Monday, October 26, 2009

Devil's Review : Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue

This has really turned into the year of the comebacks hasn't it? AC/DC, G n'R, and Kiss have all released an album years after the previous release. But unlike the afore mentioned bands I really feel like AIC has a hit a homerun with their latest release "Black Gives Way to Blue". I wasn't sure what to expect from it partly because I was afraid it was going to be something like what other bands have done, find a vocalist that sounds dead on like the famous one and just make a passable attempt at recapturing the glory days.

Well Jerry Cantrell has sort of done that but in a very positive and much more then a passable way. Now I haven't been the biggest AIC fan over the years I admit. I loved Dirt as a whole but the other releases I'd like a track or two and that's about it. Mainly because I was in my twenties and ignorant as hell. If it wasn't catchy I wasn't into it. But as I got older I started developing more patience and really listening and appreciating what had been laid down.

The opening track "All secrets known" let's the world know that this is a new beginning,old wounds have healed, and not to dwell on the past. At the same time it's vocals channel Layne Staley in such an eerie way it's hard to not sort of dwell in the past. This album does despite similarities to the Layne Staley days manage to establish it's own identity somehow. The songs for the most part are slow and sludgy just like many tunes from the old days but there is a dynamic between new vocalist William Duvall and Jerry Cantrell that separates this album from previous releases.

It's a shame it's taken so long for this to come about as it's pretty apparent what an amazing songcrafter Cantrell really is. But I'm glad it's finally here and it's refreshing to see a band overcome adversity and be able to come back after so long and hardly miss a beat. Welcome back Alice in Chains.

Here is the video for Check My Brain. Somewhere Layne Staley is smiling.


cable_zombie said...

Yeah I only really know "Dirt" and that's more through friends...I'm pretty sure I don't have a copy. Jerry Cantrell annoys me no end, but I'll make some time to check out the new stuff...the new singer's had a huge and crazy job position to fill, I guess he deserves the support.

Randy said...

I think Jerry Cantrell is awesome. If you listen to his solo records that kind of completes the hole left after Layne died until the new album.

The "Degradation Trip" double album is one of the most depressing albums thematically ever put to record, yet it's badass if you don't mind entering that sort of mindset.

Check out the song "Psychotic Break" if you haven't heard it.

Anyways, besides me trying to spread the word on that album I think the new AIC is great.