Alice In Chains – Rainier Fog


I still remember the shock upon first hearing ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’. The thought that this unique, instantly recognizable but deeply wounded band, can start a second career chapter was no longer a secret hope. It was a reality. And not just that: 2013’s ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ and now ‘Rainier Fog’ are equally great, albeit quite different records.
The album is profoundly marked by the band’s return to Seattle for the recording process. Melancholy, rain, fog, the shadow of Mount Rainier that baptized it, Duff McKagan and Chris DeGarmo paying a visit. It is also marked by the greats who are no longer with us, a list that grew with Chris Cornell’s heartbreaking loss.

As far as songs go, it is impossible not to comment on mean and mad ‘Red Giant’, which borrows a little darkness from ‘Sludge Factory’. The melodic stuff is also amazing, ‘Maybe’ and, predominantly, ‘All I Am’. To say that the latter is an emotional song would be the understatement of the year.

Generally speaking, the record has fewer heavy riffs than the previous two, but the songwriting is amazing, and Jerry Cantrell’s and William DuVall’s voices blend better than ever.

Cantrell, especially given the fact that Pearl Jam hasn’t put out anything noteworthy in the last 15 years, is the last torchbearer of the last musical revolution. In the 21st century, he’s made three winners with Alice in Chains, plus the Layne-inspired masterpiece ‘Degradation Trip’. Who can say they’ve done better?