Alice in Chains
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here


4.0
excellent

Review

by AaronBatt USER (50 Reviews)
June 9th, 2013 | 18 replies | 2,407 views


Release Date: 05/28/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jurassic Fantastic...

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

So, here it is. The 2nd full length from Alice In Chains 2.0. Nearly four years after the release of Black Gives Way To Blue, Jerry Cantrell & co. returns with The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. The band originally began working on the record in 2011, only to have it delayed due to Jerry's shoulder surgery. It is the second record to feature vocalist/guitarist William Duvall.

Choosing the opener Hollow as the first single was a brilliant idea, as the track shows all the elements of Alice In Chains wonderfully. From the dual vocals from Cantrell & William Duvall (not the mention the mammoth guitar riffs) to the rumbling bass of Mike Inez and the drum groove from Sean Kinney, Hollow is a great introduction to TDPDH. The riffs that Duvall and Cantrell play continue to be mostly unique, and the rhythm section of Inez and Kinney is still one of the best in rock music. Inez's bass adds the fullness and depth of the songs, while Kinney lays down solid rhythms for the guitars to ignite over.

Pretty Done and Stone are the two shortest songs on here at 4 minutes, and while the former pounds along on a mid-paced crawl, Stone features probably the catchiest riff on the entire album. It's damn repetitive but still awesome. Voices and Scalpel bust off the acoustic guitars, and Scalpel bears a striking country influence that is really cool to hear from Alice In Chains. Lab Monkey is a very trippy song that has a great interlude that begins at the 2:30 mark, while Low Ceiling sounds deceptively sunny. Choke is a definite album highlight, as the album finale it is a softer song, but the chorus is wonderful and thoughtful.

The two centerpieces on The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here are the title track and Phantom Limb, for entirely different reasons. The title track sounds like a bastard cousin of Love Hate Love, and it features the most prominent lyrics on the album. It is a sly attack on religious extremism, and boasts a chorus of "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, Jesus don't like a queer." In the hands of a lesser band, the lyric could've come off as awkward, but Alice In Chains makes it work. Phantom Limb on the other hand is a 7 minute slab of metal that features a behemoth riff sequence, and the heaviest song by far on TDPDH. The way "I'll haunt you like a phantom limb" floats off the lips of William Duvall is bone-chilling and spine-chilling at the same time.

Many users on Sputnik have compared The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here to the seminal Alice In Chains album Dirt, which would be accurate. The main difference is that Dirt is focused on despair while this album seems to be focused on anger. Another thing that will be noticeable on TDPDH is the striking similarities that some of the new songs have to older, Layne Staley era Alice songs.

I already mentioned how the title track is comparable to Love Hate Love, but the other song on here to notice is Hung On A Hook. It bears a likeness to Down In A Hole that is uncanny. Breath On A Window meanwhile sounds a little bit like Lesson Learned part 2. I'm not accusing Alice In Chains of recycling material, but it is noteworthy how the band seems to paying homage to their 90's output on The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.

I must warn you, if you go into The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here expecting another Black Gives Way To Blue, you will be disappointed. BGWTB was a singular moment in Alice In Chain's history as their rebirth after Layne's passing, and it would be foolish to ask Alice In Chains to give us another moment like that. However, if you go into TDPDH with your only expectation being a great Alice In Chains album, you will find it in spades on here. My only gripe with The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is that there is only one song (Hung On A Hook) that William Duvall gets to carry on his own, but it is a minor annoyance, as the dual vocal approach of Cantrell & Duvall continues to work well.

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is not as immediate as Black Gives Way To Blue, and it takes a spin or two to fully reveal the greatness that is to be found, but it is extremely satisfying, and well worth the four year wait. After the critical and commercial success of Black Gives Way To Blue, some (including me) wondered what Alice In Chains would have left creatively, as it was obvious how much emotion was poured into the creation of BGWTB. As this record shows, there is plenty left in the gas tank of Alice In Chains. Don't worry about Alice In Chains, they've still got it, and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here proves that Black Gives Way To Blue was no fluke.



