veteran Seattle grunge rockers, Alice In Chains, returned in May with their fifth studio album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. critics who thought the previous AIC album, was just another Jerry Cantrell solo album, will have plenty more fodder for their argument on this release. as I saw someone mention on Facebook a coupla weeks ago, it is kinda refreshing that not every song is about heroin.
William DuVall replaced the late Layne Staley, and has been dealing with comparisons, ever since his debut on 2009’s Black Gives Way To Blue. I won’t go so far as to call him a clone, but sometimes his vocals harken back to Staley’s distinct style. unfortunately, DuVall’s vocals don’t seem as present on the new record, as the previous one.
this album clocks in at just under 70 minutes, and there are a few songs that would benefit from being cut in half. some of the songs feel as tho they are just variations of tracks from the previous album. that being said, the album is not without it’s standout tracks. “Phantom Limb” is by far the best track on the album, as Jerry Cantrell’s guitar wails with a riff worthy of Slayer.
other songs worth mentioning are the title track, which deals with religion, homosexuality, and the notion that the Devil tricked mankind by burying dinosaur bones in the Earth. the album cover features a triceratops skull, with a second skull steganographically (I borrowed that word from wikipedia) hidden on the red background. the two skulls, when combined, form an image of the Devil.
“Pretty Done” and the album’s lead track “Hollow” are also fairly solid tracks. the remaining eight are decent, but nothing that caught my attention. my ratings below are as follows: tracks 1-4 get 5, tracks 5-13 get 3
01. Phantom Limb
02. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
03. Pretty Done
05. Lab Monkey
06. Hung On A Hook
07. Breath On A Window
08. Low Ceiling
average song rating: 3.7 (rounded up from 3.6666666666666666)