Album Review: “Pawns & Kings” by Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge, the American rock juggernaut, has unleashed their seventh studio album, “Pawns & Kings,” marking their return after a three-year hiatus since the release of “Walk the Sky.” Released on October 14, 2022, via Napalm Records, this album carries the weight of expectations from a dedicated fan base. With a rich history of delivering soul-stirring rock anthems, Alter Bridge promises another chapter in their musical journey.

A Return to Form:

The anticipation for “Pawns & Kings” began building in September 2021 when guitarist Mark Tremonti revealed their plans to record the album. The production work commenced in April 2022, helmed once again by the skilled Michael “Elvis” Baskette. Tremonti and Myles Kennedy, the dynamic duo at the heart of Alter Bridge, started pre-production in January, setting the stage for what’s to come.

The album’s title, “Pawns & Kings,” was unveiled in May, hinting at intriguing thematic explorations. Tremonti acknowledged how Baskette recognized the evolving stylistic preferences of the band members, an anticipation of the fresh musical journey awaiting the listeners.

A Bridge Between Past and Present:

The album cover is a striking representation of the band’s history and the present moment. It features a bridge with the date of the band’s formation on the left side and the album’s release date on the right, symbolizing their journey across time. This symbolic imagery sets the tone for what the audience can expect.

Tracklist Highlights:

The album boasts ten tracks, all penned by Alter Bridge. It opens with the thunderous “This Is War,” setting the stage with its infectious energy. “Dead Among the Living” and “Silver Tongue” follow suit, showcasing the band’s signature blend of powerful vocals and intricate guitar work.

One of the standout tracks, “Sin After Sin,” is a sprawling 6-minute-plus epic, inviting listeners to a sonic journey with its captivating melodies. “Fable of the Silent Son” stretches even further at over 8 minutes, showcasing the band’s ability to craft intricate, emotionally charged compositions. In contrast, “Holiday” offers a more compact, radio-friendly experience.

The titular track, “Pawns & Kings,” serves as the album’s grand finale, exceeding six minutes in length. It provides a fitting climax to this musical odyssey, leaving listeners craving for more.

A Musical Bridge:

Alter Bridge’s core lineup, featuring Myles Kennedy on lead vocals and guitar, Mark Tremonti on guitar and backing vocals, Brian Marshall on bass, and Scott Phillips on drums, continues to be a well-oiled machine. Their chemistry is palpable in each note, as they seamlessly weave together powerful riffs, intricate solos, and Kennedy’s soaring vocals.

Production Expertise:

Michael Baskette’s presence as producer, mixer, and programmer once again adds a layer of consistency to Alter Bridge’s sound. His deep understanding of the band’s evolution ensures that “Pawns & Kings” retains the essence of their music, while also pushing the boundaries.


With “Pawns & Kings,” Alter Bridge has created an album that’s both a testament to their rock legacy and a beacon of their musical evolution. The band demonstrates their mastery in crafting intricate, emotionally charged rock anthems while also pushing their creative boundaries. This album is a bridge between their past and future, a journey that fans old and new can embark on. “Pawns & Kings” is not just an album; it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of rock, and Alter Bridge continues to reign supreme in this domain.

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