Tremonti – Dust
Label : FRET12 Records
Release Date : April 29, 2016
Many rock fans will only know the name Mark Tremonti by his status as a founding member of rock band Creed. His musical prowess might not be evident from simply listening to any of the various songs in Creed’s musical catalog. However, what is evident through listening to those records was the sense that Tremonti wanted to do more. And that’s exactly what he did with his brand new and third solo album, Dust.
Mark Tremonti has broken through in the heavy metal scene over the years as a highly talented, complex and technical speed-riff master. Fans got their first taste of his axe-slinging assault in the project Alter Bridge that he co-founded with Myles Kennedy (Slash) and the remaining members of Creed. Still hungry for an outlet for new material, the solo project that would be his namesake transformed into a full band. Members include drummer Garrett Whitlock, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, and Eric Friedman on rhythm guitar. This new project would also see Tremonti serving as full-time lead vocalist, a position he has undertaken sporadically on various Alter Bridge material and even some Creed material. The group unleashed their debut album All I Was in 2012, and have torn through the scene like heavy metal juggernauts. After their hugely successful sophomore effort Cauterize was released in 2015, Dust comes hot on its tail and marks a continuation to that album.
At the helm of Dust is long time producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette, who produced the band’s previous two albums, as well as all of Alter Bridge’s material. This record picks up where Cauterize left off. Gone are the grungy off time riffs reminiscent of Soundgarden. Instead Tremonti and company seem to be throwing everything in his musical arsenal at making sure their speed metal riffery is well-remembered, while at the same time being able to strip away the amplified chaos and expose the true instrumental talent possessed once the distortion pedals are turned off.
Dust starts off full blast with a vintage face-ripping track called “My Last Mistake”. The highlight of this piece is actually the vocals, which are belted in a clean style bringing to mind Sevendust’s Lajon Witherspoon. If there was any doubt in the previous two albums that Tremonti could hold his own vocally against Myles Kennedy’s chops in Alter Bridge, that doubt will be gone in the first 30 seconds of this album.
The relentless beating continues with another breakneck track called “The Cage”. Here the guitars are more front and center, feeding the controlled chaos of the track, and driving it forward.
If listeners are hoping for a break in the auditory assault, it comes in the form of Dust’s title track. This song takes the form of a ballad, inviting fans to raise their cigarette lighters high as Tremonti’s voice soars to the clouds. Another highlight, ballad style track is the album’s closer, an arms in the air farewell to Dust called “Unable To See”. This track is destined to be the sing-along of the album. Tremonti completely unleashes his vocals on this tune, and it’s easy to tell that this one will be a fan favorite.
If Cauterize was Tremonti’s post-grunge apocalyptic soundtrack, Dust is the steamroller powering in behind to clean up the wreckage. Nothing short of a monster album, this third solo effort proves that once again, the man has outdone himself. If Tremonti keeps up the momentum, he will indeed be doing more than well, he will metaphorically be leaving others in his dust.
Rating : 9.2/10
Highlights : Unable to See, Dust, My Last Mistake, The Cage