ALICE IN CHAINS

(UNITED STATES)

BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE

(2009)
LABEL:

EMI

GENRE:

HEAVY METAL

TAGS:
Opera-Rock, Oppressive, Rasping vocals
"A modern music with the scents of yesteryear, this "Black Gives Way to Blue" reaches the heights of the genre."
HYPERUNKNOWN (09.10.2009)  
4/5
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)
Neurasthenic, disenchanted and even funeral, for only six years, Alice in Chains, led by Layne Staley, conveyed through its dark music her emaciated vision of the world and its own existence, establishing the Seattle combo as one of the motors of the Grunge movement, whose success was ultimately as ephemeral as it was fulgurant. 

It is a known fact, an overdose took Staley in 2002 leaving his musical family orphaned including their many fans. Three years later, however, the combo returned to the stage during the few charity concerts for which names such as Phil Anselmo (Pantera), Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) or Pat Lachman (Damageplan) replaced each other behind the microphone. Of course, rumours of a re-formation were on the rise but it was finally during a tour through the United States, Europe and Japan that the face of the man who seemed to be the definitive frontman of the reborn phoenix was revealed: William DuVall, former singer of the West Coast band "Comes With the Fall". Keeping its original name, Alice In Chains returned to the studio at the end of 2008 under the direction of Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Marylin Manson, Stone Sour,...) for an official release of "Black Gives Way To Blue" one year later. 

This return after almost fifteen years of silence - since their last eponymous studio album - will undoubtedly have given rise to some malicious insinuations about the use of this umpteenth "revival" for commercial purposes. To this, one could retort that in recent years before Staley's death and despite his increasing absenteeism, Cantrell never seemed to want to end his participation. Their long-standing ties even led Cantrell to compose the album "Degradation Trip" released in 2002 in memory of his childhood friend. On "Black Gives Way to Blue", the last song of the same name will also be dedicated to him. 

The colour of the album keeps the same black tone that enveloped the sepulchral tales of the Staley period. But like "Black Gives Way to Blue", a more optimistic title than before (depending on how we read it), Cantrell seems less inclined to bring back the ghosts of his youth and those of his classmates. At the time of "Dirt", he specified that he was able to "exorcise his daily demons through music". After his forties, the problems of life are different and so is the purpose of his music. With "Check My Brain", for example, he manages to ironicize his current condition where the former Seattle junkie now fully assumes his life as a bobo in Los Angeles. However, Cantrell always makes good use of the heaviness of his guitar, which is sometimes particularly distorted on the heavy and abrasive "A Looking In View". The atmosphere was far from cheerful, nor very light, but rather cold and suffocating. The quartet's heavy metal - Cantrell said he considered his music as heavy metal and not grunge - is suddenly more aggressive while it can be displayed with more energy, vivacity on "Lesson Learned" and "Take Her Out".

On the other hand, Cantrell has always been able to convey his messages differently, with this strange gentleness, this anguishing beauty inspired once again by the states of darkness of the soul, like the depressive episodes of Staley. There was "Down In the Hole" on "Dirt", now the ballads with evocative titles such as "Private Hell" reflect the same refinement for which DuVall's quality as a singer and his distinguished vocals are also appreciated. And even if "Black Gives Way to Blue" is a nostalgic melodic melody that will also be remembered for the passages - succinct - on the pianos performed by Sir Elton John himself, the palette of emotion listening to his quieter tracks - such as this almost acoustic folk ballad "When The Sun Rose Again" - reinforced by Cantrell's choirs is still a proof of the band's songwriting talent. 

Obviously, Alice hasn't lost any of its beauty. Freed from its  old chains, it now seems calmer, although it still struggles to regain a real joie de vivre. A modern music with the scents of yesteryear, this "Black Gives Way to Blue" reaches the heights of the genre. Too bad for purists nostalgic for the old days, this album is already one of the year's productions. 
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. All Secrets Known - 04:43
02. Check My Brain - 03:58
03. Last of My Kind - 05:53
04. Your Decision - 04:43
05. A Looking in View - 07:06
06. When the Sun Rose Again - 04:00
07. Acid Bubble - 06:56
08. Lesson Learned - 04:17
09. Take Her Out - 04:00
10. Private Hell - 05:38
11. Black Gives Way to Blue - 03:04
12. Black Gives... (piano mix) - [iTunes bonus tracks]
13. Your Decision (live) - 04:48 [iTunes bonus tracks]

LINEUP:
Elton John: Piano Sur "Black Gives Way to Blue"
Jerry Cantrell : Guitares
Mike Inez: Basse / Back Vocals
Sean Kinney : Batterie / Percussion
William DuVall : Chant / Guitare rythmique
   
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FRANC33333
12/07/2020
 
3
0
Tout simplement la messe finale au Grunge. Un excellent album pouvant être a hommage a tout les chanteurs décédé a ce jour . Il n' en reste plus qu'un des groupes majeurs.
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