Amazon AICSeattle rock pioneers Alice in Chains are back with their first studio album in 14 years and since the death of frontman Layne Staley in 2002. The band enlisted seasoned professional and Staley sound-alike William DuVall in 2007 to steer the ship.

Black Gives Way To Blue features the band’s signature alternative sludge grooves, unusual uplifting tones, and lyrics that appropriately speak of a long overdue new beginning on “All Secrets Known.”

Of the eleven tracks, some of the major stand outs are the acoustic driven “Your Decision”  — imagine a happier rendition of “Down in a Hole” — and “When The Sun Rose Again,” serving as the “Heaven Beside You” of the album.

For those that still yearn for sweaty flannel-filled mosh pits, the gloomy “Acid Bubble” and “A Looking in View” are right up your alley.

DuVall’s vocal performance proves to be an adequate replacement for Staley, exceeding expectations of quality, capability, and image. He is no Brian Johnson to Bon Scott, but he does make the group better for what they are today.

As for the rest of the band, Jerry Cantrell reclaims his throne as a guitar god and great vocalist, Mike Inez rocks the bass as if he is still in his 20’s, and Sean Kinney is the premier drummer he has always been. The survey says: Black Gives Way To Blue was worth waiting for. In other words, this record makes Chinese Democracy eat sh*t.

3.5 StarsAlice in Chains is William DuVall (Vocals/Guitar), Jerry Cantrell (Guitar/Vocals), Mike Inez (Bass), & Sean Kinney (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “All Secrets Known”
  2. “Check My Brain”
  3. “Last of My Kind”
  4. “Your Decision”
  5. “A Looking in View”
  6. “When The Sun Rose Again”
  7. “Acid Bubble”
  8. “Lesson Learned”
  9. “Take Her Out”
  10. “Private Hell”
  11. “Black Gives Way To Blue”

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