Crunching riffs, soaring melodies and an overall attitude of hope have always been the cornerstones that makes up an Alter Bridge album. Never before has a brooding atmosphere blanketed the hard rockers' albums, which is why 'AB III' has been a tough pill for many fans to swallow at first. For guitarist and Creed co-founder Mark Tremonti, embracing some darkness wasn't a tough feat at all.

"I've always been a fan of speed metal and moody dark music, and it's great to have that outlet and be able to put that stuff on the record," he told Noisecreep. "I know some of that stuff is too heavy for what we do, but I think we did it our way. We made it nice and dark and moody without going over the top."

The album's shadowy context came very naturally as the band juggled time constraints brought on by the Creed reunion tour and frontman Myles Kennedy providing vocals for Slash on the road. As the songs of 'AB III' first got reviewed before going into the studio, the album's tone was undeniable. "When me and [Kennedy] got together to piece it together, all the ideas that made it to the final stages were moodier, which led to it growing even more moody with the finalizing of the lyrics."

Often being mislabeled as a concept record, the band's third release is more a collection built around intersecting ideas about the struggle to understand absolute truth. For Tremonti, the album's closer 'Words Darker Than Their Wings' struck him personally as he shares lead with Kennedy. "It's a song about a conversation me and Myles actually had on our views on belief, faith and all the above."

Alter Bridge are on a US tour right now.

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