With a heavily layered soundtrack throughout, Alice in Chains will hurtle you into a warzone of sound that is capable of terminating all Justin Beliebers within range. Globally recognised as metal veterans, Alice in Chains has not disappointed hard-core Grunge fans with their fifth album entitled ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’, reaching second position on both America’s Billboard 200 and the Canadian Album charts.
Turn up your speakers and prepare to be blasted away by musical shrapnel in the form of power chords, stern percussion and eerie vocals. The opening track ‘Hollow’ drops listeners into a pit of well-organised noise, professionally constructed by the plectrums of Jerry Cantrell, William Duvall and Mike Inez, accompanied whole-heartedly by the fills and beats of drumming connoisseur Sean Kinney. Despite losing two cornerstones from the original Alice in Chains line-up, due to substance abuse, William Duvall proves to be a respectable replacement for former frontman Layne Staley. The Cantrell and Duvall vocal combination gives host to some of the most resonant dissonant harmonies since the beginning of Alice in Chains’ career.
Although informed metal and rock fans need no convincing of their technical and musical ability, for the rest of us, ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ needs a little bit more Wonderland from Alice in Chains. After listening to the entire album three times back to back, it can be difficult to distinguish some tracks from others. Yet, ‘Low Ceiling’ and ‘Scalpel’, contrary to their claustrophobic names, offers listeners some softer therapy amidst an album largely concerned with pleasing ears and damaging hearing. Were it not for these intermittent bursts of metal mercy, Alice in Chains might be more appropriately labelled as Malice and Migraines.
Anyone with a taste for authentic Rock will have noted that Alice in Chains are due to make an appearance at the O2 Academy Leeds on the 10th of November. Undoubtedly, those with enough courage and aural endurance to attend this climactic event will be dragged back to nineties nostalgia and rewarded with a performance from a band worthy of sharing the stage with Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
So grab your diaries and discard your earplugs. Anyone attending Alice in Chains gig or listening to ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ is sure to come away with insurmountable energy, appreciation for real rock and perhaps a partially frightened set of eardrums.