Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

4/5 stars
Album review by Dave Kerr.
Published 08 May 2013

If 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue was about legitimising the resurgence of Alice in Chains whilst eulogising the irreplaceable Layne Staley, this fifth album from the Seattle survivors arrives with the hard-fought conviction of a band still capable of greatness. 

Once at metal’s vanguard in the early 90s, time might have nudged Jerry Cantrell’s outfit into the realm of classic rock statesmen, but status hasn't hindered them from reaching for higher ground. 

Featuring an even split of melodic slowburners and lead-heavy bangers with blindsiding tempo-shifts that arrive like eleventh hour twists to the plot, songs such as Phantom Limb and Breath On A Window carry the familiar hallmarks of AiC’s heyday without entirely surrendering to the predictability they might imply.

Brooding, doomy riffs usher in soaring two-part harmonies which reiterate that, against some odds, Cantrell has found a worthy foil in co-vocalist William DuVall. A significant addition to their intimidating catalogue 

Comments (10)

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  • Sorry to be picky but Alice In Chains were never metal - they were grunge. There's a massive difference.

    Posted by Stef Elrick | Thursday 09 May 2013 @ 13:39

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  • I think you have no idea what you're talking about.

    Posted by Janis | Thursday 09 May 2013 @ 14:12

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  • I've got to agree with Janis here, if ever a metal band emerged from that whole Seattle scene, Alice was it! Grunge metal? Whatever, I'm just glad they're still making records. Hope this review and Stone are a fair indication of what's to come.

    Posted by Coop | Thursday 09 May 2013 @ 15:36

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  • stef...they were the most metal out of all the grunge bands...they were the only ones that toured with metal bands...and some of their songs ARE have no idea what you are talking about..all the grunge bands werent just grunge...they had their own thing...aic was metal...not all the time but alot yes. hell they toured with megadeth and slayer

    Posted by alan | Thursday 09 May 2013 @ 21:26

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  • @Stef Mate, I think you're a bit ignorant. 'grunge' was just a lame catchphrase coined by 90's media for pigeonholing the entire Seattle scene. Alice in Chains neither associated with Sub-Pop nor have they claimed they were part of it. They always had this bleak, gloomy slow-burning sound which have more in common with doom/stoner metal than anything else. Jerry Cantrell himself identifies the band as predominantly heavy metal with few other stylings such as blues, country etc specially applicable for their 2 acoustic EPs. Moreover, AiC are on Metal-Archives. So, without a shadow of a doubt they're a metal band with a few eclectic and unconventional stylings.

    Posted by Steven | Friday 10 May 2013 @ 15:41

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  • Not too concerned about the semantics, I'm more concerned about the state of Mr.Cantrell's follicles. Crikey...Nickelback anyone? Tune ain't bad.

    Posted by Snowman | Saturday 11 May 2013 @ 15:28

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  • Great song and after reading the review, I will be counting the days to have this in my hand. Sorry to user Stef but it seems you're all alone on this one. Just because they happened to come from Seattle doesn't automatically make them "grunge", but as someone else pointed out that was just a title conjured by media to lump all bands from that area together. I'd have to agree that AIC is the most metal of all bands from the 90's scene to emerge from Seattle. Layne will always be remembered and missed, but these guys are still cranking out great music!

    Posted by SharkByte | Monday 13 May 2013 @ 18:04

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  • Sounds like you didn't hear it at all. Anybody could have written that review.

    Posted by Your Mom | Tuesday 21 May 2013 @ 05:28

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  • Calling anything Grunge instantly proves that someone know nothing about music. Grunge is stupid term that doesn't mean anything. All those bands had only one thing in common they all came from one place. Nirvana was in nutshell punk rock band of course with their unique twist. In nutshell all those bands were more alternative and ambitious alternatives to different genres and had little in common. Nirvana was punk rock Pearl Jam classic rock and both Soundgarden and Alice in Chains metal but in different ways. Sound garden was more alternative and artistic and AiC was more about emotion but both were clearly influenced by Sabbath riffs and doom. Of course AiC had those Beatlesesque vocal harmonies but essentially it is Metal band if you want to throw them somewhere.

    Posted by Peter | Friday 24 May 2013 @ 12:00

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  • AIC are hard rock band. With all the styles, sounds and influences listed in the other comments...

    Anyway, this is a good album. Very interesting. Some absolute belters, some less so but it's a GROWER. Give it time.

    Different to BGWTB. Bit more... loose...

    Posted by Noel | Sunday 09 June 2013 @ 21:38

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