Review Summary: From Creed to one of the most influential metal artists to date.
The most puzzling aspect of Mark Tremonti's career is the fact that his beginnings consisted of watered down rock with Scott Stapp singing "With Arms Wide Open." If someone told me that years later, Tremonti would release three outstanding metal albums, I would have laughed in their face. Yet here I am, eating my words with the release of "Dust," which is quite possibly Mark Tremonti's best work to date, and that includes everything he has done with Alter Bridge as well.
Dust is an album of emotion, grit, and some downright heavy moments, and it all blends together in a fascinating piece of work that can only be described as complete. With the releases of "All I Was" and "Cauterize" we saw a very influential guitarist transformed into a fantastic vocalist, and it only got better from there. Aspects of both previous albums are present on "Dust." Heavy, dirty riffs, captivating verses, and melodic, engulfing choruses.
What really stood out for me on "Dust" were the lyrics, which by the end of the album, I had completely immersed myself in because it was all so relatable, yet intelligently crafted. In the moody and atmospheric rocker, "Tore My Heart Out" Tremonti delivers an emotional chorus, exclaiming, "You tore my heart out, took it all away. Is it so bad now, is it too late"" A testament to the overall mood of the album.
There are plenty of brilliant melodies present in "Dust" which can be found on tracks like the previously mentioned "Tore My Heart Out," as well as "Never Wrong," and "Unable to See. "The latter is overflowing with soaring melodies and heartfelt lyrics, making it one of the best and most emotional songs Mark has ever written. That said, there are extremely heavy moments like on the track "Catching Fire" which features some pulsing, choppy guitar work that makes you want to thrash around and hit things in an adrenaline fueled rage.
Every musician featured on "Dust" does his part to convey a deeper understanding of metal and what it should be. Great lyrics, entrancing melodies, a driving, dark undertone that sets the standard for the music, and a few face melting solos thrown in for good measure. "Dust" embodies everything metal should strive to be and I can't wait for future releases from a very talented band with a very bright future ahead of them.
Tore My Heart Out
Unable to See