Rainier Fog is the new studio album by the American rock/grunge pioneers Alice in Chains. Considering the length and breadth of their career, it’s amazing that this is only their sixth studio album!
Released on August 24th 2018, Rainier Fog is 10 tracks long and stops short of 55 minutes. It’s the lead single, The One You Know that gets things started. A wise choice as it’s already pretty familiar and still sounds great.
The sharp and droning guitars alongside the duel vocal harmonies is a signature Alice in Chains sound and they do it so well even if it’s not breaking any new ground. The heaviness of the opener alongside a pretty solid guitar solo makes this an album highlight.
The title track is more of a hard rock tune with some catchy vocal moments, Red Giant has a chunky level of guitar riffing before Fly sees the band lean back towards their grunge roots.
There’s a fair amount of fan service throughout Rainier Fog if I’m honest. A band in a comfortable position and not rocking the boat too much. It does leave the album feeling a tad uninspired though and the likes of Drone and Deaf Ears Blind Eyes fall a bit flat. You’ll find yourself thinking that yeah, good songs but that’s about it.
The more melodic tracks on the album, Maybe and Never Fade are memorable though. The former has plenty of soft-rock charm and the latter delivers the best and most catchy chorus.
That they are sandwiched between So Far Under, the heaviest track is quite something too. This is a track that has earth-quaking riffs with nods to an early thrash sound. A surprising track but in a good way. It’s as close as we get to Alice in Chains taking a risk. Thankfully it pays off for them as much because of the duel vocals of Cantrell and DuVall.
Rainier Fog ends with All I Am, a slow and really moody finale. A style that Alice in Chains could do in their sleep. Solid finish though. Which is what the album is as a whole. Solid, great at times…good at others. Just don’t go in expecting a reinvention and you’ll enjoy it.
Alice in Chains – Rainier Fog Full Track Listing:
1. The One You Know
2. Rainier Fog
3. Red Giant
6. Deaf Ears Blind Eyes
8. So Far Under
9. Never Fade
10. All I Am
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Alice in Chains - Rainier Fog (BMG)
The Final Score - 7.5/10