Fortress (Alter Bridge album)

Fortress is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Alter Bridge, released by Roadrunner Records on September 25, 2013.[1] Michael Baskette, who produced Alter Bridge's previous two albums, Blackbird (2007) and AB III (2010), returned as the producer. It was released by Roadrunner Records worldwide except in the United States, where it was self-released on October 8, 2013, through EMI. The lead single, "Addicted to Pain", was released on August 12, 2013. The album was widely acclaimed, with several critics calling it the band's best album to date and giving praise to each of the band members' musical skills displayed on the record.

Alter Bridge - Fortress album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2013
RecordedApril 26 – July 2, 2013
Studio Barbarosa
Orlando, Florida
LabelRoadrunner, EMI
ProducerMichael Baskette
Alter Bridge chronology
Live at Wembley
The Last Hero
Myles Kennedy chronology
Apocalyptic Love
World on Fire
Singles from Fortress
  1. "Addicted to Pain"
    Released: August 12, 2013
  2. "Cry of Achilles"
    Released: April 22, 2014
  3. "Waters Rising"
    Released: June 2, 2014


Fortress was recorded between April 26 and July 2, 2013, at Studio Barbarosa in Orlando, Florida. The album was written over the three previous years while the band toured, as well as during Alter Bridge's hiatus due to singer Myles Kennedy touring with Slash, guitarist Mark Tremonti releasing his debut solo album All I Was, and drummer Scott Phillips recording with his band Projected. Later in the month, Tremonti announced the band had approved the cover art and had mastered the new album.

In July, in an interview with Tremonti revealed that he would sing lead vocals on one track called "The Waters Rise",[2] which appears on the album as "Waters Rising". The official track listing and cover art for Fortress was revealed on July 31, 2013 along with the track listing, consisting of twelve songs. The artwork was designed by Dan Tremonti.[3]

On August 4, the cover art for the lead single "Addicted to Pain" was revealed,[4] and a day later the band confirmed that the lead single "Addicted to Pain" would be released on August 12, in Europe, and on August 20, in the US.[5] The single was made available for streaming a few days before release.[6] On September 5, the official video for "Addicted to Pain" was released.[7][8] The official video was shot by award-winning director Dan Catullo.[9] On September 23, the band streamed the album in its entirety for a limited time on the Metal Hammer website as a UK exclusive.[10]

During an interview with Bravewords on October 24, Myles Kennedy stated that the Best Buy B-side track, "Outright", had been incorrectly titled. During production, the working title of the song was "Outright Two" because it featured parts of an unreleased song previously recorded by the band called "Outright" during the Blackbird recording sessions. When it went into the mastering stage, the title of the new song was never changed and was incorrectly listed on the album as "Outright". The song is actually titled "Never Say Die" and was listed with the correct title on later printings.[11]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [13]
Classic Rock          [14]
The Guardian     [15]
International Business Times     [16]
Kerrang!     [17]
Loudwire     [18]
Melodic     [19]
Revolver     [20]
Total Guitar     [21]
RTÉ     [22]

Fortress received critical acclaim upon its release. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic, indicating "universal acclaim".[12] AllMusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying, "Fortress is a driving album that not only doesn't feel tired or stale, but is a monster of an album that makes a pretty solid case for being some of Alter Bridge's strongest and most dynamic work to date."[13] In their review, International Business Times proclaimed the album "a delight to the ears".[16] Melodic said, "[Alter Bridge's] ability is undeniable at this point, and Fortress proves they are one of the best rock/metal acts of today's generation and only moving forward."[19] Rock Sins stated that "Alter Bridge are the hard rock band the world needs and with Fortress they have their invitation to the top table of rock music" and gave the album a 9/10 score.[23] Kerrang! gave the album a perfect 5/5 score, saying that "on Fortress, with Myles [Kennedy] and Mark [Tremonti] both operating at the peak of their powers, there may be no limit to where Alter Bridge can go from here."[17] Classic Rock also praised the album, ending their review with "Myles Kennedy says he never wants to be the guy who says each record is the best thing they've ever done. But in this case he should probably make an exception. Because it really is."[14] Loudwire said of the band and album that "the substance and technicality that they have immersed into their music have elevated them to a whole new level. Fortress proves to be the next impressive chapter in an epic adventure that shows no sign of ending any time soon."[18]

However, Revolver were not as impressed by the album, feeling that although it showed off the band's skills, the album became "predictable and monotonous".[20]

Commercial performanceEdit

The album entered at number 6 in the UK album chart, making it the band's highest charting album in the UK to date.[24] It entered at number 1 in the rock chart.[25]

The album also opened at number 1 in the US, Canada, and Sweden in sales on iTunes.[26][27] Fortress debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200 and sold 30,000 copies in its first week of release.[28][29] The album has sold 101,000 copies in the US as of August 2016.[30]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Alter Bridge.

