Mark Tremonti - Lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitars Eric Friedman - Rhythm guitars & backing vocals Wolfgang Van Halen - Bass Garrett Whitlock - Drums
Albums released within less than a year's time is somewhat of a rarity in this day and age. With enough material written and recorded for two albums, Tremonti released Cauterize last year containing the first batch of songs and almost a year later, a new album titled Dust, containing the second batch of songs written during the Cauterize sessions has arrived. There aren't really any drastic differences to be found between the two records as all the songs were written in one album's sessions. Even though both albums are fantastic modern metal records, if I had to pick one, I would have to go with Dust because to me, the songs stand out a bit more here.
Starting off the album with a direct smack to the face is "My Last Mistake", where Tremonti holds nothing back and unleashes smoking riffs combined with infectious vocal melodies that will instantly hook any listener. "The Cage", "Betray Me" and "Catching Fire" all stand out with the massive grooves and great melodic hooks, which is what I'm always attracted to. You can also hear a dash of Iron Maiden in the middle of "Catching Fire". The thrash continues on "Once Dead" and "Rising Storm" with Garrett Whitlock unleashing his inner Paul Bostaph. He and Wolfgang Van Halen give the album some serious thunder. Tremonti and Eric Friedman not only unleash potent riffs, but potent vocal harmonies as well.
The album is a roller coaster with the tempos ranging from fast to mid-tempo to slow, keeping the album exciting. If you're a fan of the slower compositions, tracks like the title track, "Tore My Heart Out" and "Unable To See" all contain soaring melodies and Tremonti really showcases the excellence of his vocal abilities on these tracks. When you compare Dust to the previous records, All I Was and Cauterize had a few slightly weaker moments, but I don't think there's a weak spot on Dust. Be sure to pick up the record if you haven't yet and catch Tremonti live when the band comes through your town.
Highs: "My Last Mistake", "The Cage", "Once Dead", "Catching Fire"
Lows: No complaints
Final Rating: 9.5/10