Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Album Review by Dave Kerr | 08 May 2013
Album title: The Devil
Artist: Alice in Chains
Label: EMI
Release date: 27 May

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