Tremonti
Dust


4.0
excellent

Review

by IconicShaman USER (2 Reviews)
April 30th, 2016 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mark Tremonti doing what he does best.

It can't be said enough that Mark Tremonti has come a long way from his time with Creed. If Alter Bridge laid the groundwork for Tremonti's evolution into a versatile guitarist and capable vocalist, the Tremonti project is Mark Tremonti spreading his wings and preparing to take flight. Armed with a talented backing band, Tremonti makes a strong argument that perhaps he is better without Alter Bridge and Creed.

Dust doesn't just pick up from where Cauterize left off. It improves from it in almost every single category. Tremonti continues to deliver blistering solos as he's done since his most recent work with Alter Bridge, but the real surprise is that Dust features his best vocal performance to date. His confidence has continued to grow since All I Was and he sounds comfortable front and center. He proves he can be powerful and gripping with "My Last Mistake" and "Catching Fire" yet equally compelling with "Dust", "Unable To See", and album highlight "Tore My Heart Out". His delivery is immediate and impactful, with just enough restraint to leave a lasting impression throughout Dust's 43-minute runtime.

But where Dust, and ultimately Tremonti as a band, outshine Alter Bridge and Creed is through an impeccable rhythm section. Tremonti has always been a metalhead at heart and Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock, and Wolfgang Van Halen are more than willing to throw down like a metal band. Friedman provides a necessary touch of melody with his backing vocals fortifying Tremonti's crisp tone in clean harmony and consistently delivers crushing, powerful riffs to go with Tremonti's soaring leads. Van Halen makes the most of his opportunities to shine on bass and does his job well, serving as a strong and underrated backbone in the band and as a necessary element in the softer moments. Whitlock, arguably the key cog tying it all together, is the drummer Mark Tremonti has desperately needed to take his music to another level. He is a force to be reckoned with through the heavier moments and, like Van Halen, makes the most of his opportunities to shine. From a technical standpoint, "The Cage", "Catching Fire", and "Once Dead" are the strongest songs that showcase every member's individual ability and showcase an undeniable chemistry that would make you think these guys have been playing together longer than four years.

Stylistically, there isn't much different to be found on production. Tremonti is comfortable building on the winning formula he found on Alter Bridge's Blackbird with Michael "Elvis" Baskette at the board. Every song sounds and feels massive and the mixing is crystal clear without something being inaudible or overbearing. While there's nothing wrong with staying in familiar territory, Tremonti ultimately leaves you wondering if he is truly serious about forging a unique identity for this project. Sometimes Tremonti travels too close to Alter Bridge's neck of the woods: "Dust" and "Unable To See", for example, sounds like lost Blackbird B-sides. Elsewhere, "Tore My Heart Out" wouldn't sound out of place on Fortress. In its defense, however, "Tore My Heart Out" stands as the undeniable album highlight, marrying Mark Tremonti's strongest and most compelling vocals with a rare willingness to experiment with progression, even if it's in small windows.

Like its counterpart Cauterize, Dust heavily leans on the typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge/solo-chorus structure, leading to songs running together and sounding similar to one another. "Never Wrong" and "Rising Storm" are the worst offenders, neither adding anything new nor sounding interesting enough to justify their existence. Unlike Cauterize, Dust has more hits than misses. At its best, Dust gallops at full speed while being aesthetically pleasing enough for anyone to enjoy. It's fast and heavy enough for fans of thrash while retaining an ear for melody and anthemic choruses for a hard rocker. In short, this is Mark Tremonti doing what Mark Tremonti has done best for nearly ten years. It's a stretch to say he's influential, but he's consistently made great music. With a stronger band behind him, Tremonti has the potential to make very special music. Cauterize and Dust have put Tremonti on the right track to being special, but until Mark Tremonti shows a willingness to shed his past and get more creative, the Tremonti project will only be a fun diversion.


user ratings (134)
Chart.
3.9
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other reviews of this album
kbridges (4.5)
From Creed to one of the most influential metal artists to date....



Comments:Add a Comment 
sam1oq
April 30th 2016


97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review and I agree with your thoughts. Dust is by far his best outing with this side project. Takes all the good stuff from the previous two records and makes it better.



I wish he'd make more songs like Slip to the Void in terms of structure though. He's still abusing that mainstream rock structure. Fortress was getting more experimental already, but at base it's still vcvcbc. Hence I think SttV is his most creative outing to date. Gotta say if he takes the good stuff from Tremonti in a more experimental fashion on AB V, a classic record is within the possibilities.

Toondude10
April 30th 2016


13376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

better review than the other one



this is a pretty good album, but not as amazing as people are saying



"Fortress was getting more experimental already"

Not really

Digging: Time, The Valuator - How Fleeting, How Fragile

Lord(e)Po)))ts
April 30th 2016


39731 Comments


https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PaghIdSJKvQ/sddefault.jpg

Toondude10
April 30th 2016


13376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whatever that's supposed to mean

Lord(e)Po)))ts
April 30th 2016


39731 Comments


if you werent so fucking basic you'd know

Toondude10
April 30th 2016


13376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's the spirit

BigPleb
April 30th 2016


55544 Comments


My mate keeps jamming this band and they are literally a carbon copy of Alter Bridge.

Toondude10
April 30th 2016


13376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

More or less. People say that this is more geared towards speed/thrash metal but I never really hear it.



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