Alice in Chains 5th Album “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”
If I had gone into a coma in 1995 and woken up today and some one handed me this CD, I would assume it was still 1995 based solely on this album.
That may sound like I am being harsh but the latest from AIC “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” delivers exactly what fans have come to expect. Which is a fairly neat trick since the band has made some line-up adjustments including a lead singer transplant (an operation very few bands can survive).
But the OG’s of grunge are literally churning along as strong as ever.
Though this 5th album (the second with singer William Duvall) is not without it’s problems, the signature sound of the band comes though loud and clear and in fine form.
Alice in Chains always has been guitarist Jerry Cantrell’s baby. His sound and playing style is so heavy he actually had to have reconstructive surgery on BOTH shoulders after years of grunge guitar grinding.
If only they were LOUDER!
As is true of much of the AIC catalog, Cantrell’s riffs are over-shadowed by the lead vocals.
The signature dissonant 3 part vocal harmony dominates the much of album and if there is fault to be found on this record production-wise it’s that the vocal mix is so overbearing at times it drowns out even the drums. (and I swear I’m picking up a hint or two of computerized harmony…not cool at all)
If lead singer William Duvall is trying to put his own stamp on the band then I can only say: #epicfail.
If on the other hand he’s trying to emulate the late Layne Stayley, he nails it. Which in my mind is a shame because I’d really like to hear Duvall cut loose. The guy obviously has the goods and it may be interesting to let him shine a little more without that harmony ruling the day. Perhaps too letting him sing a little more freely, would allow Cantrell’s guitar work to be more pronounced.
I’m really interested to hear the songs live this summer as Alice takes to the road. Without the studio trickery to make that harmony vocal jump, the songs may have some more life. Because they are good songs when all is said and done.
I don’t hear a “radio” hit on this record ala Would? or Rooster, though I know several of the songs are slated to be released as singles; and with the AIC fan base old enough to buy all the music they want, this will still chart well and you can expect to hear them throughout the summer on your radio.
Hot Fire Of Truth: The title of this album may refer to the fact that this album represents almost no evolution from the early sound of the band. Which could be good or bad, depending on how you feel about Alice in general.
If You Only Download One Song: To be honest, this is a crap shoot because they all sound very similar. Which again, is either good or bad depending on your level of fandom.
You’ll Like This If: If you’re still wearing a Nevermind T-shirt.
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