1."Cry of Achilles"6:30
2."Addicted to Pain"4:16
3."Bleed It Dry"4:44
5."The Uninvited"4:47
6."Peace Is Broken"4:40
7."Calm the Fire"6:04
8."Waters Rising"5:39
9."Farther Than the Sun"4:07
10."Cry a River"4:00
11."All Ends Well"5:12
Total length:62:52
Best Buy exclusive
13."Never Say Die" (erroneously titled "Outright" in early pressings)3:44
Total length:66:36
Japanese edition
Total length:71:00


Alter Bridge
  • Michael Baskette – production, mixing, string arrangements
  • Jef Moll – engineering, digital editing
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Dan Tremonti – cover art


Chart (2013) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[31] 13
Dutch Albums Chart[32] 10
French Albums Chart[33] 75
German Albums Chart[34] 7
Hungarian Albums Chart[35] 18
Irish Albums Chart[36] 16
Italian Albums Chart[37] 9
Japanese Albums Chart[38] 163
NZ Albums Chart[39] 24
Spanish Albums Chart[40] 60
Swedish Albums Chart[41] 17
UK Albums Chart[24] 6
UK Rock Chart[25] 1
US Billboard 200[28] 12

Release historyEdit

Region Release date Label
Japan September 25, 2013 Roadrunner
Ireland September 27, 2013 Roadrunner
Australia September 27, 2013[42] Roadrunner
Netherlands September 27, 2013 Roadrunner
Europe September 30, 2013 Roadrunner
United Kingdom September 30, 2013 Roadrunner
United States October 8, 2013 Alter Bridge/EMI/Capitol
Canada October 15, 2013 Roadrunner


  • The songs "Addicted to Pain" and "Cry of Achilles" were featured in the 2015 video game Guitar Hero Live.


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  2. ^ Total Guitar (July 17, 2013). "Mark Tremonti talks new Alter Bridge album, tour and rig | Interview: Mark Tremonti talks new Alter Bridge album, tour and rig". MusicRadar. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  3. ^ "Alter Bridge // Reveal 'Fortress' Album Artwork & Tracklisting! – Roadrunner Records Uk". July 31, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
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  11. ^ "> News > ALTER BRIDGE – "Addiction Is A Very Nasty Animal"". Retrieved October 25, 2013.
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  15. ^ Dom Lawson. "Alter Bridge: Fortress – review | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Music Review: Alter Bridge – 'Fortress' – Entertainment & Stars". September 30, 2013. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  17. ^ a b James Hickie (September 21, 2013). "Kerrang! Magazine" (#1484). Bauer Media Group. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ a b "Alter Bridge, 'FORTRESS' – Album Review". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Melodic Net – Alter Bridge – Fortress". Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Review: Alter Bridge — Fortress – Heavy Metal News | Music Videos |Golden Gods Awards". October 2, 2013. Archived from the original on February 23, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  21. ^ Rob Laing (August 2013). "Total Guitar". Future plc. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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  27. ^ TheAlterBridgeNation [@TheABNation] (October 8, 2013). "Today is the day USA! #FORTRESS has smashed the US iTunes Rock chart straight to No.1! Well done @alterbridge!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  28. ^ a b "200 : Page 1". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
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  33. ^ Steffen Hung. "French charts portal". Retrieved October 11, 2013.
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  37. ^ "FIMI – Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana – Classifica settimanale (dal 30-09-2013 al 06-10-2013)". October 10, 2013. Archived from the original on December 19, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  38. ^ "「フォートレス」 アルターブリッジ│オリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE". Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  39. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  40. ^ (PDF) Retrieved October 9, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  41. ^ Steffen Hung. "Swedish charts portal". Retrieved October 11, 2013.
  42. ^ "Alter Bridge set local release date | News". Kill Your Stereo. August 18, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013.

External linksEdit