Alice in Chains

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

BY Natalie Zina WalschotsPublished May 24, 2013

The second record that Alice in Chains have released since their return to activity in 2005, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is an evolution in concept and politics, if not a dramatic departure from their distinct style and execution. It is also the second full-length produced without founding vocalist Layne Staley, who passed away in 2002 and was replaced by William DuVall. The seminal rock band originated in Seattle in the late '80s and therefore are often associated with the grunge movement and compared to groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. What has always set Alice in Chains apart, however, is the way they incorporate heavy metal elements into their sound and yet, conversely, have consistently experimented with acoustic minimalism. They are also known for their duelling, harmonized vocals, performed primarily by lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell and Duvall. All of this is intact on The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, from the crashing, aggressive opening of the record's first single, "Hollow," to the moody harmonizing on the title track. What is different is the perspective — the ideas within the record. While Alice in Chains have primarily drawn upon personal struggles and inner darkness as the source of their material in the past, this latest effort also reaches outwards, incorporating themes of religious belief and extremism, and the hostility of the current socio-political climate. A brooding, groovy, muscular album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is a more mature and thoughtful application of Alice In Chains' undeniably powerful aesthetic.

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