Alice In Chains "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Fri, 24 May 2013 11:33:30
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"Before you ask for something better, you should know I'm practiced at goodbyes," sings Jerry Cantrell on "Choke", the final send-off of The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here [Out May 28, 2013].
It's a chilling, yet unforgettable line on par with the most poetic moments of Dirt or even 2009's phenomenal Black Gives Way to Blue, for that matter. The Alice in Chains vocalist and guitarist shakes off a faint acoustic guitar for towering distortion on the chorus. Make no mistake about it. Moments like that comprise The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, solidifying it as another classic from a band whose catalog is built on classics.
Whether it’s the five minute-plus psychedelic sludge of "Hollow" or the swaggering snap of "Stone", Alice In Chains preserve the hallmarks of their sound, while elevating the songwriting yet again. Everybody contributes too. "Hollow" wouldn't be the same without Mike Inez's immortal bass chug fortifying it. The same could be said for Sean Kinney's tempered grooves on "Pretty Done". At the eye of the storm, Cantrell trades vocals with Willaim DuVall as the two muster their own inimitable and intangible chemistry.
Still, it comes back to the songs. Who writes rock songs as well as Alice In Chains? That's a very short list. "Voices" conjures Jar of Flies-era pensiveness with its own vocal levity. However, it's during the heavy tracks that Alice In Chains holds up the pantheon. Crossing the six minute mark, the title track bares its teeth with a seesawing groove, but "Lab Monkey" might just be the trippiest gem the band's ever mined. This "monkey" is worth hanging with for quite some time…
"Scalpel" cuts deep via emotional lyrics and slithering guitars, while "Hung on a Hook" stabs until brutal bliss takes hold. Everything culminates on the aforementioned "Choke", which paints a scene so vivid Cameron Crowe would be impressed.
Alice In Chains cultivated yet another masterpiece. Thankfully, Jerry may be practiced at goodbyes, but he ain't saying goodbye to the guitar and pen…
What's your favorite Alice In Chains song?
See various Artists talk Alice In Chains' impact here!