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Alice In Chains Announce New LP & more

AIC reveal “Rainer Fog” and reveal new song

Jerry Cantrell is moving on. As he told Rolling Stone, “After 15 years of talking about my friends dying, you really just want to focus on moving forward…”

Fortunately, for long term AIC fans, Cantrell’s version of moving forward relies heavily upon the type of riff heavy grunge rock that he and fellow Pacific Northwest pioneers championed. Now, with Chris Cornell gone, Cantrell is pretty much the last of the old grunge guard standing. (Of course, there’s Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, but they are a fundamentally different, albeit equally as talented and poignant, type of Seattle rock). With their third album since the passing of Layne Staley, AIC version 2.0 continues to remain true to their roots while keeping an eye on the future. The vocal mix of William DuVall and Cantrell still doesn’t replace Staley’s singular uniqueness as a vocalist, but it eerily conjures the same feeling and power that can only be cast by Alice In Chains.

The new album, titled Rainer Fog, named after Seattle landmark Mt. Rainer, the ever present rain/fog/mist that defines the Pacific Northwest atmosphere, and the land of grunge’s (and AIC’s) birth, is not due to be released until August 24th, but the band has shared a new track off the upcoming LP to mark its announcement. “So Far Under” opens with a signature AIC riff and quickly settles into a descending grungy groove that transports the seasoned AIC listener of a certain age back to a simpler time, if not in the band’s lives, surely in the listener’s. With initial recording taking place at Studio X in Seattle, that old heavy atmosphere is palpable on the track. At the same time, it strikes a rock radio friendliness (and yes, I say that as a compliment -despite my younger self’s anti-rock radio inclinations) that will undoubtedly bring new fans into the fold. It’s the type of song that AIC have been writing for decades, but still sounds fresh, marking the relevance and talent that the band continues to display.

Alongside the heavy stomp of “The One You Know,” the previously released track off Rainer Fog, “So Far Under” solidifies that this LP is going to be a worthy entry into the AIC catalogue. This is a great relief, since often times grunge bands peaked with their second albums, and The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here was a marked improvement over Black Gives Way to Blue, so I was afraid that Rainer Fog might reveal a bit of regression. This looks to not be the case. (And yes, DPDH is the second album in the AIC catalogue when considering the new lineup.)

Take a listen below. I think my fellow grungophiles will not be disappointed.

Carolina's based writer/journalist Andy Frisk love music, and writing, and when he gets to intermingle the two he feels most alive. Covering concerts and albums by both local and national acts, Andy strives to make the world a better place and prove Gen X really can still save the world.

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