Alice in Chains
Black Gives Way to Blue


4.0
excellent

Review

by ksoflas USER (6 Reviews)
January 27th, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Black Gives Way To Blue” is a record "statement" which redefines the musical map and is equal to an unexpected triumph.

Sometimes artists hide in them something more than just a musical proposal which does not come from design or programming. Such is the case with the fourth album by grunge metallers Alice In Chains. “Black Gives Way To Blue” is a record "statement" which redefines the musical map and is equal to an unexpected triumph.

After fifteen years of absence from the music business and after losing the one and only Layne Staley, it was reasonable for the band having second thoughts about whether they have the moral right to proceed with the remainder as Alice In Chains without their charismatic frontman. Hopefully, for the sake of their fans, but mostly for Layne’s memory the rest of the band picked up their pieces, added a brand new polished sprocket (William DuVall) in their rusty, but reliable, music machine and offered us "Black Gives Way To Blue". Even the most optimistic fans of Alice In Chains wouldn’t have expected such a good result.

The triptych of the album is inspiration - emotion - respect. All the elements we love them for are included in this release. Great classic Cantrell riffs, the typical dipole model of voice and the pessimism and isolation of the Seattle scene of the 90s are here more convincing than ever.

The production is flawless by Nick Raskulinecz given his credentials (Rush, Foo Fighters, Coheed & Cambria), while the suspended question , which is “ will the new frontman fill Layne’s shoes, ceases to exist after hearing the album. It’s not that William DuVall enchants with his performance, but his voice blends perfectly with Cantrell’s playing and the compositions themselves are more than sufficient. In my humble opinion they couldn’t make a better pick. Anyway Jerry Cantrell has always been the soul of this band. A soul that hasn’t hesitated to testify everything it had over and over did it again, in the most convincing way, on the most difficult task.

This album is not just a superb comeback that came out from nowhere. “Black Gives Way To Blue” is a new beginning that excites. It’s a huge record that, with characteristic ease, brings the name of Alice In Chains on it and stands on a par with the rest of the band's discography.



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user ratings (1526)
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......

    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....

    biakaba (3.5)
    A great effort at attaining past glory in a nostalgia fueled grunge/metal album....

    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 
ksoflas
January 27th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All kind of comments are welcome.

PostMesmeric
January 27th 2013


397 Comments


Okay review. You could've solidified your points a bit more by citing moments on the album where they work, specifically songs. Remember to contextualize and offer examples. Otherwise your words can be a bit dry. Also...

"Anyway Jerry Cantrell has always been the soul of this band."

That's debatable, too. Still, this isn't a bad review.

PistolPete
January 27th 2013


3650 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album, can't believe how solid it was given the time that passed

you have some awkward sentences, this one is comma-overload and is a run-on sentence:
Hopefully, for the sake of their fans, but mostly for Layne’s memory the rest of the band picked up their pieces, added a brand new polished sprocket (William DuVall) in their rusty, but reliable, music machine and offered us "Black Gives Way To Blue".

Plus the part in your summary about being "equal to a small triumph"...it's a weird way to describe it (it sounds like you liked it but you're trying too hard to make it sound like a 4 instead of a 4.5/5).

Can't wait for the new album though, I need some grunge in my life again

ksoflas
January 27th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To PostMesmeric:
I have only wrote 4 reviews untill now but i am sure i will not refer or comment songs in any of my future reviews too. I find it pointless.
Maybe I am wrong but this is my style of writing.
Thanks for the criticism though.


YankeeDudel
January 27th 2013


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album really surprised me. Duvall does a great job steppin in for Layne and keepin the AiC sound in tact.

Digging: Taj Mahal Travellers - August 1974

ksoflas
January 27th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To pwalcher:
I got your point and i couldn't agree more.The fact that English is not my native language doesn't help too much.
Imho it's a 4, maybe 4,25.
I saw the band live with the big4 and they were amazing! (I love DuVall's live performances)
I'm waiting for the new album too...

ksoflas
January 27th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album is solid, easygoing and consistent too. I love it!
DuVall fits in like a glove!

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2013


4458 Comments


"Anyway Jerry Cantrell has always been the soul of this band."

I guess you can say that, since he had a bigger influence in the creative aspect, but I think every member brought something to the table that made them who they are. Mike Starr's bass playing, Layne Staley's voice etc. Good review though, I agree with a lot of your points. I was surprised that I enjoyed this album as much as I did. Layne's shoes are tough to feel, it's hard to find a vocalist who has such a powerful and dynamic voice like his, and DuVall, though I still prefer Layne, is a more than excellent replacement.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2013


4458 Comments


*tough to fill.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2013


1922 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"isolationism"

Change to "Isolation"

"Such case is the fourth album"

Change to "Such is the case with the fourth album"

Apart from that I though this review was pretty good. Album is brilliant, and certainly encapsulates everything that is good about this band.

Digging: Execration (NOR) - Morbid Dimensions

YoYoMancuso
January 27th 2013


11222 Comments


band is the balls

good review, pos

SitarHero
January 27th 2013


4745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"'Anyway Jerry Cantrell has always been the soul of this band.'

That's debatable, too."

It's debateable only if you're arguing that Cantrell is the mind rather than the soul.

Spag
January 27th 2013


1845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The last song is so fucking good.

Digging: Power of Omens - Rooms of Anguish

ksoflas
January 27th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really don't know if this word exists (isolationism). Probably not.
Sounds stupid.
Thanks for the tips Linguist.

ksoflas
January 27th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Layne is Layne my friend PaperbackWriter.
I just never thought that Duvall will fit right there at once, like he did.
I saw him performing live and he was magnificent.
Fantastic choice indeed.

thumbcrusher
January 28th 2013


3607 Comments


need to listen to the whole thing some time

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only by Fire

lostforwords
January 28th 2013


446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

πατρίδα, καλωσήρθες κι από μένα!!!

Very good review, pos!!

ksoflas
January 28th 2013


458 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


Καλώς σας βρήκα αλάνια μου!

SitarHero
January 28th 2013


4745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I really don't know if this word exists (isolationism)."

Heh. It actually does, but it's mostly used as a political term referring to a nation's preference to not have diplomatic relations or trade relations with foreign countries, thus isolating itself.



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