Tremonti -“All I Was”


alliwas (2013)So who is Tremonti?. Well for those who do not know Tremonti, Mark Thomas Tremonti (born April 18, 1974) is an American musician and songwriter, who is best known as the lead guitarist for the American rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge. He is a founding member of both those bands, and if you are a follower of these bands, then you should know that these bands have had much acclaimed success; Creed selling millions of copies.

Since his early days with Creed, Tremonti has received much positive recognition as a guitarist and songwriter and has received a number of accolades, including a Grammy Award for Creed’s single “With Arms Wide Open.” Also to his belt of achievements he has also been named “Guitarist of the Year” for three consecutive years by Guitar World, and in 2011, listed in Total Guitar magazine as the fourth greatest heavy metal guitarist of all time. Now that is nothing to laugh at, and as a reviewer, I take that into account when scoring the quality of the album. I have certain expectations and precepts of what I expect then from a musician at that level and review accordingly. So some would probably have guessed it would only be a matter of time before he would put his talents towards a solo album. So here we go, the solo album entitled, “All I Was”.

From the start think big when you go into this album, his love and passion for metal is felt throughout each track, and he does not drop the ball anywhere. This is classic rock history been made here. Everything is huge, from the riffs to the drumming, and the powerful vocals. The music is heavier than what you would find on Creed or Alter Bridge, and one gets the sense of a lot more artistic freedom was had, not bound wholly by a specific formula or structure. He lets loose here, and you get a sense, well at least I do, that you get a deeper insight into his experience and skill on this album, and he channels it through to the listener with what seems as with no real effort.

Yes, a lot of the riff and sound can come across as popular music and as if one has heard it all before, but it’s not a bad thing, because the quality and delivery is outstanding. It is the kind of music that sells tickets at a concert. This brand of rock / metal has been playing for years, and to be bluntly honest there has been some utter rubbish out there, at least it’s well executed and there feels as if there is a nuclear assault of passion behind it, which for me scores way more than skill. So mix that up with skill, and it’s an anytime winner. No doubt the album seems to traverse the familiar grounds he is use to working in, but you cannot deny he writes awesome songs, each capable of being on radio and worthy of big arena performances, and I think rather than knocking it for its familiarity, give him praise for reaching deep within that familiarity and bringing home a top notch product that delivers on each track.

“Leave it alone” is a good start, it’s a heavy ballad of sorts. “This time I’m leaving”, is a solid number that delivers equally with energy and skill, whilst “So You’re Afraid” and “You Waste Your Time” are brilliant thrashers, great for live show moshes. “Wish you well”, is a good rocker, with a strong beat. “Giving Up” and “Doesn’t Matter” showcase his skill and maturity and gives a deeper insight in the skill and dynamic-ness that is Tremonti. “Decay” the last track finishes the album strong and again high lights the commercial side of Tremonti with is big arena sound. The production is quality, and one can only imagine he put a lot of time and effort into this, to give the listeners something they can really enjoy, and to be honest those guys who have listened to his previous work whether its with Creed, or Alter-Bridge, it is going to be the fans of those bands that are going to pick this up. So that familiarity, though from a reviewer point of view one could find reason to knock it, he plays into a captive audience that are going to download it or buy it for that exact reason.

At the end what you get is a ‘safe’ album; very little risk is felt personally. The articulations of the songs take a little bit of the edge away that I would love to feel, especially on the faster tracks. It’s an intense album never the less, and roars with energy and life, but lacks adventure. This will satisfy both the hard fast Tremonti fan, and casual listener.

A strength of an album, or at least a significant strength of an album is whether or not it can punch you on the forehead hard enough, to leave an impact or a reminder of what its able to give. So is this merely a shin kick, or a head kick, well I say both, on listening to it, it sure kicks hard against ones cranium, but when you walk away, or slap another record on, it’s easily forgotten, and falls into the back ground noise. But choose to put it back on, and press play, it once again hits and kicks with life and has you saying, “This is actually very good”. But put it away, I can’t tell you of a specific song that stood out for me. Its a great listen, and not a bad purchase, but it might disappear on the shelf a bit if you are a bit of a big music collector like myself. At the end “All I was” is a great album reflecting the wealth of skill and passion that is Tremonti. There is no denying that this is an awesome album, by one of the best guitarists in the industry.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Donovan de Necker

Track listing
1.”Leave It Alone”
2.”So You’re Afraid”
3.”Wish You Well”
5.”The Things I’ve Seen”
6.”You Waste Your Time”
7.”New Way Out”
8.”Giving Up”
10.”All I Was”
11.”Doesn’t Matter”

Band members:
Mark Tremonti – lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar
Eric Friedman – rhythm guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals
Garrett Whitlock – drums

Record Label: Fret12 Records, July 2012

Weblinks: Facebook / Twitter / Website

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Video below:  “So You’re Afraid”


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