Mark Tremonti’s first album in his hybrid band/solo project, All I Was, was a great fusion of thrash and speed metal sensibilities with the melodies of mainstream rock. Needless to say, I was excited when his second album was announced. So excited, in fact, that I traveled down to Orlando with my friend Aaron to attend a listening party in which we heard the entire album. Unfortunately, whoever was working the mixing board that night didn’t really know what they were doing, because many of the songs were played so loud that they were difficult to hear clearly. I can say that the songs that I heard seemed like Tremonti would be experimenting with new sounds on his second album, which will be titled Cauterize. The band also played several bonus tracks that they plan to release one by one online after Cauterize comes out, and those sounded even more interesting.
A few weeks ago we got our first real glimpse of Cauterize, as the first single “Another Heart,” hit radio. The song starts off with a foghorn sound, which echoes the picture of a boat in the lyric video that is engulfed in flames when the guitar part kicks into gear. The main riff has a gritty, rough-edged sound that’s less polished than Tremonti’s typical fare. The music largely recedes into the background for the next minute to 90 seconds of the song though, as the vocals describe someone who the main character has lost trust in, who has “sold their lies before God,” and now needs someone else to rely on. The lyrics actually remind me a lot of Alter Bridge’s song “Addicted to Pain” which describes a situation in which someone’s lies and deception are finally exposed and all hell starts to break loose.
The music stays pretty simple until around 2:20, when a distorted guitar part alternates with Garrett Whitlock’s drum fills to a cool effect. The texture soon changes and leads to a solo, which again has a less polished sound than is normal for Tremonti; it sounds rather menacing, actually. The solo features plenty of Tremonti’s characteristic super-fast sixteenth and thirty-second notes, but they are played in a nuanced way that fits the lumbering pace of the rest of the song, and fit in well.
Overall, it appears Tremonti went with the safe choice in terms of selecting which song from Cauterize to be the lead single. Other songs I’ve heard from the album, such as “Sympathy”, seem to be more ambitious and different than anything on All I Was. “Another Heart” has some signals that the band has evolved and is trying new things, so I’m eager to see how it fits on Cauterize.