Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue

Alice In Chains' first album in 14 years came out in 2009.  With Layne Staley having passed, it seemed heresy to hire a replacement, but they did in the shape of William DuVall.  However on listening to opening track All Secrets Known, any fears seemed unfounded.  Jerry Cantrell's slow heavy riffs dominate, with his and DuVall's voices combining superbly on some twisted harmonies.  Second track Check My Brain has a seriously catchy, yet heavy riff and a killer chorus, up there with vintage AIC.

Such an opening is hard to sustain, and they don't quite manage it.  There isn't much wrong with heavy riffing tracks like Last of My Kind, A Looking In View and Acid Bubble.  Elsewhere they trot out a few moody ballads such as Your Decision, When The Sun Rose Again and the title track.  Again, nothing wrong with these but they aren't especially distinctive.  Later tracks Lesson Learned and Take Her Out growl along very agreeably over heavy guitars.  But overall, for those who badly missed Alice In Chains in 2009, this album recreated their sound perfectly.