lisa pikaard reviews the first solo record from the creed and alter bridge guitarist…
I really wanted to write about Mark Tremonti’s solo effort, All I Was, without mentioning Creed because of the cringe that the band name incites in many, but it is important to know who we’re talking about. Tremonti is the guitarist for both Creed and Alter Bridge; however, he has struck out on his own in order to both sing and play guitar on his own tracks, saving them them from being relegated to the musical scrap heap because they didn’t quite fit the mold that either of those bands has crafted.
All I Was is a hard rocking album, harder than anything we’ve heard before from Tremonti, with surprisingly on point vocals. Tremonti has provided back up vocals previously but it’s great to hear him taking lead on this album. It is always scary when a back-up vocalist decides to try his or her hand at taking lead but Tremonti sounds as though he has been a lead singer for years. His guitar playing has not suffered because of his new lead vocalist duties either. The song, “Wish You Well” has some of the craziest guitar riffs I’ve heard in a long time. Tremonti’s heavy metal background really shines through on this song specifically, and the album in general.
Every song on this album has a spectacular guitar solo, a hard hitting drum line thanks to Garrett Whitlock, and an overall powerful sound. Tremonti rounds out his band and its sound with rhythm guitarist Eric Friedman. All I Was isn’t just a hard rock album either. It even has a few great mellow tracks; my personal favorite slower tune is “New Way Out”…. or is it “Proof”… or “The Things I’ve Seen.” I can’t pick one.
It has been a long time since I’ve found an album that I could sit down and listen to straight through but this is one of them. I wanted to give you all a song that you should listen to off of the album but there isn’t just one track. This is an album that is well-rounded and each track deserves your attention. If you like music that is often described as having awesome riffs, crazy hooks, haunting rhythms, essentially a band that thrashes and rocks, this is an album for you. In other words, listen to it!