Having survived the all too rare feat of replacing their lead singer, Alice In Chains are set to return with a new album in 2018. This will be their third in the current line-up. Here is what we know so far.
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell describes the new album as a classic Alice In Chains record. Cantrell recently told Guitar World:
“It’s a record we haven’t done yet, but it’s also a record that has all the elements of anything you would expect from us. It’s got our fingerprint. And we’re really proud of the material we wrote and the performances we captured. There’s some really heavy sh*t, some really ugly stuff, some real beautiful stuff, some weirdo trippy sh*t…it’s good.”
The new album is to be titled Rainier Fog. While it’s hard to debate the merit of album title, most would agree that it would be difficult to find a more Alice In Chains sounding name if one tried.
According to Cantrell the title references geographical location Mount Rainier. The album is said to referenced the numerous Seattle bands that found success in the 1990’s.
The alt rock band has built anticipation for new release by releasing two singles. The sound of both is a mixture of well-established sonic textures a few brave risks.
The one you know is the first single of the album and is accompanied by a music video. Jerry Cantrell says he was inspired by David Bowie in coming up with the main riff.
“It’s really aggressive, it’s got a super-aggro riff. I was thinking kind of a Bowie when I was writing it a little bit. So, it’s got kind of a metal ‘Fame’ shuffle to it almost. It’s a good aggro riff, and it’s got the classic Alice In Chains chorus, with a weird kind of trippy middle part.”
It’s interesting to note how distinctive the sound of the band still is. After all the band has been around since the late 1980’s. Their initial sound was heavily influenced by fellow alternative bands such as Soundgarden.
The success the band enjoyed in the 1990’s meant a host of bands looked to them for inspiration. And still, in 2018, the first seconds of The one you know are unmistakably Alice In Chains. That in itself is a great achievement.
So far under has vocalists Cantrell and DuVall singing in harmony on the verse, over sludgy guitar riffs. The melody line is reminiscent of Dirt era. It sounds almost as if the two are engaged in a chant together. The chorus takes a chance on some interesting dissonant sounds. Somehow the writing ultimately makes sense out of these elements. It’s not dissimilar to the writing strategy the band employed on the song Them Bones.
The album is produced by Nick Raskulinecz known for his work with bands such as Rush and the Foo Fighters. Raskulinecz has been at the helm for the band’s previous two releases, effectively their comeback records. Both previous albums were generally met with positive reviews.
The band has announced plans to release the new album on August 24, 2018.
Alice In Chains is expected to tour heavily behind the new album. This is, after all, their first release in five years. Summer dates have already been announced. A couple of the gigs will have them performing together with fellow grunge era rockers Stone Temple Pilots.
It’s a great legacy to live up to, no doubt. But Alice In Chains have been doing great work since their decision to reform. Fans have welcomed them back wholeheartedly. Hopefully the album will live up to the standard set by their previous records.