Before that it was when Alice In Chains opened up for Kiss on the reunion tour. Honestly, neither of these performances made a believer out of me. Having seen both of these acts does give me a bit of insight on the artist of the day here, Jerry Cantrell.
Sure Alice In Chains is a band and not Jerry's solo band, right? Well, not so much.Cracked.com even listed Alice In Chains as to why it very well might be.
In the end, Layne Staley may have been the face of Alice In Chains, but he was not really the voice of the band because he just said what Jerry told him to say, at least in the songs where Jerry wasn't singing. It's easy to forget just how much of this band really is Jerry Cantrell. Some of their biggest hits were either sung all or in part by Jerry.
If anyone discounts Mr. Cantrell's ability to craft riffs and tone, then that person a is a fool of the highest caliber.
Jerry can write on the guitar. He's also a master of getting a great sound out of his tools. This album is no different.
The guitars are crafted perfectly and sound big as life with his trademark moan. There's really no other way to describe it. His guitars moan along with the vocals.
As for the vocals, the album is fairly reminiscent of "Heaven Beside You" which is a popular AiC song right? So, all in all, even though Layne is dead, this album doesn't feel like anything different to me. It sounds like Alice In Chains and the average person is going to recognize that sound.
Will the hardcore fan? That's not for me to say.
Where this album fails is in its monolithic feel. It's a twelve song behemoth that doesn't boast anything under five minutes. The vast majority of these songs could have done better with a bit of trimming down. It feels like this album was a bit self-indulgent to the almighty riff, but it all sounds far too similar.
2) Pretty Done
5) The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
6) Lab Monkey
7) Low Ceiling
8) Breath On A Window
10) Phantom Limb
11) Hung On A Hook