It has finally been released! After being teased with the 3 track preview for Mark Tremontis solo project, the album ‘ All I Was’ hit stores internationally yesterday.  Not only is this Tremontis’ debut solo album, it’s also is the first time he has stepped up to the lead vocal mantle.  Having sold millions of albums world-wide with both his bands Creed and Alter Bridge, he has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the most talented guitarists in Rock and Metal today.  The album, produced by Michael Baskette (producer of Alter Bridge albums; Blackbird and ABIII) has been highly anticipated by Alter bridge/Creed fans for months, and certainly is not one to disappoint.

The 12 track album opens with ‘Leave it Alone’, a slow swell explodes into that guitar tone that has become unmistakably Mark Tremonti.  To hear the vocals from Tremonti for a full track is amazing. Fresh yet reminiscent of Mark’s other band Alter Bridge. The monster riffs and big chorus leaves you eager to dig deeper into ‘All I Was’.

‘So You’re Afraid’ sees Tremonti break for that ‘speed metal’ sounds he’s long spoken of in various interviews since announcing his solo project a few years back. The guitars on this track are incredible, touching on a little bit of everything; brutal riffage, an epic chorus and a solo to rival that of any top metal shredder. Keeping with the momentum from the previous track, ‘Wish You Well’ follows the same in a similar speed metal tempo, after what is a slightly repetitive chorus, the song breaks into what can only be described as – epic guitar solos with a collection of truly chunky riffs– it’s hard to not find yourself getting this track into your head after listening to it!

‘Brains’ brings the pace of the album down a notch.  The song is a little softer (not by much though!) and allows Tremontis vocal abilities to really shine.
Maintaining the slower approach the track ‘The Things I’ve Seen’ starts with a clean section that could have easily been featured on any Alter Bridge release. The raw vocals throughout this song highlight ‘The Things I’ve Seen’ as one of the better tracks on the album, and possibly the one with the best single potential for drawing rock fans unfamiliar with Tremonti’s previous works.

Heading back into the heavy riffs and solos is ‘You Waste Your Time’, a track that was released to fans in the weeks leading up to the release as a teaser of what was to expect from the full album.  The video for this track has also recently been released of Mark and his ‘Tremonti’ band of brothers; Eric Friedman (Former Submersed guitarist and current touring rhythm guitarist with Creed), Brian Marshall (Also of Creed and Alter Bridge) and drumming power house Garrett Whitlock playing the track live in the studio. The chorus has the feel of a possible influence from fellow American rockers Shinedown. Tremonti has such a signature sounding voice in addition to his guitar playing that it is hard to fault this entire album. The solos on this track are some of the best out of the album making this one of the stand out tracks.

[youtube] Changing tempo seems to be an apparent theme here to keep the album varied, ‘New Way Out’ again bringing the pace of the album down a few notches. This track is a reminder of how well-honed Tremonti’s song writing is. Creating well-constructed and catchy rock songs seems effortless with this track, almost a kick back to the early Creed years.  It would be hard not to make a comparison to either Creed or Alter Bridge, after all as the primary song writer in both these bands Mark’s influence is clear cut.

‘Giving Up’ throws you right back into high voltage fuelled riffs, it has the metal style riffs clearly favoured by the man himself, combined with softer vocals the track works really well to show the mixing of Tremontis musicianship.

he primary draw with this album is that it is Mark’s lead vocal debut, something that other than backing vocals and a few lead lines on ‘Words Darker Than Their Wings’ (Closing track on Alter Bridges’ ABIII), has not been explored until now. Maybe this could mean for a greater vocal input on future Alter Bridge projects, or maybe Mark will choose to save his voice only for the Tremonti project.

An outstanding debut album that should really satisfy both fans of Creed and Alter Bridge as well pull in new fans. Tremonti really carves out his own territory and pushes the boundaries of his own guitar abilities. Backed by an excellent band – Whitlock’s drumming particularly shining through the wall of riffage – there is no reason that this could not become a successful touring act should Mark wish to take it to that level. With a legion of guitar fanatics praising his every move, this could be only the beginning for a thriving solo career for Mark Tremonti.

What a hell of a debut!

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.