Published Aug 26, 2018It's been half a decade since the last Alice in Chains record was released, but the band have churned out yet another masterful slab of sludgy, bluesy rock with their sixth full-length, Rainier Fog. While the record captures everything Alice in Chains fans have come to expect, it manages to escape the washed up and bland feeling so many classic rock bands fall into at this point in their career.
They kick things off with heavy-handed sludge rock jam "The One You Know," delivering possibly one of the band's heaviest songs ever. The band churn out some hard-hitting, blues-oriented riffs on "Red Giant" and "Drone," keeping with their usual melancholic sound but with a darker twist than usual.
With over a decade past since the band welcomed vocalist and guitarist William DuVall into the fold, the man deserves a hefty amount of praise not only for capturing some of the qualities of original singer Layne Staley's voice but also for surpassing him in a lot of ways. DuVall's vocals arguably bring a stronger presence than Staley ever did by showing more range and less yarling. Songs such as "Maybe" and "So Far Under" perfectly show the vocalist's ability to hit a vast range of melodies without trying too hard.
Rainier Fog is more than just another Alice in Chains record; it's another step in the process of redefining their sound since their first comeback record, 2009's Black Gives Way to Blue. The band are much more than a simple grunge band these days, and their use of doom and sludge elements has come to be the best aspect of their sound. (BMG)