Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue review
|Band:||Alice In Chains|
|Album:||Black Gives Way To Blue|
|Release date:||September 2009|
01. All Secrets Known
02. Check My Brain
03. Last Of My Kind
04. Your Decision
05. A Looking In View
06. When The Sun Rose Again
07. Acid Bubble
08. Lesson Learned
09. Take Her Out
10. Private Hell
11. Black Gives Way To Blue
14 long years since their last release, 7 years after the death of half their creative drive, Layne Staley, and with new co-frontman / co-vocalist William DuVall, Alice In Chains return with the not quite brilliant, but still very strong album, Black Gives Way To Blue.
In short, I like it... I like it a lot. Black Gives Way To Blue is very different to its predecessor, the self-titled Alice In Chains that was a far more melancholic affair receiving mixed reviews upon its release. Black Gives Way To Blue still has elements of melancholy and it definitely has that dark and gloomy Alice In Chains sound, however there are undertones of an aggressive edge to this album, and a welcome edge in my opinion as Alice In Chains seemed to over-promise and under-deliver with its lackadaisical feeling. This aggression is highlighted in tracks "A Looking In View" and "Acid Bubble".
Black Gives Way To Blue is very balanced, and almost formulaic in its approach. You won't find anything that redefines music with this release; instead you'll just find good hard rock / grunge that is extremely well written. Beautiful melodies (particularly in "Your Decision" and "Black Gives Way To Blue"), chunky riffs, purposeful solos and catchy choruses all work with each other in a way that is both effortless and accessible. The vocal harmonising done between Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall also works exceptionally well, which was a key element to Alice In Chains' success through Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley, and something that could've gone horribly wrong here. I can only assume that part of the reason why William DuVall was accepted into the band was due to this harmonising ability.
Finally, the guest appearance by Elton John on the title track performing piano was an interesting appearance, but one that just fits in with the rest of the album, and ends it with such thoughtfulness and splendour.
I take my hat off to Alice In Chains, firstly for reforming and allowing me the opportunity to see them live, and secondly for producing an album after such a long hiatus that deserves to stand proudly alongside, albeit at a slightly lower level (I'm thinking the bronze medallist here on a podium), with other Alice In Chains greats, Dirt and Jar of Flies and Sap. Black Gives Way To Blue is a truly solid album.
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