I'll admit, I'm a bit of a purist; though I didn't think it was a bad release, Black Gives Way to Blue always seemed to pale in comparison to Alice in Chains's earlier works. On some level, that's not entirely fair--without Staley, they are an entirely different band, and not necessarily even trying to recapture who they were before. But then again, continuing to tour under the same banner is an invitation for comparison--and no matter the new direction they've taken, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here just doesn't hold up.
Most noticeably, the band has continued to move from their '90s grunge sound towards alterna-metal territory. While the sound isn't at all terrible on its own, it's really a coin toss if you'll enjoy it or not. It's easy to hear it as a natural progression from their grungy roots, whereas it's also easy to hear the change as a severe retardation to the band's emotional growth. I'm not really swayed either way by the style, but suffice to say it is...different. You're not going to hear another Facelift anytime soon, suffice to say.
Regardless of the sound, the fact that the songwriting is incredibly lax cannot be overlooked. The majority of the songs here are predictable, versechorus hard rock trash, and the few that take any compositional risks are just boring. I can only get about four or five tracks into this album in a single sitting because there is honestly just not enough going on to keep my attention. While the band might be trying to project a snarkier, edgier version of themselves (that title is pretty damn flippant), there's nothing in the music that lives up to that promise.
And, of course, it cannot be ignored that the album just drags on and on. The songs feel like they've been dragged out far beyond their intended lifespan, sounding like they've been stretched on a musical rack before being recorded. Plodding tempos, uninspired riffs, and gratuitous repetition all collude to stretch songs far beyond their desirable run time. Even the few good moments around get tiresome when you've encountered them again and again.
Honestly, I'm being a bit harder than I need to be on this album. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here isn't necessarily bad; it just doesn't feel like Alice in Chains. I suggest that fans of the band give this album a listen--you may find it to your liking. As for me, I'm just going to stick with Dirt.
4.5 / 10
Posted May 6, 2018, 10:01 a.m.
Alice in Chains, currently on the road (in New York tonight), have released a video for "The One You Know" from their upcoming (and still to be titled) album. "The ...
Posted March 18, 2018, 10:20 a.m.
Alice in Chains has announced an upcoming world news and hints of a new album. The world tour kicks off on August 22 (dates below). The band is also finalizing ...
Posted July 24, 2013, 8:21 a.m.
In Sept., Southern Lord will release a new album of material from Santa Cruz hardcore band Bl'ast, who were active in 1982-1989, last releasing Take the Manic Ride. The ...
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