By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
In 2012, the world of rock ‘n’ roll was in for a surprise. Mark Tremonti, the famed shredder of Creed and Alter Bridge, released his very first solo record, All I Was. We all knew for his alternative metal and post-grunge, but his debut album was a completely new beast. It features elements of speed and thrash metal that the guitar legend grew up on, and it debuts him as lead singer. Since then, the band known simply as Tremonti has been on the march to rock glory. Four albums in and they all have been met with critical acclaim and massive fan appreciation. I thought Tremonti topped themselves when they released 2018’s A Dying Machine, but now they have just put their latest effort, March in Time. Produced once again by longtime Alter Bridge collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette, Tremonti looks to continue their rock supremacy with their fifth album. Let us listen and hear if they can take me higher.
“A World Away” starts the album off with a boom. The crunchy riffs that Mark and Eric Friedman perform sparks the electrical charge needed to wake up rock fans. I was overly impressed with Ryan Bennett’s passionate drumming. The first solo Mark performs displays intense rock allure suited for arenas. This tune revs up the album’s engine big time. “Now and Forever” highlights Mark’s incredible vocal deliver. His soulful voice is full of fire and desire. Tremonti adds some funk into the rhythm that makes the song heavy and groovy. Bassist Tanner Keegan is solid with the beat. “If Not for You” is the first single and rightfully so. Lyrically, I like how it is a cry for a savior. The way he dances on the frets is unbelievable, and Bennett follows smoothly with powerful drumming. What drew me in was Mark’s solo because it makes me feel alive. “Thrown Further” is where hard rock, speed and thrash merge into one. The affection behind the riffs Friedman and Mark play together make me hungry for more. Bennett and Keegan are a pulse-pounding duo as they give the beat energetic drive.
“Let That Be Us” has Tremonti pick up the speed metal at fast pace. There is something with the way Bennett handles those fills. He commands a very strong presence behind the kit. Mark continues to push the envelope with his voice while laying down a tremendous solo. On “The Last One of Us,” Tremonti slows the beat down just a smidgen. This has to be one of Mark’s finest vocal deliveries. He is refined and cool in his approach to the mic and guitar, especially with his soulful solo. This is one of my personal favorites. We are halfway through with March in Time, and we come to “In One Piece.” While it is ultra-fast like the previous tunes, it still delivers an impactful punch. Mark continues to keep his singing at a calm volume, but his solo is anything but calm. It is full of so much zeal that Mark possibly could not contain his exciting when he created it. “Under the Sun” is surrounded the same energy that was put into the previous tune. Mark continues to restrain his singing and for this kind of melody, it pays off. Friedman is a riffing machine as his licks bring vitality to the beat.
“Not Afraid to Lose” is a post-grunge hit that echoes the style that made Mark a household name. I really enjoy hearing the solos as they have a 90s feel, which is epic and a bit romantic. The lyrics are full of hope and courageous, telling us to take a chance and do not let fear stand in the way. I love this ballad, which to me is one of the best of the year. “Bleak” has Tremonti bring back the aggressiveness to the record. Mark gets a bit harsh with his voice but still has that melodic charm we love. He also delivers a mighty solo that will knock the listener on their ass. Keegan gets nasty with the bass line as he hammers on the strings sturdily. Edgy and daring, this is a future hit. “Would You Kill” is another superb track full of mastery work from Tremonti. When Mark hits that solo, he starts out with a jazzy lick heard in coffee shops, then throws the coffee in our faces as the intensity kicks into high gear. March in Time wraps up with the self-titled track, “March in Time.” Tremonti brings out their best musicianship with this masterpiece. Part ballad and part alternative metal, it provides a bit of everything for all rock fans to enjoy. Bennett drums more softly than before and it compliments Mark’s vocals. They saved the best for last, and it is the best.
After 10 years, Tremonti keeps upping the stakes with each new release. March in Time is one of the finest heavy rock albums produced this year. It features some experimentation that produces quality songs and bombastic riffs. They will be hitting in the road this fall with Sevendust and Daughtry, and that is a tour worth seeing. Mark has really come into his own as a solo artist, and I believe it is just getting started. To Tremonti, I salute you. Horns up!!!
1. A World Away
2. Now And Forever
3. If Not For You
4. Thrown Further
5. Let That Be Us
6. The Last One Of Us
7. In One Piece
8. Under The Sun
9. Not Afraid To Lose
11. Would You Kill
12. Marching In Time
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