIC song. I am saying that this song has a way to make you FEEL many things. This may not be what he intended but this is Tremonti’s “Down In A Hole”. What a powerful song.
In One Piece (Track 7)
“You’re never getting out of here in one piece”. Trust me on this, Tremonti will make damn sure you don’t make it out of this song in one piece because the second it starts, you’re taken on a roller coaster ride of pure unadulterated thrash metal chaos. With lyrics that feel painstakingly personal, the band has conjured up yet another song where each member can be heard perfectly and you feel how well produced this album as a whole will be by the final song.
Under The Sun (Track 8)
This one hits differently as it has an archaic Tremonti feeling to it. It feels like it just belongs on any record. Not to say it doesn’t feel new or great, because it does. However it just seems to click in one's mind that “oh, yeah this song feels very much like Mark”. There’s a line in this one at the beginning of the first chorus asking “Are we forever changing sides”. I’ll let you digest that for what it means to you. This one really builds and is a phenomenal 8th place track.
Not Afraid To Lose (Track 9)
We have always known that Mark Tremonti can write songs that tend to linger years down the road in your mind. He’s good at that. What I didn’t know is that we would get a ballad track amidst all the thrash metal fun. “Not Afraid To Lose” is a nice change of pace you don’t know you need until it’s playing. If you’re looking for a song you can really connect with on a deeper level, this is that song for you.
Bleak (Track 10)
Unlike its name, this song actually isn’t bleak at all. It’s very personal to the band and I find myself listening to the chorus and connecting more to this one line “could it be a bleak point of view, what’s lifting me is killing you”. If I were to dissect the meaning of that, just based on the solo fact of my knowledge of the band, it’s killing people so that we can feel free and alive and be so happy with life that it is bothersome to many people. There’s an old adage “some people are jealous of the happiness you have, so they’ll do whatever they can to bring you down to their level” isn’t that bleak?
Would You Kill (Track 11)
Ask yourself “Would you kill, would you beg, steal or borrow”. Fueled by a timely question and an adrenaline filled theme, this 11th track comes in fast and doesn’t pull any punches. A crushing and thrilling solo captivates you as the song takes you from one extreme to the next, with a crescendo only Tremonti can deliver.
Marching In Time (Track 12)
With soaring riffs, dynamic vocals and palatable tones throughout, this second single from Tremonti definitely had the power to elevate anyone in any mood for any situation. If we were to take a guess, this just might be the deepest and perfectly timed song of the current times we’re all facing. “The song made me Feel that there will be a force of positivity to come from the current events we are all linked by, it gave me hope that we can do better by not giving up or losing our faith” said Abraham Montalvo of SevenStones and Monoliths. So to quote the man himself “don’t let this cold world change you, don’t let it lead you astray”.
That’s a wrap for my breakdown of Tremonti’s 5th studio album ‘Marching In Time”. Make sure you grab a copy or two of this mammoth of a record from Napalm Records. It releases September 24th and this one is not to be missed. I feel confident in saying this may be a career defining record for Mark’s solo work. The band stands tall and has a big voice that deserves many listens.