Alice in Chains
Black Gives Way to Blue


3.5
great

Review

by biakaba USER (1 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2009 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A great effort at attaining past glory in a nostalgia fueled grunge/metal album.

I was as surprised as anyone that Chains had reconvened and put out fresh material seven years after the passing of Layne Staley. Vocally, Staley left big shoes to fill. Over the last decade many have tried to capture his vocal styling. Some succeeded others came off as cheap imitations. I'm glad to see that Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall reminded us of Layne's influence without trying too hard to mimick him.

The first track, "All Secrets Known" pulls us into early 90's Chains with a low tuned, steady riff with eerie lyrics and tone coming from DuVall. This is as close to Layne's ghost that the vocalist taps into the entire album and its strangley effective, almost like the late singer serenading us from the grave.

"Check My Brain" comes next and its a combination of mid-90's Alice with a taste of Boggy Depot. This is Jerry's song with DuVall singing underneath him with an excellent result. Jerry puts the wah to use on this track reminding us of his guitar skills.

"Last of My Kind" seems like a deviation from Cantrell's traditional style. It has more of metal vibe than the rest of the album. The fourth track "Your Decision" is my personal favorite. It goes back to the roots of "Sap" and "Jar of Flies" with simple chords and a nice power groove from an electric guitar that sounds fresh out of "The Whale and Wasp".

"A Looking in View" is the 5th track and is the best overall heavy song on the album. That's probably why it was the first single released. It has a nice "Facelift/Dirt" feel and reminds us of why we fell in love with Chains to begin with. Regrettably, in my opinion, after a breathless foray with five excellent songs, the album falters a bit with a forgettable threesome in "Acid Bubble, Lesson Learned and Take Her Out." However, they pull it together nicely with track 10, "Private Hell", a steady, brooding gem about self torment.

The album's namesake is last. It's Jerry's eulogy to Layne. The album does well paying tribute to the late lead singer and gives us hardcore Alice fans something to enjoy. Overall, a well made record.


user ratings (1529)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Peter K. Mark (4.5)
    Alice in Chains live on, and they're better than ever....

    AaronBatt (4.5)
    The sound of a phoenix rising from the ashes......

    ksoflas (4)
    “Black Gives Way To Blue” is a record "statement" which redefines the musical map and ...

    Ctippell (5)
    AIC rise from the ashes to create their finest work yet....

  • Chris Davanzo (4)
    Alice In Chains comes back from a fourteen year hiatus stronger than ever....

    Ryan (4)
    Believe it or not, Alice in Chains is back and better than ever....

    Mike Stagno EMERITUS (4)
    Alice in Chains hasn't lost a step...

    red0 (5)
    Even if it is straight out of the 1990s, Black Gives Way to Blue is about as perfect as pe...

  • Super Grover (4.5)
    The biggest compliment that can be paid to Black Gives Way to Blue is to listen expecting ...

    Nosferatwo (4)
    Alice In Chains does the impossible: they live on....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Romulus
October 22nd 2009


8447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

For a first review this is fine, just add much more description of the album as a whole instead of doing a track-by-track format, and just a bit more substance in general. Also, what's with skipping When the Sun Rose Again??

EVedder27
October 23rd 2009


6088 Comments


album is awesome. Bro this isn't bad, as romgsom said just avoid the track by track and discuss the album as a whole. Check out some other reviews if you're unsure of how to do so.

BigHans
October 23rd 2009


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Private Hell is by far the best song on here. Good album.

biakaba
October 23rd 2009


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My bad on missing When the Sun Rose Again...it's a strong song for sure. I just got hung up on listening to Private Hell and was eager to give it props. Those middle 3 songs are the weak link, though. Thanks for the advice on how to write a review.

NodScene23
October 29th 2009


272 Comments


This album probably deserved greater analysis. I think Acid Bubble and Lesson Learned are great though. Lesson Learned reminds me fondly of Degradation Trip.



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