Alice in Chains
Facelift


5.0
classic

Review

by battleinthenorth USER (30 Reviews)
November 6th, 2013 | 25 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A flat-out classic of the grunge movement that never ceases to amaze with its flawless track list.

An integral part of the grunge movement that arose throughout the 1990's, American quartet Alice In Chains unleashed a blistering display of masterfully crafted riffs and a crushing atmosphere with their sludgy, dark debut, the magnificent Facelift. Released in 1990, this is a ten-track affair that carries itself forward gracefully with a never-ending attack on the ears that is both heavy enough to appease the fans of louder music whilst maintains its accessibility by containing many memorable, catchy moments. Factor in that the album also spawned a highly successful single with the infectious and masochistic inward-looking Man In The Box as well as containing another fan favorite (We Die Young), and Facelift has all the makings for a classic of its genre.

Whilst not boasting as flamboyant and varied styles as their next work, nor quite as hard-hitting and depressing feels as that particular album, this is a record that has more than enough traits of its own that keep it feeling fresh. Bombastic choruses and over-the-top loudness in the mix ensure that this release goes straight for the throat with its unfriendly war on the ears. The occasional softer, more deliberately paced segments of Facelift such as Sea Of Sorrow are all the more disturbing and are more likely to catch a listener off guard as a result of this. The pacing of this entire album is magnificently done, from the speedier introduction to Put You Down (which vaguely feels like something from Pearl Jam's legendary debut) to the eerie, disturbing Love, Hate, Love, Alice In Chains are guaranteed to keep each track feeling like something completely new.

Also vital to the success of this album is the incessant attack of the guitar work, painstakingly written by Jerry Cantrell. Plenty of these guitar riffs are forced from the speaker box on this release, being both simplistic in nature and absolutely astounding in sound. The crunchy, low-end introduction to Man In The Box and the high pitched squeaks of I Know Something (Bout You) instantly stick out as two of the finest examples, with the fiddlier riff that follows the intro to the latter of those two songs showcasing surprising versatility. Accompanying the guitar madness is a flawless rhythmic section to the band, with the bass work filling the void between six-string and drums in spectacular fashion. The instantly recognizable drum patterns to closer Real Thing complete an overly amazing performance across the board for the instrumentalists.

Often seen as half the reason for the mass attention and critical acclaim garnered by Alice In Chains, Layne Staley's vocal work on here is something that will knock the breath from you. His gravelly and incredibly fitting voice for such depressing lyrical content as We Die Young and Man In The Box stands out as one of the finest of its genre, earning him spots on numerous best-vocalist lists. The vocal harmonies that stood out so much on the follow-up to Facelift are also present on this album, and are just as astounding as ever, with Layne and Jerry occasionally dual-tracking the vocals to create a series of somewhat-creepy vocal passages. The final piece of the puzzle on this album is the cracking production job, ensuring each instrument is more than audible and that they form a cohesive and sweeping statement for the music industry.

Facelift is a spectacular accomplishment of depressing and awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping musicianship in which every member knows their role and amazes in their own way. Whilst tracks like We Die Young and Man In The Box have lived on and become better known than others from this release, each song is a masterpiece in its own way and there is no reason on Earth why any self-respecting music fan should not pick this album up as soon as possible.



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user ratings (1750)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album

Comments:Add a Comment 
Necrotica
November 6th 2013


10135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album

Cipieron
November 6th 2013


3508 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rules. review is pretty good. rating is a bit high though, but kudos

trainofconsequence
November 6th 2013


1442 Comments


Dirt will always be better

RobbaqPL
November 6th 2013


162 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not the biggest fan of this or s/t, most songs on both are pretty boring tbh.

Green Baron
November 6th 2013


20327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

buried in my shit

SirDrumsalot
November 6th 2013


1604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album kicks balls! Sure its not Dirt...but I think this one gets underrated.

Necrotica
November 6th 2013


10135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WOOOOONNNNNNNNN'TTT YOOOOOUUUUUUU COOOOMMMMMMME AAAAAAAAAAND
SAVE ME

Save me

laughingman22
November 6th 2013


1937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Probably the least classic of the classic aic albums

SirDrumsalot
November 6th 2013


1604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Still better than Black Gives Way to Blue and whatever the Dinosaur one is called.

laughingman22
November 6th 2013


1937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

obviously

Green Baron
November 6th 2013


20327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dirt > Facelift > Black Gives Way > s/t > Devil

Necrotica
November 6th 2013


10135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dirt > Black Gives Way > S/T and Jar of Flies (tied) > Facelift >>> Devil

laughingman22
November 6th 2013


1937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jar of flies > Dirt > s/t (Tripod) > Facelift > Black > Devil

SirDrumsalot
November 6th 2013


1604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For me its
Dirt - Self Titled - Facelift - Jar of Flies - Sap.

I think Facelift just has sentimental value for me. I remember listening to that nonstop while playing Battletoads on Nintendo thinking it was impossible! Only to find out later in life that it pretty much was impossible.

tempest--
November 6th 2013


14628 Comments


stop with the rankings just rock on

SitarHero
November 7th 2013


4745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was my favourite AiC album initially, but despite having cool riffs, Put You Down and I Know Something are pretty weak songs. Love Hate Love has a great vocal performance, but it's TOO much of a slow burn for me. Otherwise this is a great album and just barely a notch below Dirt and JoF.

ShadowRemains
November 7th 2013


21641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bleed the freak is such a jam

SitarHero
November 7th 2013


4745 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

THEEESE STAND FOR MEEEEEEEEE

Parallels
November 7th 2013


6643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

glam chains

tempest--
November 7th 2013


14628 Comments


yo parallels have you heard their demos from when they were called Alice N' Chainz?

they're actually hair metal sounds so fuckin bad that its good



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