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Blast from the past makes reappearance on radiowaves

Album review

By Denny West
On October 10, 2018

Of all the bands that came out of Seattle’s grunge movement in the 90’s, only Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains remain prominent in the music scene today. 

The latter of the two, Alice in Chains, has recently released their latest album, “Rainier Fog,” and returned to record this album in their hometown of Seattle for the first time in over 20 years.  

There have been many losses affecting this band throughout the years. The deaths of original vocalist Layne Staley, former bassist Mike Starr, and close friend Chris Cornell of Soundgarden has left an indelible mark on the band; it’s definitely reflected in this album.    

Somber lyrics and a heavy, grinding sound have always been the trademark of Alice in Chains, and “Rainier Fog” is no different. 

Yet there is a more melodic side enhanced by vocalist/guitarist William DuVall and founding member Jerry Cantrell when they sing together, evolved over three albums. 

The tracks “Maybe” and the haunting “All I Am” reflect this masterfully. Even the first single, opening track “The One You Know,” balances a catchy melody with a crunching intro bolstered by bassist Mike Inez and original drummer Sean Kinney. 

It goes into the title track, a rousing salute to the old Seattle grunge scene named after Mt. Rainier, which looks patiently over the city. Songs like “Drone” and “Red Giant” offer the familiar heavy sound that has been the backbone of the band since its formation, while the third single “Never Fade” recalls all the losses that have affected the band.   

This is the best album that this line-up of Alice In Chains has put out, easily listenable from start to finish, no song can be considered “filler”. Well written and tight musically, longtime fans that have stayed with the band after the loss of Layne Staley will be pleased. 

The future of this group looks extremely bright. If you like hard rock that has something to say, put “Rainier Fog” on your playlist or in your CD player. 

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