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Black Gives Way To Blue Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 145 Ratings

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  • Summary: The band's first album in more than 14 years was produced with Nick Raskulinecz and features new lead singer William DuVall (original singer Layne Staley died in 2002).

Top Track

Your Decision
Time to change has come and gone Watched your fears become your god It's your decision It's your decision Overwhelmed, you chose to run Apathetic to... See the rest of the song lyrics
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. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Mojo
    60
    A decent return, Alice mostly impresses despite the limiting permutations of their angst. [Nov 2009, p.94]
  7. ew singer William DuVall spends half his time replicating Staley’s nasal misanthropy and the other half buried by Cantrell’s vocals.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
  1. 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.. Expand
  2. SamanthaF.
    Oct 1, 2009
    10
    AIC is amazing. I am so glad they came out with this rocking album. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It is near flawless!
  3. Bruce
    Nov 6, 2009
    10
    This album exceeds Jar of Flies. The vocals sound like Layne Staley, the songs have melody and punch and the guitars are thicker than ever. This album exceeds Jar of Flies. The vocals sound like Layne Staley, the songs have melody and punch and the guitars are thicker than ever. I'm on my 50th listen in the past two weeks. This record has just overtaken Oasis' Dig Out Your Soul as my top pick of the year. Expand
  4. JoeE.
    Oct 1, 2009
    9
    Black Gives Way To Blue shows how this band has stuck to their guns. The lyrics have sadness in them, but not as dark as previous albums. The Black Gives Way To Blue shows how this band has stuck to their guns. The lyrics have sadness in them, but not as dark as previous albums. The sound, as always, is undeniably that of when Jerry Cantrell puts his pick to the strings of a guitar. William DuVall, with a strong voice in his own right, does a great job of stepping up...not looking to replace Layne Staley, but stepping up nonetheless. All-in-all, great to have them back on the field with other great (and original) alt-rockers Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins! Expand
  5. gabriels'
    Oct 11, 2009
    9
    Well, I'm a fan of AiC, and the first thing I said when I heard the rumors about new album was, well Layne that's how much you mean Well, I'm a fan of AiC, and the first thing I said when I heard the rumors about new album was, well Layne that's how much you mean to them, but after I heard the record I was like......WHAT THE HELL IS THIS, this sounds so good and this guys are back on track! But still there is the LAYNE factor, no matter how good is William he will never replace Layne, I can just imagine how this songs would've sounded with him.I can't go through the fact that this sounds pretty much like Jerry's single records but with William's back up vocals, for the future if there are any new AiC records, I'd like to hear William in the front, as it was with Layne. Expand
  6. Jan 6, 2016
    8
    Black Gives Way to Blue is powerful, it uses its prominent bass to fantastic effect, every song has its qualities and it is an album that IBlack Gives Way to Blue is powerful, it uses its prominent bass to fantastic effect, every song has its qualities and it is an album that I regard highly. Some songs are absolutely fantastic, with All Secrets Known being probably the second best Alice in Chains songs I’ve heard; but there are a few songs that don’t keep up that fantastic quality, and there is a distinct lack of riffs. But the awesome songs along with everything else that’s good about the record – from William Duval to its unique sound – makes it a great album. But maybe not quite as good as The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.

    82/100.
    Expand
  7. Sep 4, 2010
    5
    I LOVE Alice in Chains, but this is a pretty mediocre record. It's not just the absence of Layne's great voice. It's that the album feelsI LOVE Alice in Chains, but this is a pretty mediocre record. It's not just the absence of Layne's great voice. It's that the album feels incoherent. Some songs are the gloomy sludge metal dirges Alice are famous for, others are the softer ballads present on their between album EP's. Jerry's songwriting chops also aren't as sharp as they used to be. Expand

See all 61 User Reviews