I don’t know how many people believe that dinosaurs never existed and that the devil planted their bones into the earth to test the faithful, I wish them a healthy recovery though. What I do know, is that a few thought that the comeback of Alice in Chains after fourteen years would be as good as 2009’s‘Black Gives Way to Blue’. The new chapter that the band opens with ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ is less immediate, less Sabbath-y and has more variety.
After the riff based start with ‘Hollow’, the record goes through many changes and explores different musical paths, from metal to country. Do yourselves a favor and listen to it repeatedly, to really get the atmosphere of ‘Voices’, the beautiful Jerry Cantrell solo in ‘Low Ceiling’, the vocal melodies of ‘Breath on a Window’, epic song ‘Phantom Limb’, pitch black tune ‘Hung on a Hook’ and the touching ending with ‘Choke’. I purposely left the magical title track for last, because I consider it to be one of the finest moments of the band’s career, both musically and lyrically. Even the tracks I didn’t mention have unique traits; while at the same time remain absolutely trademark Alice in Chains pieces thanks to the otherworldly double vocals and the emotional weight and depth they give off.
My only remark has to do with William DuVall’s role; he rarely is the protagonist compared to Cantrell, though whenever he does, he’s really good at it.
It’s an amazing achievement for the Alice in Chains of today to have created two consecutive albums that can stand beside the monument which is ‘Dirt’. Lastly, those of you that still wander whether they should even continue as a band, let me assure you that the unforgettable Layne Staley, as well as Mike Starr, are very proud with what they hear and see from above.