Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here – Album Review
Alice in Chains have had a rough ride since their hay day in the early Nineties. They released an album in 1995 and soon after went on an indefinite hiatus. In 2002, their lead vocalist, Layne Staley died of a drug overdose and it took until 2006 for the band to recover and find a satisfactory replacement in William DuVall.
In 2009, after a 14-year hiatus, the band released their comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue. With this album the band needed to prove they still had “it” and could appear relevant with the music today. The album led to high critical praise and commercial success. Now all the band had to do is follow up Black Gives Way to Blue and maintain their comeback… enter The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.
Let ‘s start off by saying that if you listened to Black Gives Way to Blue there won’t be any surprises here. Within the first 10 seconds of the opening track and single, “Hollow,” it’s easy to pick up on the band’s staple sounds. Low tuned, crunchy guitar music, with a steady drum beat compile to remind listeners that they are still Alice in Chains. The pace of the music naturally leads to above average track lengths that doesn’t appear long as the music overall just takes it’s time. These are all things that have traditionally made Alice in Chains who they are and will assuredly be appreciated by long time fans that still enjoyed Black Gives Way to Blue.
One major change up is the overall mood of the album. Alice in Chains have taken a much lighter approach to their writing and the flow of the album. On tracks like “Scalpel” they even include some fun acoustic melodies. It is instances like this that keep the album fresh and exciting while maintaining a cohesive sound throughout. One instance of this is the hard-hitting bass driven track “Stone.” The album then ends on a mellow note adding back in some acoustics.
While there isn’t really much on the album that moves the band forward musically, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is good follow-up to Black Gives Way to Blue and shows that the band definitely has some staying power. Fans of Alice in Chains will still enjoy the album as it is thick with distinct sounds that the band has always been identified with. Newcomers, however, would need to come armed with a sense of musical patience as Alice in chains tends to take the content of a three minute song and make it last four to six minutes. This is what makes the band unique and interesting, but it may not be for everybody. - Josh Allsopp
Review Score: 8/10