1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 34

Walk the Sky, by Alter Bridge
Suggested by Dave Parkinson

I’m a fan of WWE Wrestling.

As entertainment, it’s a lot of fun. As an artform, it’s unique. And no, it’s not fake… it’s scripted. There’s a difference.  People often mock it for this, not realising that Wrestling hasn’t been presented as a legitimate sporting contest since the Eighties. Wrestling is a soap opera. Eastenders isn’t a documentary, but no one laughs at fans because of that.

Alter Bridge supply the entrance music for Edge, a genuine legend of the ring. Edge is a favourite in Chez Craig, and as such we feel a genuine pop of delight when the opening bars hit. The song? ‘Metalingus’. Decent song, terrible name.

After getting my rock on with Walk the Sky, will Alter Bridge get a World Championship Belt, or will they take a steel chair to the face?

From the first song to the last, Alter Bridge are polished. They embrace an almost symphonic sound, with powerful vocals that rise and fall in exultation. It’s a voice that truly shines in the chorus, belting out an overabundance of vibrato on the big notes, stirring the crowd like a rodeo clown with a t-shirt cannon. Every song has a skyward feel, faces turned upward, calling out to the clouds with an almost religious fervour.

Every song. Every last one.

A band like Nickleback gets a bad press for having a back catalogue that’s largely interchangeable, and I feel a similar charge can be levelled at Alter Bridge, as far as this album goes. It’s a much more palatable sound in multiples than the one-trick-plus-Rock-Star pony that Sticklebrick pump out, but it’s still a song with a Chooooruuuus Liiiiiiiike Thiiiiiiiiiiiis followed by another song with a Chooooruuuus Liiiiiiiike Thiiiiiiiiiiiis. And it’s all pitched at largely the same pace, that of the Universal Gotta Look Sexy With My Guitar Poses rock speed. There’s no real departure from this measured poise, which is to the album’s overall detriment.

Don’t misunderstand me. The overall sound is still enjoyable. Songs like Godspeed, and my personal favourite The Bitter End, feel a little more than generic. But even so, any real attempts to step out of the box of their own creation sees the band stood to one side, panic breathing, holding onto the box for dear life.

Overall, I give Walk the Sky a 6/10. I enjoyed what it was, but it felt a little samey. Like a run-of-the-mill wrestling match, it hit the right notes in the right order, but it didn’t quite ignite the crowd.

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