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Beautifully melancholy. - 100%

Doodsvrees, February 14th, 2008

I’ve been a big Alice in Chains fan for quite some time now, but up until very recently, I’d only heard a small amount of their material. Almost everything I listened to was off of Dirt. I’d bought this album a while ago honestly just because I wanted to have it for my collection, I never planned to like it. Well recently I thinned out my record collection and came across this. Rather than sell it or toss it aside, I decided to sit down and give it my full attention.

The album starts with “Grind”, and while it was difficult for me to get into at first, once the chorus hits it’s undeniably great. What I really enjoy, but what saddens me at the same time, is the immense sorrow and dread that you can hear on this album. The time is 1995, and Layne’s drug problem is consuming him. Most everyone in the band knows this will probably be their last full length together, so naturally the songs are going to reflect that. While it’s sad and somber, this album really showcases some of their best work in my opinion. I think that this album, more than the others, really reflects how the band was feeling at the time.

The next song “Brush Away” is easily one of my favorites on the entire album. I would even go as far as saying it’s one of my favorite Alice in Chains songs of all time. I love the atmosphere with this song; the melody is so hollow and foreboding. Layne’s vocals are especially haunting on this one, making it that much better.

“Sludge Factory” is a song I’m familiar with because it’s featured on their MTV Unplugged album. Once again, the song features haunting and hollow vocals from Layne/Jerry. This song packs a bit more of an edge than their others, though. It’s done beautifully and in my opinion is as good here as it is on the live album.

I’m not going to review every song, but the next ten are just as great as the first. All featuring great guitar work by Jerry and complimenting that is Layne’s unmatched vocals. It’s an album of theirs that’s totally overlooked in my opinion, but one that really deserves some recognition. Pop it in on a rainy day and you’ll see what I mean. Absolutely unbelievable.