In 1991 Alice in Chains landed themselves a place on the Clash of the Titans tour, opening for Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. Unsurprisingly, a band now synonymous with Grunge wasn’t fully embraced by the largely Thrash-devoted audiences. The irony of time is not just that Alice in Chains went on to commercially outshine the other bands that shared the stage with them on that tour, the years have seen their tentacles creep their way into many a metal band and sub-genre.
Avenged Sevenfold are potentially one of the most divisive metal acts out of the US since Metallica. All you need to do is look at their previous two albums, 2013’s Hail To The King & 2016’s The Stage to see the extreme polar oppositions these albums created. The former for how the band wore their Metallica influence on their sleeve, creating their own version of The Black Album, and then the following 2016 release throwing all of their previous influences and sounds up in the air, bringing in outside sources from the likes of Pink Floyd, and creating a wholly new progressive rock/metal experience.
Until his untimely death in February of 2022 there were few singers who could match the gruff, forlorn weariness of Mark Lanegan. But while the world won’t be able to look forward to a new release from the former Screaming Trees frontman in 2023, on The Last Black Flower (Lay Bare Recordings) the second album by Soothsayer Orchestra, the spirit of Lanegan is ever-present.
Rock and Metal kings Alice In Chains are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of their epic album Dirt (Columbia)! The album definitely catapulted the band to all-time great status, charted several singles, had videos that dominated regular rotation on MTV, when they played videos and had Headbangers Ball, and led to major tours all over the world. The impact of the music was huge, and it was to be the last album made with bassist Mike Starr (RIP), who was dismissed from the band soon after.
Italian stoner rockers Oreyeon release their third album Equations For The Useless (Heavy Psych Sounds), a potent mix of stoner, grunge, heavy rock, and lengthier progressive compositions. This album notably draws on the influences of years gone by not only in style but was also recorded live, an approach to a recording I’m very much a fan of.
Mourn the Light – Suffer, Then We’re Gone
Mourn The Light offers Traditional Doom Metal with a few twists on their first full-length album. It doesn’t quite hit the full operatic scope of Epic Doom or reach the speeds of Classic Metal, but influences from both at work throughout Suffer, Then We’re Gone (Argonauta Records). The riffs and song structures are in line with the busy nature of Psalm 9-era Trouble while the vocals offer a husky but theatrical bellow, drawing further comparisons to groups like Altar Of Oblivion and Argus.Continue reading
In 1995, Alice In Chains had been feeling good on the success of their first #1 album on the charts, 1994’s Jar of Flies EP, the first EP to ever debut at #1. At the same time, they were in peril as a band, with issues stemming from Layne Staley’s addiction to heroin and other band turmoil. The band did not tour to support Jar of Flies as Layne was in rehab and they took part of 1995 off. The lost opportunities from this period, including a massive Metallica/Danzig/Suicidal Tendencies tour and a near-top-of-the bill split at Woodstock 1994 (which I am still mad about) almost killed the band. They broke up briefly too, according to Sean Kinney. Little did we know they were crafting a great album, Alice in Chains (Columbia), to wash all that pain and disappointment away for a brief moment in time.
Voice teacher and YouTuber Beth Roars is back reacting to another video breaking down the singing techniques of rock and metal singers. In today’s episode, Beth is watching Alice In Chains live, and their late original frontman and all-time great singer Layne Staley singing “Love, Hate, Love”. Beth does several videos per week and they are all awesome! Check out her channel and subscribe to see all of her awesome videos.Continue reading
Alice In Chains was on top of the world in 1993, or so they thought. Behind the success of 1992’s Rock chart-topping Dirt (Columbia) album, the band toured the world, played Lollapalooza, had songs on major movie soundtracks and more. But there were some issues arising in their camp that would shape their immediate future. The bands came off a raucous summer of touring in 1993 to find themselves evicted from their communal house in Seattle. The band had recently fired bassist Mike Starr (RIP)who co-founded the band. After recruiting bassist Mike Inez (Ozzy Osbourne) the band had toured some with him, and recorded a few of those soundtrack pieces with him, but nothing more/ The band moved into London Bridge Studios, where countless huge rock and metal albums were made, and AIC had created all of their albums at that point. The band was going to spend a few days just jamming with acoustic guitars and see what stuck. What they came up with was so much more. When they finished writing, they had the bones of their epic EP Jar of Flies (Columbia) in the can. Continue reading
There are some great ideas and passages on Static Tension’s Ashes To Animation (Buried By Sky). A marriage of Grunge, Alternative Rock, elements of Prog and a smattering of Stoner and Trouble’d Doom, the bands’ first full-length is an interesting proposition; a hotchpotch of ideas pulled in from The Doors to Metallica, but mainly operating a Progressive Grunge arena.Continue reading