It’s been such a long time since I did a musical album review but I just have to get back to it. Ok, let’s start with a release from May of this year. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is Seattle giants Alice In Chains’ 5th full length studio album and the second album following the reunion post the length layoff post former singer Layne Staley’s death. It is also the second album to feature Wiliam DuWall on lead vocals & rhythm guitar. The album peaked at #2 on the US billboard charts and did well in most countries.
The album starts off with Hollow with that familiar grungy guitar style of riff and patent AiC harmony vocals with DuWall & Jerry Cantrell singing the lyrics. Pretty Done follows a familiar style although not as hard, and lyrically it’s about people who give up everything else to chase a dream. Once they get it they have to be careful as others are waiting to take it from them and the singer will not be around to be used. Stone is about an antagonistic relationship featuring lyrics like “What makes you want to carve your initials in me? Rained and weathered, erasing, hard to read
Find me distant, outwardly rough, obscene, Cold dry stone”. With some acoustic & electric guitars interchanging, Voices is an instantly hummable and memorable song and is surely a stand out in the album. It’s an introspective look at oneself and that just resonates well with most listeners. “The devil put dinosaurs here / Jesus don’t like a queer / No problem with faith / Just fear,” which appear in the title track, tells us what AiC think about the religious explanations which tend to be mixed with politics in the US. “I am wise and you don’t know, A cloud is my home, Only some get in, Got a ‘maginary friend.”
Lab Monkey is about being used for other’s purposes and gains. Low Ceiling is making fun at a wanna be big shot who’s ego is bigger than anything else he has ever done. It is stated that the song is aimed at particular music critics. I like the guitar solo a lot on this one. Breath On A Window is about the long travels on the road. Scalpel, a track that’s a bit slower, is about broken dreams. Phantom Limb back with double harmonies is about getting the due that you deserve when you have done way too much shit that trouble is imminent. Hung On A Hook is about your reflections showing you a side of you that you’ve tried to hide away from. But sometimes a cracked mirror shows the real you. Saying a goodbye or a farewell is what Choke is about. Pride and wrong decisions have let you to this path and now it’s closing around you.
The cover artwork features the skull of a Triceratops with a second skull image steganographically hidden on a red background. The two skulls, when revealed, combine to form the image of the Devil. The album title refers to a belief held by some religious individuals that to confuse the masses of humanity, Satan himself planted dinosaur bones deep into the Earth to dissuade the faithful. The veteran rock band has given us a solid and memorable album that will still proudly in the same shelf as their best. Here is the video for The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.