Alice in Chains kicked some unexpected ass last year after a hiatus of almost 14 years. The death of Layne has no doubt lead to the disruption of the entire band because, after all, there is no Alice in Chains without Staley. With all due respect, that is total none sense and they proved it. Not all bands can hit the stage and come up with an album as solid, consistent, ground-breaking and fucking amazing as Black Gives Way to Blue after more than a decade of absence. Not every singer has the balls to walk up the stage in front of a crowd consisting of cross-armed angry fanboys, and fill the shoes of a legend. Still, DuVall got his stuff together and, man, did he get it right. I just saw them live a few months ago in Hungary and I was completely stunned by the voice of that guy. Not sure how he is doing what he's doing, but the faces on each and every show attender was priceless, which means he's doing the right thing. And I'm not referring just to DuVall, but also to the rest of the band. Cantrell is the only one who's a bit rusty on the vocals, but he's not half as bad as he should've been after so many years. Let me just say this, Hungarians are not easy to please and they know their rock music. Right there, on that night, the crowd praised its gods. I've been a massive fan of Dirt and Facelift, didn't quite care for the rest of their stuff except Jar of Flies. Their self-titled was pure horror, by the way. Staley was unique, that's true. But it was Cantrell writing those songs and coming up with those ideas, and when I heard that a new album was on the way, I didn't even care who's going to replace Staley. I was absolutely busting my balls on whether or not Cantrell could come up with anything decent and not actually sink the entire band. Last year, in October, I got the record. It's been the most decent piece of music, art, revelation, call it what you will, that I've encountered since the 90s. Even after a year, it still sounds as ballsy, delicate, aggressive and powerful as it was during my first few listens. What I'm saying is, I just played it through like 10 times today and I am recommending it to anyone who hasn't given it a chance or never heard about it. I'm not going to describe what it sounds like, the music will speak for itself. BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE - album of the decade. Give it a shot.