How would you define Metal? I can only assume your definition would not include bands such as Alter Bridge or Creed. It should include guitarist Mark Tremonti. With Tremonti’s second effort “Cauterize” he proves that he can hold his own with bands like Trivium, In Flames and even Machine Head and Lamb of God. “Cauterize” is metal. It’s considerably heavier than “All I Was” which was considerably heavier than anything he had down with Alter Bridge or Creed.

What makes Mark Tremonti a guitar god is not his technical ability but his playing style. He’s got the best right hand since James Hetfield. You can always tell when Mark Tremonti is playing. Alter Bridge and Creed sound nothing alike but you could always hear Tremonti’s style pull through. Even on “All I Was” you can tell that’s Mark Tremonti playing. On “Cauterize” his guitar sound has expanded outside of his unique style. There are still plenty of Mark Tremonti moments, but it’s also heavy for the sake of heavy.

What really impresses me is the amount of quality content that Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy have put out in the last five years. Not only is it quality but Alter Bridge sounds nothing like Slash who sounds nothing like Tremonti but literally every album has hit it out of the park. There’s a reason why all three bands are blowing up overseas.

Certain metal fans may not like the melody that Tremonti brings to “Cauterize." I need melody, I can only do screaming in small doses. Tremonti’s choruses are as melodic as Alter Bridges but his riffs are on par with the best of the best metal guitarists. Let’s be honest are any of us listening to Tremonti for his lyrics and vocal talent? No, we’re listening to hear his playing. He’s a modern day Guitar God and doesn’t disappoint with “Cauterize.” That’s not to say I have an issue with is lyrics or vocal talents, but all I want out is a good melody that doesn’t take me out of the song and Tremonti delivers. “Cauterize” is a home run.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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