Black Gives Way to Blue

Discussion in 'Other Music' started by Cyanide, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. #1
    Cyanide

    Cyanide 1989

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    Alice in Chains kicked some unexpected ass last year after a hiatus of almost 14 years. The death of Layne has no doubt lead to the disruption of the entire band because, after all, there is no Alice in Chains without Staley.

    With all due respect, that is total none sense and they proved it. Not all bands can hit the stage and come up with an album as solid, consistent, ground-breaking and fucking amazing as Black Gives Way to Blue after more than a decade of absence. Not every singer has the balls to walk up the stage in front of a crowd consisting of cross-armed angry fanboys, and fill the shoes of a legend. Still, DuVall got his stuff together and, man, did he get it right. I just saw them live a few months ago in Hungary and I was completely stunned by the voice of that guy. Not sure how he is doing what he's doing, but the faces on each and every show attender was priceless, which means he's doing the right thing. And I'm not referring just to DuVall, but also to the rest of the band. Cantrell is the only one who's a bit rusty on the vocals, but he's not half as bad as he should've been after so many years. Let me just say this, Hungarians are not easy to please and they know their rock music. Right there, on that night, the crowd praised its gods.

    I've been a massive fan of Dirt and Facelift, didn't quite care for the rest of their stuff except Jar of Flies. Their self-titled was pure horror, by the way. Staley was unique, that's true. But it was Cantrell writing those songs and coming up with those ideas, and when I heard that a new album was on the way, I didn't even care who's going to replace Staley. I was absolutely busting my balls on whether or not Cantrell could come up with anything decent and not actually sink the entire band. Last year, in October, I got the record. It's been the most decent piece of music, art, revelation, call it what you will, that I've encountered since the 90s. Even after a year, it still sounds as ballsy, delicate, aggressive and powerful as it was during my first few listens.

    What I'm saying is, I just played it through like 10 times today and I am recommending it to anyone who hasn't given it a chance or never heard about it. I'm not going to describe what it sounds like, the music will speak for itself. BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE - album of the decade. Give it a shot.
     
  2. #2
    Jeff

    Jeff WORSHIP LPA Addicted VIP

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    I'll probably stream it this week. I don't really like "Check My Brain" though.
     
  3. #3
    Cyanide

    Cyanide 1989

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    Except for the killer riff in Check My Brain, there's nothing special about that song. Probably the weakest on the album.
     
  4. #4
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    Heh. They should have gave more Vocal parts to William and let him write some more. I really enjoyed his work in Comes With The Fall, but over all I fucking love that album.
     
  5. #5
    Cyanide

    Cyanide 1989

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    Yes, I am also annoyed by the fact that Jerry has turned AIC into his solo band. He's nothing special except for his (sometimes) awesome songwriting. He got the songwriting part right on this album. Will is just godlike on stage, he's got an insanely good voice. When they played "Last of My Kind" and I heard him singing, I thought they should've recorded a live version of that song and put it on the album instead. It's THAT good. He should push Cantrell aside on their next album.
     
  6. #6
    Jesse

    Jesse Out of the abyss. LPA Über VIP

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    I pretty much agree even if 99% of the fans despise me for it. :lol:
     
  7. #7
    Todd

    Todd FLǕGGȦ∂NKđ€ČHIŒβǾLʃÊN LPA Administrator

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    It sounds like the same old Alice in Chains. Which is partly good because usually the departure of the lead vocalist means the band sounds completely different (see Adema and Drowning Pool) but on the other hand, it's partly bad because it sounds like everything else we had 14 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I love older AIC, but I also like hearing bands evolve. It's like how many of us love Hybrid Theory, got annoyed when Meteora sounded just like Hybrid Theory, got angry when Minutes to Midnight still sounded a lot like Hybrid Theory, and probably would've given up on Linkin Park all together if A Thousand Suns sounded a thing like Hybrid Theory. Is it a good album? Yeah. Album of the decade? No fucking way.

    The "new" AIC would be great if their newer stuff was more evolved from the older stuff, yet they could still play the older stuff at shows without sounding too different despite the lack of Layne.
     
  8. #8
    Cyanide

    Cyanide 1989

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    I respectfully disagree. Sounds nothing like grunge at all. AIC's older stuff was more bluesy, grungy, heck, they even had sludge metal influences on songs like Died or Get Born Again. BGWTB sounds more like Jerry Cantrell's solo albums, less grunge, more heavy metal and experimental with different tempo shifts and structural arrangements (please see Acid Bubble and Looking In View). Although I think there is more to this sound than saying "sounds like the same old Alice in Chains". Compare Facelift, where they had heavier and more distortion oriented songs, and Dirt, which focuses also on a lot of other instruments, such as bass (Would?) and acoustic guitar (Down in a Hole), rather than the electric guitar itself. Dirt is much more well-balanced and consistent, flows perfectly, whereas Facelift was sort of "let's just put some individual songs together that don't really connect with each other".

    And then we have the superb EP, Jar of Flies, with "Nutshell" (a fan favourite), which throws everything out the window to go for a more soft, acoustic sound. While most of their stuff is dark and depressed, there is more uplifting songs here (No Excuses), the use of harmonicas in "Don't Follow" and jazz/country-influenced styles in "Swing on This". Thier self-titled was a step backward, Staley was getting fucked up already due to his heroin addiction, and the whole recording of the album was kind of flawed (except for Sludge Factory).

    BGWTB, while it sounds like it's pulled straight from the 90s, you can associate it with modern metal and most of the people adore it. It was critically acclaimed, not just because AIC are back and kicking it, but because, musically, it's pretty damn solid. I'd dare say it's their strongest work up to date. They don't sound the same, they just can't. You can take any song from BGWTB and compare it to any other song from their past and you won't find strong similarities. They just wrote these songs that are pretty damn awesome and put them out. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.

    Nu-metal was dead, and it wasn't such a consistent and favorable genre as grunge. That's why Linkin Park needed to change, and change or not, they'd be kicked in the face anyway. Plus, the songwriting isn't Linkin Park's strongest point. They need to make some arrangements there. I'm not saying they're brutally bad, but they're not that good either. Plus, you can't compare Linkin Park with Alice in Chains, it's like comparing Nickelback with Led Zeppelin. They're just not and never will be at the same level.
     
  9. #9
    stevebucknor1

    stevebucknor1 Banned

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    It sounds like the same old Alice in Chains. Which is partly good because usually the departure of the lead vocalist means the band sounds completely different (see Adema and Drowning Pool) but on the other hand, it's partly bad because it sounds like everything else we had 14 years ago. It is really beautiful to hear and outstanding music in it.
     
  10. #10
    Harlz

    Harlz More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me LPA Super Member

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    Amazing, beautiful album.
    Groundbreaking though? No.
     
  11. #11
    Luke

    Luke Mind Your Manners. LPA Addicted VIP

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    Certainly one of the best albums of the past decade. I don't think they could have found a better vocalist to replace Layne either.

    I don't think any other band have successfully brought grunge-rock into the 21st century.
     
  12. #12
    Dean

    Dean LPA Addict LPA Addict

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    I think it's a good album and they deserve credit for not ballsing it up, but also it being THE album of the decade is a stretch for me.
     
  13. #13
    Cyanide

    Cyanide 1989

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    Soundgarden have also reunited. They have a lot of work to do on their new album if they want to reach this level.
     

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