Black Gives Way To Blue

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Sep 29, 2009
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Q Magazine
    80
    A stunning return. [Oct 2009, p.116]
  2. While they'll never be mistaken for a feel-good band, there is a palpable sense of relief that they get to play together again as a band, and what's remarkable is that they still sound like themselves, capturing that weird murk halfway between '80s metal and '90s northwestern sludge, reminding us that we were missing something in their absence.
  3. It is a legitimately excellent record that lives up to (and sometimes even exceeds) the song writing standards set by the band on "Dirt" or "Jar of Flies."
  4. Some of the songs even stack up against the band's original catalogue.
  5. DuVall, along with the rest of Alice In Chains, has turned a questionable career move into a moving tribute--and a shockingly decent album.
  6. While there are a few lulls, none are glaringly offensive, and the band builds up so much good will with the stronger material that it’s easy to surrender again to these Chains.
  7. When AiC hit home though, as they often do, Black Gives Way To Blue becomes the quiet triumph it set out to be.
  8. The band's classic, downtuned stomp could easily pass for an unreleased track from the "Dirt" era and is sure to keep longtime fans feeling pleasantly dystopic.
  9. At heart, this is a back-to-basics album a la "Death Magnetic" or R.E.M.’s "Accelerate;" not essential, but definitely worth a look.
  10. Mojo
    60
    A decent return, Alice mostly impresses despite the limiting permutations of their angst. [Nov 2009, p.94]
  11. Uncut
    60
    Now regrouped by leader Jerry Cantrell, the bands' sound is still full of menace, melody and doom, chock full of Cantrell's trademark heavy riffs. [Dec 2009, p. 85]
  12. There’s still something oddly admirable about Alice In Chains’ stubborn refusal to change.
  13. What Black lacks are great tunes and a sense of can't-look-away drama.
  14. 50
    As with latter efforts Jar of Flies and Alice in Chains, Black's most tender moments ('Private Hell') are its most essential. And while William DuVall is a serviceable Staley impressionist, this comeback would register with more purpose had guitarist Jerry Cantrell assumed the vocal lead.
  15. ew singer William DuVall spends half his time replicating Staley’s nasal misanthropy and the other half buried by Cantrell’s vocals.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
  1. Jan 16, 2011
    9
    Incredible return by one of the kings of grunge music. The 14 year layoff was worth the wait with this original bone jarring album that willIncredible return by one of the kings of grunge music. The 14 year layoff was worth the wait with this original bone jarring album that will hit you right in the gut. The late rock legend Layne staley is replaced with William Duvall who brings his own edge to the band. Cantrell is back with his intense sincere solos and rhythm guitar. Cantrell sings as much in this album as any Alice in Chains album as Duvall is eased into the role of the new lead singer for fans. Highlights include private hell, acid bubble, and a looking in view. The feel of the band has evolved from the heroin addiction they faced in the 90's to a more developed controlled sound that unleashes its fiery on you like a tornado. Full Review »
  2. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    You can't judge the Jerry. He wanna make some music and sell some records. He used the "Alice in Chains" name for selling records. OK, I know,You can't judge the Jerry. He wanna make some music and sell some records. He used the "Alice in Chains" name for selling records. OK, I know, it's not Alice in Chains anymore, but that doesn't mean this album is sh*t. It's a very good album, out of my expectations.. Full Review »
  3. ChrisL
    Oct 22, 2009
    5
    This record needs a bit more meat, because too much of it is filler and too much of it consists of these droney, whinny songs. Past albums This record needs a bit more meat, because too much of it is filler and too much of it consists of these droney, whinny songs. Past albums were always dark but had this quirky life and energy to them. Songs like "Private Hell" "Take Her Out" and "Acid Bubble", just sludge on and go nowhere fast. And I would have loved this record so much more if you could actually, you know, HEAR Duvall on more then 30% of it. Even on Acid Bubble, which Duvall carries VERY well live, Cantrell has to have the prominent voice. What a prick. Cantrell, you had your solo trips, now truely harmonize like AIC used to do so well and make AIC a bit more distinct from your solo stuff. Do you know what this record sounding mostly like Degredation Trip #3 is? A hack job so you can actually sell some records. Well, it appears to be working. Full Review »