Alice In Chains, have finally found their way back home with “Rainier Fog”. Their third album with singer William DuVall, sees the band come full circle and really put their stamp back on their music. Not that their previous albums with DuVall, “Black Gives Way To Blue” and “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”, were not great in their own right, but “Rainier Fog” just has all the elements of what put Alice In Chains on the map to begin with.
“The One You Know” was our introduction to the album, as the first single to be released, and also kicks it off and sets a tone for what is to come. The title track is up next and just takes me back to hearing AIC for the first time. The mood, crunching guitar tones and vocals harmonies just take me right back. And thats nothing to complain about.
“Red Giant” is another one that could have easily been a Layne era track, and feels like his ghost is weaving in and out while William DuVall shows why he was the right man to take the mantle after Layne’s passing. While this is his third album with the band this one is where he really shows what he is made of. “Fly” again is just classic Alice In Chains. The vocal melody line mixed with Jerry Cantrell’s harmonies and almost bluesy guitar lines set the mood just right.
“Drone” brings the pace down to that Grungy/Sludgy 90s tone. Lots of really great moody riffs in this one, and Cantrell shines! “Deaf Behind Blind Eyes” is the perfect companion piece to “Drone” as it keeps the mood and feeling going, its almost like they were meant to be one big song, just split in two for the record.
“Maybe” – The a’capella intro takes you by surprised, Its almost like The Eagles and AIC had a baby! The vocals on this song are just amazing, writing about it doesn’t do it justice, you really have to listen to it and take it all in. “So Far Under” was our second preview of the album, and is the perfect showcase for William DuVall. Duval offers this on the track he is solely credited with “It’s about feeling completely up against it – outnumbered, surrounded, facing seemingly unbeatable odds and being really pissed off about it. It was inspired by personal circumstances, as well as events in the wider world. But it’s not as resigned to defeat as it may seem. The lyric is a cold, hard assessment of a difficult situation but the music has a message all its own.”
“Never Fade” takes us back to that classic AIC sound we all know and love. It truly is like they have come back home. This one will surely be a live staple. Its made for the stage. Closing out the album is “All I Am” is more than just a song, its a mood, its a feeling. No use trying to explain it, you need to listen to it, and take away from it what you want. It deserves that as such a great song.
I know when bands change line ups its hard for people to accept the “New Guy” and especially when a member passes away. Bands sometimes lose their way and try so hard to not sound like they used to. Im glad Alice In Chains have come out with this album, and they are just themselves. Songs like Rainier Fog, Maybe, All I Am, and The One You Know make this album worth the purchase alone, the rest of the songs are just a great bonus
RAINIER FOG – TRACKLISTING
1. The One You Know
2. Rainier Fog
3. Red Giant
6. Deaf Ears Blind Eyes
8. So Far Under
9. Never Fade
10. All I Am