Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Alice in Chains, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

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Alice in Chains album The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Photo / Supplied
Alice in Chains album The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Photo / Supplied

Of all the grunge acts on the comeback trail, no one had more baggage to bin than Alice in Chains. Returning with a new singer after the drug-related death of Layne Staley in 2002, their excellent 2009 album, Black Gives Way to Blue, was good enough to lay those ghosts to rest, rebuild their fanbase and reinvigorate their sound. On The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, the Seattle group's fifth album in 23 years, Alice in Chains get straight back to business, crafting metal-tinged grunge anthems for new singer William DuVall to mope over. "All of your colours turn to grey," sings the Staley ringer on Hollow, the first single that brings to mind Soundgarden messing with their meds. Like most of Dinosaurs, it's a classic Chains song that recalls some of their best work. So does Stone, a down-tuned grindfest that sounds like Metallica jamming with the Stone Temple Pilots, and Pretty Done, a wailing wall of riffs that's sure to become a live favourite. They nail the ballad Voices, too. There's no epic, multi-suite genius like Blues' Acid Bubble, and things get a bit samey as the album winds down. But whatever you think of the new-look Alice in Chains, they sound exactly like they should in 2013.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: Grunge survivors head back to the future

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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