Alice in Chains
The new Alice In Chains album Black Gives Way To Blue is the sound of a new beginning of a legendary band returning to life. Right from the album's powerful and deeply meaningful opener "All Secrets Known" through its redemptive closing title track, Black Gives Way To Blue-the first new Alice In Chains album in more than 14 years-is not just another rock reunion, but something far more inspiring. Alice In Chains in the present tense. No replacements. No substitutions. It does no disrespect to the enduring memory of Alice In Chains' late, great lead singer Layne Staley, to say that for all that he brought to the group's music in his lifetime, Alice In Chains always was-and always will be-very much a band. So after taking a more than respectful break to mourn the loss of their brother and band mate-to heal and explore music individually-the surviving members of Alice In Chains-Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez-gradually began to make music again. The band came together for the first time in 2005 to take part in a benefit for the victims of the tsunami in Indonesia. The following year, Cantrell, Kinney and Inez decided that the time was right for Alice In Chains to reclaim its legacy again on tour. They did so with the help of a new guitarist and vocalist William DuVall, a gifted singer and player in his own right from Atlanta who previously worked with Neon Christ, Comes with the Fall, and as part of Jerry Cantrell's touring band. As live audiences discovered, DuVall brings a sound and stage presence all his own. Yet when DuVall and Cantrell blend their voices-as Cantrell and Staley did so often-there could be little doubt that the spirit of Alice In Chains was once again alive and well. Black Gives Way To Blue is the next step for a group that over the course of their career earned multiple Grammy nominations and sold more than 19 million albums worldwide and achieved 11 Top Ten singles. At the same time, the album offers the full, bracing impact of Alice In Chains-a band that kept heavy rock exciting at the dawn of the Nineties and helped set the stage for an even grungier Seattle sound-still clearly firing on all cylinders. Recording on Black Gives Way To Blue began in October of 2008 at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 in Northridge and finished at Henson Studios in Hollywood. The band produced the album with Nick Raskulinecz, whose past credits include Foo Fighters and Rush. Black Gives Way To Blue combines some classic Alice In Chain textures with a renewed sense of energy and possibility,from the epic and fantastically electric rocker "A Looking In View" to the exquisite and romantic ballad "Your Decision" to the album's stunning first single "Check My Brain," a throbbing rocker in which a band associated with the Pacific Northwest makes a wry and witty observation on working and living in California. Through Black Gives Way To Blue, there is a deep sense of the unique life that this band haslived, of "Lesson Learned," to borrow the title of another standout track. In the end, the album offers a kind of shared group autobiography by a band that has survived so much. Together, they are in a way "Last Of My Kind," to use the title of another album highlight penned by Jerry Cantrell-long a dominant songwriter within Alice In Chains-with lyrics from DuVall. "Imitations are pale," DuVall and Cantrell sing together on "Black Gives Way To Blue," a brand new Alice In Chain classic that really has it all-the brooding hurt, the brute force and the beautiful introspection. Listen closely to Black Gives Way To Blue, and you'll know right away this is Alice In Chains.