Tremonti - Marching In Time
There's nothing more to say, you can't stop "Chainsaw from Texas". His creativity just doesn't stop. On September 24, 2021, he did it again, with the album "Marching In Time", the fifth with his band "Tremonti".
After the ambitious concept album "A Dying Machine" Mark Tremonti decided to stop on the side of the road for a moment, take a breath, and "March In Time" with a return to a simpler and more traditional song structure. But don't get it wrong, even though it's not a complex album like the previous one, once again each of the tracks in "Marching In Time" is a story in itself, only this time it happens without any attempt to weave some kind of central "theme" or "narrative" that will connect them.
"Marching In Time" continues Mark Tremonti's powerful, aggressive and ruthless musical line. As we have said before, this band is where Mark brings out all the aggression he can not put out on "Alter Bridge". As in previous albums, the songs here too are built on strong and leading riffs that are combined with powerful and exemplary solos. In our opinion, In this album, Mark Tremonti took several steps forward in terms of writing ability, melody crafting, and softness, and this is also reflected in the lyrics. There are several songs on "Marching In Time" that are accompanied by softer, more caressing parts and there are also lyrics that talk about fatherhood, loneliness, and personal issues, more than any other "Tremonti's" album. But more than everything, Mark Tremonti simply surpasses himself on this album in terms of vocal abilities. That's it, you can't just define him as a "guitarist" anymore. Mark is also a "vocalist" and he is entitled to this title by merit and not by grace.
We must note the new addition to the lineup, drummer Ryan Bennett. We know how hard it is to keep up with the pace and power of Mark and former drummer Garrett Whitlock did it heroically, but Ryan simply surpasses his leader. There are songs on the album that feel the drums more than Mark's guitars, something that has never happened and is considered inconceivable. Ryan's technique and power blend in wonderfully and sometimes even lead to Mark's riffs.
Although it doesn't offer something really different, "Marching In Time" nevertheless manages to introduce some freshness and innovation to the wonderful formula of "Tremonti" and allows us to indulge in heavy riffs, powerful drums, and unleash merciless aggression.
Tremonti's formula began to take shape in the album "Cauterize" and it merges modern thrash metal with melody. Mark Tremonti has perfected this formula from album to album, but it seems that this time he brings it to perfection. On the one hand, some elements serve as the "backbone" of the band's sound. Clean vocals, sweeping and emotional choruses, and heavy and aggressive riffs, influenced by thrash and speed metal, that make up the DNA of the band. But this time there is also something more. It's not clear how Mark Tremonti managed to do this, but each of the 12 songs on the album has that catchy "hook" that just grabs the listener and won't let go.
We get all this beauty already in the opening track "A World Away". A dark and heavy riff that gradually develops into fast and furious thrash with a sound that will remind you of "Metallica", but also of what "Tremonti" did in albums like "Cauterize" and "Dust". Then comes the break to a slower rhythm that characterizes the verses and from there we return to the fast beat during the chorus, where the genius of Mark Tremonti is revealed, as he manages to dress the thrashy rhythm with the melody of a catchy pop song and he does all this without sounding kitsch, not even in the quiet transition section which starts at minute 2:42 and highlights his vocal abilities that only keep getting better and better from album to album. And the lyrics? What devastating and thought-provoking words Tremonti wrote:
"I swear that I will leave today
Another life, a world away
I've never felt an ounce of love
It's not my home, and it never was.."
This musical beauty that combines brutal riffs with a sweet melody accompanies us throughout the album. In "Now and Forever" you don't even have to wait for the chorus to experience the melodic vocals that float over the sawing riff. There is nothing more to say about "If Not for You", change the guitar effect a bit and give this song a softer production and it could become a hit on any mainstream chart. The catchy and sweeping melodies do not miss any of the songs on the album. Whether it's a ballad like "The Last One of Us" or a song that partly conveys a minimalist feeling like "Bleak", whether it's songs with the band's "sound signature", like "Thrown Further" or "Let That Be Us" and whether it is pieced with a progressive flavor like the theme song "Marching in Time" which also closes the album.
In conclusion, it can be said that "Marching In Time" makes use of many of the main elements that accompany "Tremonti"ת at least since the second album, but it also mixes some more innovative touches, especially in the tight production that provides this album with a feeling of freshness. This album undoubtedly shows the maturation process of Mark Tremonti as a writer, a performer, and a vocalist and although it will probably not be remembered as one of the biggest albums in the extensive career of the legendary guitarist, that began with "Creed", it is still a light, catchy and really fun album to listen to.