Article by: Jason Robey
Grunge veterans Alice In Chains have returned with their sixth full-length album, Rainier Fog. The record is their first since 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, and third with current lead vocalist, William Duvall. Though Rainier Fog stays true to the guitar-heavy, melodic sound the band is known for, it also shows the group’s songwriting at peak form, delivering ten well-crafted songs full of hooks and infectious harmonies.
The opening heavy, staccato notes of the first track, “The One You Know,” radiate of a band intent of showing the world that they’re playing on their own terms. Themes of frustration, reminiscence, and change are recurrent throughout the record. The title track of Rainier Fog is a lyrical nod to the Seattle music scene the band emerged from 30 years ago, as the chorus unapologetically states, “It reminds me why I even care anymore.”[/su_youtube]
Lighthearted songs like “Fly” and “Maybe” recall the vibe of their 1994 EP, Jar of Flies, shifting between quiet, acoustic verses and heavy choruses. Conversely, “Drone“ and “Deaf Ears Blind Eyes” rank up there with some of the band’s heaviest songs, with slow and grungy distortion lying under the band’s signature harmonizing vocal lines — compliments of guitarist and founding member, Jerry Cantrell.
The album’s second single, “So Far Under,” marks the Alice in Chains first song penned entirely by DuVall, also featuring him with a rare guitar solo. Its brash guitar riff and booming drums fit perfectly with the rest of the collection, all wrote or co-wrote by Cantrell. Overall, Rainier Fog successfully manages to both look back to the band’s roots, while also growing and gazing into their future.
Look for Alice in Chains in concert, as they tour the U.S. through the end of October.