24 August 2018 (released)
31 August 2018
"Maybe you should know, I'm feeling lonely and I'm tired."
And they're back! The Seattle legends return for a sixth outing...
It's astounding to believe it's sixteen years since the death of their lead singer, and founding member Layne Staley. But they persevered onwards. William Du Vall took over the reigns and has equalled the number of albums as the man he replaced. Something equally startling to think.
They have given us album after album of staggering music. Much like "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" from 2013, Rainier Fog is another surprisingly brilliant album.
Sonically, Very similar to their previous releases, but also slight fruition in the execution on specific tracks. Certain tracks even sound uplifting at times due to the inclusion of more use of major chords. "Fly" is an example of this, and it works perfectly without subtracting from their usually doomy and despairing structure.
Rainier Fog takes its name from the volcanic monstrosity 60 miles from The bands home of Seattle. Even though it is dormant, The destruction caused should it ever erupt would be incomprehensible. It is Fitting, in a way that the album should be named after this. There has been a black cloud looming anyway. The death of Chris Cornell shook the music world to its core, much like a volcano would crack the sky and rattle the ground. We have also lost Cobain, Weiland.
Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam are the only bands from the glory days of Seattle, and the grunge generation of the early 90's still left standing. Bubble wrap Vedder, please.
The band still sound like they always have, and that's a grand thing. Despair, Misery, Pain, and Longing still litter the album. And they execute it in brilliantly. It never sounds forced, or like they are holding onto previous work or trying to emulate it as fans will be expecting it. At times it makes you think of the struggles of picking yourself back up. "Maybe," is an excellent example of this. As someone who knows the pain of dealing with depression and the frustration of just not getting where you'd like to be, they capture the isolation and despair perfectly.
Some fantastic guitar work is on this album, even featuring Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo on the track "Drone." Naturally the sort of talent he brings just amps up the epicness to 11. Jerry Cantrell entwines haunting melodies amongst the beautifully complex atmospheres, enhancing each of the tracks ambiances and auras to a masterful level.
They recorded this album at Studio X in Seattle for the most part, not recording there since 1995 alongside Staley. Perhaps this added the atmosphere they needed for the tracks. The added memory of once being there with the previous singer adding the sentiment and emotion found on each track.
Closing the album is the epic track "All I Am," a profoundly moving track which shows the sorrowful side of the band. No one can do it like these guys in the end.
A revolution in sound, energy and atmosphere, and tremendously can't help make the listener think of the amount of loss the Seattle scene has seen, and overcome.
The best album of the second era of the band and a must listen to!
The One You Know
Deaf Ears Blind Eyes
So Far Under
All I Am