The 2000s were a pretty interesting time for rock music. During the decade, we’ve seen both some classic lineup reunions and new bands rise to fame. From the demise of Scott Stapp-fronted Creed, the world of rock music got a new genre-defining band – Alter Bridge.
Needless to say, their beginning was difficult. Being three-quarters of Creed with a new frontman, it was hard to detach themselves from the old band. Nonetheless, Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall, Scott Phillips, and Myles Kennedy fought on and, using their pure talent, became one of the most important metal groups of the 21st century.
But aside from brilliantly composed songs, we’ve also got some of the best guitar solos ever heard. Mostly written and performed by Mark Tremonti, there’s a lot of great stuff to explore in the band’s discography. And it’s really surprising for a musician to push the limits of guitar-based music in the 21st century.
With all this said, we figured we could look more into this and bring you a list of top Alter Bridge solos of all time. After hours of listening and debating, this is the rundown we came up with.
Cry a River
The entire “Cry a River,” from start to finish, is a true metal banger. But among the abundance of great riffs and different sections in the song, we find one very intense solo by Mark Tremonti. Taking the final part of the song, it combines classic blues elements with somewhat unexpected sections. In addition, it shows how well Tremonti can serve a song with his lead sections.
Ahavo Rabo Taco Salad
Not part of on any album, “Ahavo Rabo Taco Salad” is an instrumental Alter Bridge released back in 2005 exclusively through Total Guitar magazine. Although Mark originally intended to make this his solo track, it soon turned into the band’s instrumental. It’s not their super famous song, but it definitely shows Mark’s potential as a guitarist. And, as its wacky title suggests – it’s his own self-indulgence and exploration of his technical abilities.
Bleed It Dry
Another one from the “Fortress” record, this is where Alter Bridge began exploring some heavier elements. Speaking of guitar solos, “Bleed it Dry” comes as an interesting example. In this piece, we can hear how important it is to know how to build up a solo, both dynamically and compositionally. First starting off as a modern blues lead section, Tremonti slowly takes it into some seriously heavy territories. And we can’t help but notice how great his tone gets in “Bleed It Dry.”
I Know It Hurts
Going over to their third record “AB III,” “I Know It Hurts” combines some very intense riffs with otherwise mellow verses and catchy choruses. This 4-minute-long piece finishes up with Tremonti’s lead section. But although it’s far from a lengthy one, here we can once again hear how well Mark serves the song while also finding ways to show off his technical abilities in a very tasteful manner.
Open Your Eyes
“Open Your Eyes” was released as the debut single from the band, right before the launch of their debut record “One Day Remains.” There are some strong Creed vibes in here, the classic early 2000s style. The solo comes right before the song’s final chorus. To be honest, our entire view of this song changes with this solo in it – otherwise a simple ballad turns into a very exciting guitar-centered piece.
Cry of Achilles
Now, “Cry of Achilles” is really out of this world. We could go on for days how well the music goes with the lyrics, and how incredible the arrangement and the dynamics are. But since we’re talking about lead sections, Mark’s work in the song proves that a solo can tell a story as good as any lyrics. This particular solo has no show-off parts, just pure emotion and a great choice of notes and phrases.
However, when talking about guitar solos and Alter Bridge, nothing even comes close to the greatness of “Blackbird.” First, the entire piece is very emotional and was written as a tribute to Myles Kennedy’s friend, who passed away during the song’s creative process. Lasting about 8 minutes, there are two consecutive guitar solos in it – the first one by Kennedy and the other one by Tremonti. While people mostly focus on Tremonti’s lead section, it’s the first part that leads into it and builds up the piece in just the right way for the second lead part. And then, it’s nothing short of an eargasm. It’s no wonder that it’s been hailed as one of the best guitar solos of all time by many rock and metal fans worldwide.
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