An idea that started as a simple chord progression for Mark Tremonti grew into one of the most ambitious projects of his musical career. This resulted in Tremonti’s fourth album and first concept record “A Dying Machine.” As the chords evolved into the chorus of the title track, a story began to unfold and Mark’s futuristic theme carried into an entire album and also a companion novel. The songs tell the story of a synthesized version of man and an ultimate battle between man and man’s creation.
Kicking off the record is a huge galloping riff and punishing drums that begin the song “Bringer of War.” The sound is reminiscent of a movie score, one of those scenes where something big is about to happen. Then it takes off with an almost Motorhead feel before the speed increases taking on a life of its own with a masterful evil melody of wars and destruction. It’s a fantastic song and great way to start the album.
Working again with longtime producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette, he gives the album a nice cohesive feel yet the songs are all strong enough to stand on their own. From the epic title track to the distorted sounds and frenzied pace of “Throw Them To The Lions,” Tremonti is on fire, fueling the songs with an unbridled passion and intensity. “Take You With Me” is a great lead off single with an old school thrash feel combined with an absolutely enormous melody. “Trust” has Mark experimenting with some different tunings and sounds and “Traipse” has an earnest and emotional feel with its acoustic guitars. Drummer Garrett Whitlock is outstanding behind the kit and really shows his skills on “The Day When Legions Burned” as well as the title track. Because Mark has worked in bands with some of the best rock vocalists around in Scott Stapp and Myles Kennedy, his vocal abilities are often overlooked but the fact is that he can hold his own with the best of them. The record closes out with an eerie instrumental track “Found,” full of mechanical and industrial sounds.
“A Dying Machine” is the best Tremonti album yet and a true showcase not only for Mark’s skillful guitar work but for his songwriting abilities as well.