A Game Of Chess: Alter Bridge’s “Pawns & Kings” album review


Photo from Spotify

Mike Singer, Music Manager

On Friday. Oct 14, Alter Bridge released their seventh record titled “Pawns & Kings.”

  From the very first song on the record including ten total songs over the span of 54 minutes, the band produces arguably one of their best records in the catalog.

  The band includes drummer, Scott Phillips, bassist, Brian Marshall, guitarist Mark Tremonti, and lead singer, Myles Kennedy kicks off the record with the hard rock borderline metal song “This is War.” I loved how Kennedy’s voice fits in with whatever band he plays with. Whether it’s with Slash or solo, Kennedy’s is pure gold, and he is one of the last great frontmen to come onto the rock scene.

There are a lot of songs that I personally loved off this record like the third track, “Silver Tonge.” I don’t know if it’s because the band has a more “modern” metal sound like Queensryche but it’s straightforward, in your face, and a take no prisoner’s style.

The next track, “Stay,” which is sung by Tremonti is my favorite song off the record, hands down. Tremonti and Kennedy produce beautiful harmonies throughout the record while singing “don’t wait, it won’t last forever, allow your heart to heal, just begin to heal.” I think this song is my favorite because it’s a softer song as far as Alter Bridge is concerned but it also is rooted in their hard rock style that they started their career with. The almost five-minute track is a beautiful song about a man who loves a woman, yet she is getting out of a tricky past and is afraid of being hurt yet the singer of the song knows he can’t wait around forever for the girl.

 I love when a group can tell a story through their music and take their listeners and their fans on a trip as they sing a song. One of the best songs to do this is “Welcome To the Jungle.” Fans can just picture hard life on the streets of Los Angeles where everyone might think it’s all glitz and glamour yet there’s a dark underside that many might not see

The next track, “Fable of the Silent Sun,” is a runner-up for best song on the record just because Kennedy shows his vocal range and how he can use his pipes to sing as high or as low as he can to enhance the quality of the song.

Along with Kennedy’s vocals, Tremonti shows us his skill by shredding through a wicked solo that would make some of the most notable shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen impressed.

  The final song which I enjoyed is the eighth track, “Season of Promise.” I love when the drummer does a military-style drum beat to intro a song. Phillips does exactly that which is what immediately drew my attention. Phillips shows that he’s not just a metal drummer that can play loud and try to blow everyone’s ear drums off, but he has a technical side to him as he precisely uses the drums to complement his band mates whether it’s with a drum fill or crash cymbal.

  I really enjoyed this record more than I expected. I first became a fan of Myles Kennedy when I heard him singing with Slash. Slash of course has his own style, so Kennedy has a different style of singing to complement Slash.

  Since Alter Bridge is Kennedy’s original band, Kennedy can sing however he wants to, and it’ll still be “his music” rather than Slash’s music with the guy from Alter Bridge singing in it.

 I think this record is a runner-up for record of the year. I know that I’ve mentioned that a few times but this time I mean it. Alter Bridge’s “Pawns & Kings” record shows why the band is considered a king, and not a pawn.


Now, it’s time for The Singers’ Thoughts:

  1. If you look over the course of the band’s career and listen to some of their hits like “Metalingus,” “Rise Today,” or even “Open Your Eyes,” you can see an evolution and growth in the band that has led them to record ‘Pawns & Kings.”
  2. Myles Kennedy is one of the rare vocalists that can mesh his voice into whatever the band around him is playing. Whether it’s playing solo material, filling in for a no-show Axl Rose and playing Guns N’ Roses covers to even playing with Slash in their own band or, with Alter Bridge, Myles Kennedy is truly one of a kind.
  3. I’ve seen Kennedy with Slash live twice and I was blown away each time. This year or technically next year, in the spring, Alter Bridge will be playing at The Dome and I’m very excited to see how he will perform with Alter Bridge rather than Slash.


Overall Grade: 8.5/10