By Greg Maki
So let’s talk about that intro. “A World Away” viciously assaults the listener right out of the gate with what would be a crushing breakdown were it in the middle of the song, then leads into a driving, devastating thrash/speed metal riff. It’s the heaviest Tremonti has ever been, and it’s glorious.
But wait, there’s more. Overall, the song shows what a well-rounded musician and songwriter Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge, Creed) truly is, with a strong hook, equally powerful vocals, some keys for a little extra texture and, of course, mighty guitar heroics on full display.
You can extend that description to the whole of “Marching in Time,” Tremonti’s fifth album with his eponymous band. With production, as always, by Michael “Elvis” Baskette,” Mark’s guitar tone is as muscular as ever and, along with the vocals, the obvious focal point. The mix, however, allows the entire band to come through loud and clear, especially drummer Ryan Bennett, making a thunderous recording debut with the band after replacing Garrett Whitlock.
Highlights of the record include the aforementioned beatdown of “A World Away,” the rock-radio-ready—but let’s face it, too heavy for bland rock radio—“Let That Be Us,” the softer but no less powerful “The Last One of Us” leading into the crunchy “In One Piece” and the epic, album-closing title track. It isn’t a sci-fi concept album with an accompanying novel like 2018’s “A Dying Machine,” and the recording session didn’t yield two full albums like the 2015/2016 combo of “Cauterize” and “Dust.“ But front to back, “Marching in Time” just might be Tremonti’s most satisfying listen to date, an electrifying showcase of one of the giants in the genre of heavy music.
Napalm Records – Sept. 24, 2021