Alice-In-Chains-The-Devil-Put-Dinosaurs-Here-2013It’s just 48 hours before the release of Alice In Chains fifth studio album “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”. The anticipation builds as fans eagerly want the followup to the band’s successful 2009’s “Black Gives Way To Blue”.

With a few connections I manged to get my hands on an advanced copy of Alice In Chains new album. It’s just one of the many perks of being in the entertainment field as I’ve had the privilege of befriending many. Fans may find themselves on the fence with this album as the bar was set high on the previous one. Once again William Duvall (of Neon Christ, Comes With The Fall) joins the band on guitar and backup vocals in replace of former AIC lead singer Layne Staley. Based on his work from the previous album where the rhythm section was just top notch we can it’s intact on this new album. It seems like this time around William & Jerry are really in sync with each other as throughout the album you hear rich melodies & harmonies instrumentally and vocally. Fans looking for stand out tracks where Duvall takes lead will be disappointed as there isn’t any this time around. An exception could almost be made on tracks such as “Phantom Limp” and “Hung On A Hook” but it’s overshadowed by Jerry Cantrell’s backing vocals.

The lead single “Hollow” is a really strong and welcoming track that welcomes you into the journey of this album of in your face, hard rock. That pace continues on tracks “Pretty Done” and “Stone”. Things change on a more mellow, slow paced route on “Voices”, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”, “Lab Monkeys”, “Low Ceiling”, “Breath On A Window”, “Scalpel” and pretty much last throughout the album. This is one of those types of albums where you can have it playing in the background while you’re with friends and you forget you’re listening to a Alice In Chains album. Majority of the tracks are over the five minute mark and just feels at several times way too dragged out. Never since have I’ve been a AIC fan have a come across an album where I was curious how much time was left before the album was over so I could listen to something else. This may upset the die-hard fans reading this but that’s just my honest review of this album.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad album and we all know how Alice In Chains can pull off very beautiful, slow songs like “Love Hate Love”, “I Stay Away”, “Nutshell”, “Brother” but can really shake things up on a fast paced level like “Them Bones”. This go round AIC find themselves focusing too much on harmonizing & melodies and not enough fast-paced, high energy songs. A lot of this can be contributed to William Duvall taking a backseat to Cantrell which in my honest perspective is a poor way of utilizing a man that has great talents vocally and on guitar. Duvall has established himself very well fronting his own bands and has proven that he’s a great lead singer. The dynamics that many Alice In Chains fans are looking for as far as that heavy, high paced good rock goes is all in Duvall and that needs to be the future of Alice In Chains albums. Cantrell will always be one of the hard rock gods when it comes to guitarist and we know that Alice In Chains is now his baby and he’s not going to let anyone forget that and I think that could be the downfall of the band as they could lose Duvall as result. Also absent from this album is the mighty presence of bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney who had more of a dominate presence on BGWTB. This go round they just seem lost in the guitar riffs and vocals.

If you can get pass all mentioned above then you may find this album to have a growing effect on you in time. It’s definitely one of those albums that doesn’t have you sold in a first sitting. This is a album that in time will grow on you after you’ve played it repeatedly. It doesn’t feel like a Alice In Chains album this go round though but more like a Jerry Cantrell album and as we all know his solo albums have been a hit and miss with fans.

Alice In Chains “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” Gets a 6.5 / 10
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I reluctantly agree with you. I was so looking forward to this album because aic is probably my favorite band and then I found myself not paying attention to songs half way through the album and being bored and that has never happened before. so bummed

After reading this don’t think the author was saying this was a masterpiece. interpretation is that the album is mediocre. It could grow on you in time but it’s not the best. Don’t see how anyone can miss that.