All I Was
Mark Tremonti—lead guitarist of arena rock juggernauts Creed and Alter Bridge—goes solo with his 2012 debut album, All I Was. Aside from adding to the post-grunge canon with weighty riffs and throaty singing, Tremonti re-waters his metal roots. So while the opening tune, “Leave It Alone,” chugs along like early Alice in Chains, the guitar work has moments that blend Kirk Hammett of Metallica’s shredding with Dimebag Darrell of Pantera’s penchant for groove-heavy riffs. Bassist Eric Friedman and drummer Garrett Whitlock of Submersed help flesh out these songs—Friedman with meaty bass lines (“So You’re Afraid”) and Whitlock with the ability to segue from simple meat-and-potato rhythms (“Brains”) to more dexterous dynamics (“You Waste Your Time”). As with Creed, Tremonti takes time to slow down and execute impressive power ballads. “The Things I’ve Seen” recalls Ten-era Pearl Jam, replete with Eddie Vedder-esque inflections peppering the verses. “All I Was” contrasts lilting melodies that seem to sway in the breeze with distorted guitars and a nasal-toned growl, resonating similar to that of the late Layne Staley.