From His Biography:
Mark Tremonti is the Grammy Award-winning guitarist and songwriter, known for his work in multi-platinum rock juggernaut Creed and with the critically acclaimed, fan favorite Alter Bridge. Having sold over 40 million records worldwide, this is the man behind massive hits like “My Own Prison”, “Higher”, and “Isolation”—just to name a few. His sound is recognizable and has garnered him a loyal fan base worldwide. Guitar World dubbed him “Guitarist of the Year” three consecutive years in a row, and he ranked as the “fourth greatest heavy metal guitarist ever” in Total Guitar.
Produced by long time friend and collaborator, Michael “Elvis” Baskette, (Alter Bridge, Chevelle and Trivium) Tremonti’s history of creating award winning music, has once again, captured the spotlight.
Bringing his experiences with Alter Bridge, Creed and Axesmith, Mark Tremonti’s first solo album, All I Was, rocks out the heavy in his guitar playing, confirms his serious songwriting and most importantly, gets him out front with lead vocals.
The press has stated that Tremonti is making a return to his musical roots with this album. Growing up with Pantera and Metallica, Creed was not as heavy as he’d like, Alter Bridge was closer, and with this current solo effort, All I Was, speaks in its album title what Tremonti is most comfortable playing, the heaviest of metals with the best quality rhythms he can fire up.
Mark Tremonti – vocals, guitar
Eric Friedman – rhythm guitar
Garrett Whitlock – drums
Brian Marshall – bass
Track by Track for All I Was:
1. Leave It Alone
Tremonti has taken a stand, many times in the music world. He takes it again with his own power, pushing out an opening track using lyrics that assert there is no tolerance for the untrustworthy. Friedman carries the song with rhythms, while Tremonti tears up a wind-up guitar solo mid-song. Whitlock hammers away in the drum cage, with Marshall’s bass sounding gritty on full metal power. Great song.
2. So You’re Afraid
Speed metal breaks through, but the vocals are a strong point in this song and album. Tremonti keeps the solo phrases in the mid-range and focused, while the harmonies add power to the track. Spiral distortions scream out a solo, that instantly changes the entire song. This performance is tight, it has several change-ups, intense solo work, but does the job without being self-indulgent. Right on, Tremonti, you’re leaving this reviewer wanting to hear more.
3. Wish You Well
There is no need for a long good-bye in a bad situation. “Wish You Well” makes its statement with dignity. The lead takes off in a quick solo, but the overall feel of the song is its impact and punch as a whole. It never stops driving. The timing of this band is impeccable. The experience of these musicians is shown in their ability to create and execute complicated pieces with speed and accuracy.
Slow pieces open this track that trail into shifting soundscapes, with scissor sharp guitar work from Tremonti. Whitlock and Marshall mimic rolling thunder.
5. The Things I’ve Seen
Drawing you in to raw experience, the only thing that we can claim is individuality. Harmonies and vocal improvs create fluidity, which reflects the introspection of the lyrics. This is a personal journey of autonomy, taking on history and pain, with strength. The bridge has a hollow echo effect that is chilling, and expresses the emptiness of bearing these experiences alone. There is pride in this story though, pride and resilience – for facing what’s real.
Don’t claim that you know me
When you very well
That I have seen through it all
And don’t claim that you know why
When you know everything
When you’ve seen things for what they are
6. You Waste Your Time
All of these songs on Tremonti are tracks people can relate to, because of the rhythms that underlie them, and the vocals that clearly engage. Friedman works some magic to keep the pressure at the right tempo, while the power chords crank. Song after song, this album demands honesty and will not tolerate the liars in any form. Stories of reaching out to betrayers who refuse to learn or understand from those around them, are the stated rage statements that come to one message: Come clean and be real.
All the ties were severed when you came
What if I could mend them once again?
Well you’re afraid to learn
Forced to watch those bridges as they burn
7. New Way Out
Every metal band needs to show their reach with a great rock ballad. Tremonti nails this one, his voice the centerpiece while the drums keep the highlights of the guitar work as it wraps around the slower lyrics. It explodes at the end with a crescendo of fantastic sound. Lyrically, the complicated decision to leave someone or something that you love, after you’ve tried your best is spelled out with empathy and ultimate hope for the best for everyone. As with all of the songs on this record, it faces the truth, dignity and always ends in strength.
8. Giving Up
Riveting power chords bring on what cranks out a classic rock tune. The echo vocals throughout this album give it a contemporary spin. I love creative timing in any song, to me it shows good song writing and a willingness to take risks.
A vocal showcase, with notes that are carried to their fullest, Proof has what it takes to bring home the power of a metal ballad. And there is a genuine ‘fade out’ at the end. Album rock is back! Love the fade out!
Mourn it like another gone
Another passed away
Know that we have just begun, to forge a better day
Open like another door
It’s feeling right again
Sold it like another soul
10. All I Was
The title track has some great rhythm guitar work by Friedman, with some outstanding chords by Tremonti. The vocals sound really interesting in the way that they are layered in production. It speeds up at the end and just shreds through the sound barriers almost to a vibrating scream. Great track!
11. Doesn’t Matter
A straightforward rock classic that runs on energy and doesn’t let up. There is a good balance of loud with harmonies in this entire album.
The album wraps up with an all out war against complacency. Soaring over our heads, the album bangs out to an end, with all cylinders running.
All I Was brings Tremonti and the band, into a new generation of metal, delivering quality musicianship through years of experience. Vocally, Tremonti is strong, using the full range of his voice, and some interesting production echos. Instrumentally, the band is creative, with innovative timing, well placed solos, and a good dose of loud ~ that all out rocks!