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user ratings (713)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Tunaboy45 (4)
    A solid album that will please both the older side of the fan base and the younger side to...

    PsychicChris (4.5)
    Alice In Chains's second album with William DuVall upholds the band's expectations but is ...

    overtureoverride (5)
    A beautiful selection of songs that engages the listener from start to finish...

    JTD (3.5)
    Alice in Chains release a great yet slightly disappointing followup to the excellent Black...

  • Greg Fisher STAFF (3.7)
    The new Alice in Chains effort bursts with enough vitality to make a lasting impression on...

    Super Grover (3.5)
    ...

    donovan909 (4)
    The Devil Put The Dinosaurs finally lays to rest any qualms about post-Staley Alice. They ...

    YoYoMancuso (4)
    The album Alice In Chains needed to make....

  • Peter K. Mark (4)
    A slightly different monster that bites just as hard as their previous efforts....


Comments:Add a Comment 
nashet
June 9th 2013



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Great review

ksoflas
June 9th 2013



352 Comments


Cool writing man. Pos'd.

Minus.
June 9th 2013



2680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the best review for the album so far. Pos'd

Titan
June 9th 2013



4799 Comments


good review....pos'd

BigPleb
June 9th 2013



34328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ah really nice review, should be featured.

Agree wholly too, HUGE pos dude.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

Cipieron
June 9th 2013



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'The way "I'll haunt you like a phantom limb" floats off the lips of William Duvall is bone-chilling and spine-chilling at the same time.'


because your spine isn't a bone? sentence read a little strange to me

otherwise very awesome review man! pos'd

StallionMang
June 9th 2013



5249 Comments


Summary= YES.

Digging: TTNG - This Town Needs Guns

Talking
June 15th 2013



20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I am trying hard to like this album, but it's just not doing much for me. Phantom Limb can easily hang with much of the best from their back catalogue, but that's about it. Most of the songs are simply too long, and drone on and on. I felt BGWTB was a rather boring album as well, aside from Check My Brain. There are flashes of Dirt and Facelift, but they are just that. Flashes, stretched too thin over lethargic songwriting.

Has nothing to do with DuVall being the vocalist either. I'd been listening to him when he was still making music in Comes with the Fall (where he shines), so I already knew what he could do prior to him ever being announced for AIC. His abilities were hamstrung on BGWTB; and while the leash is somewhat given some slack this time around, he's still being held back. He has (or at least had) a chameleon like ability to sing like both Staley and Cornell. It's almost as though Jerry doesn't want to "tarnish" Staley's almost mythical reputation, or he simply wants to have the vocals purposefully sung in a way that sounds nothing like them so that people will finally move past Staley.

sideburndude
June 15th 2013



2782 Comments


Indescribable sounds seeped sporadically from Lightning's mouth. The grinding metal between their bodies lit tiny sparks from the friction. His undercarriage grew hot and filled his entire body with warmth. The chords of electric guitar streaked out into the room covering his noise. Holy Porsche, don't let this end, his mind pleaded against his burning heart. He was being entangled by the best sexual sensations of his life. He felt like he was on fire from bumper to bumper, and there was nobody who knew just how amazing this moment was- except Sally.

Sciroccu
June 27th 2013



754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, superb album pos'd !

Danly
July 6th 2013



19 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome review dude!

cjgone
November 15th 2013



763 Comments


Stone has a great riff.

YoYoMancuso
November 15th 2013



10890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

3.7? really? deserves at least a 3.9.

Cipieron
November 15th 2013



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

eh this is their worst so it's overall rating is appropriate.


that being said, AiC's worst is better than a lot of bands best

Parallels
November 15th 2013



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I don't see how this could be a 4 at all. The title track, along with almost every other song, could be cut in half and it would be a lot more effective.

Cipieron
November 15th 2013



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I don't see how opinions work"


is what you're seeming to say, but regardless you're an idiot for it

Parallels
November 16th 2013



6640 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Lets revert to cynical remarks and name calling then

Cipieron
November 16th 2013



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

alright bozo



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