Black Gives Way To Blue was a triumphant return from the grunge legends, Alice In Chains. I was among the skeptics who werenâ€™t sure an AIC album, minus late frontman Layne Staley, would work. How pleasantly wrong most of us were. The next question was would this lineup suffer the dreaded sophomore album curse that has devoured countless bands? Absolutely not!
Their latest release, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, proves this incarnation of the band means business. While not as great as Black Gives Way To Blue, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is just about everything you’d expect from Alice In Chainsâ€”dirty guitars, dark lyrics, excellent vocal harmonies, etc. Although it lacks that cathartic spiritual feel of the previous album that reintroduced the band, this release doesnâ€™t disappoint.
The only problem I can foresee longtime fans having with The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is that it can at times come across as more like Jerry Cantrellâ€™s solo work. Alice In Chains has always been his band, being the chief songwriter and singing on almost every song, but he needs to let new frontman William Duvall really spread his wings if us fans are going to fully embrace an AIC without our beloved Layne Staley. He seems more than capable of the task. Hopefully, the next release will see more lead vocals from Duvall. Standout tracks on this release are â€œHollow,â€ â€œPhantom Limb,â€ and the title track.