Black Gives Way To Blue
Alice In Chains
Released 2009
Length Unknown
Label Virgin Records
Producer Unknown

Black Gives Way to Blue is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Alice In Chains, released in September 2009. The first Alice in Chains album in nearly fourteen years, Black Gives Way to Blue is their first release with new vocalist/guitarist William DuVall, who took over for the late Layne Staley. This is the first Alice in Chains album released on Virgin Records and their first venture away from Columbia, who handled all of their previous releases. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA on May 26, 2010, with shipments exceeding 500,000 copies and has sold 1 million copies worldwide.

The span of nearly fourteen years between the self-titled album and Black Gives Way to Blue marks the longest gap between studio albums in Alice in Chains' career. The band had been working on new material since early 2006, shortly before hiring DuVall as their new singer. By April 2007, Alice in Chains had been writing and demoing songs for the album, but the band did not show further signs of progress until October 2008, when they announced that they had begun recording with producer Nick Raskulinecz in the studio. The writing and recording process was completed on March 18, 2009, guitarist Jerry Cantrell's 43rd birthday. Musically the album sees the band return to the heavy metal/hard rock style of Dirt and Facelift instead of the murky dark mood that their third album showcased with more grunge-fuzz pedal elements; some songs also have acousticelements reminiscent of the band's two acoustic EPs also from their third album; it also includes songs which guitarist Jerry Cantrell described as "the heaviest he's ever written".

Background And RecordingEdit

In 2005, Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez, and drummer Sean Kinney reunited to perform a benefit concert in Seattle for victims of the tsunami disaster that struck South Asia. On March 10, 2006, the surviving members performed at VH1's Decades Rock Live concert, honoring fellow Seattle musicians Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. The band followed the concert with a short United States club tour, several festival dates in Europe, and a brief tour in Japan. Comes with the Fall vocalist DuVall joined Alice in Chains as lead singer during the band's reunion concerts.

Kinney mentioned in a February 2006 interview that he would be interested in writing new material, but not as Alice in Chains. He explained, "If we found some other dude, I'd love to move on, write some cool tunes and change the name and go on like that. I don't see continuing as Alice and replacing somebody. ... We're not trying to replace Layne. We want to play these songs one more time, and if it seems like the right thing to do, it'll happen. I don't know how long it will go or where it will take us. It's kind of a tribute to Layne and our fans, the people who love these songs. It's not some 'I'm broke and I need the money' situation. We love playing together."

In April 2007, the band's "official blogger", Baldy, posted an update on progress towards the writing of the album, saying that Alice in Chains had been in Los Angeles, California for five days, "sat through three rehearsals and one demo recording session, listened to several other demos" and the new material was "kicking his ass right out of his pants." In September 2008, it was reported that Alice in Chains would enter the studio that October to begin recording a new album for a summer 2009 release. Recording began on October 23, 2008 at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in Northridge, California with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush, Stone Sour, Trivium, Shadows Fall, Death Angel). In mid-2009, Cantrell told Revolver Golden God Awards that Alice in Chains had finished recording the album on March 18 (his 43rd birthday) and were in the process of mixing it for a September 29 release.

Track ListingEdit

All songs written and composed by Jerry Cantrell, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "All Secrets Known"   4:43
2. "Check My Brain"   3:58
3. "Last of My Kind" (Cantrell, William DuVall) 5:53
4. "Your Decision"   4:43
5. "A Looking in View" (Cantrell, DuVall, Sean Kinney, Mike Inez) 7:06
6. "When the Sun Rose Again"   4:00
7. "Acid Bubble"   6:56
8. "Lesson Learned"   4:17
9. "Take Her Out"   4:00
10. "Private Hell"   5:38
11. "Black Gives Way to Blue"   3:04
Total length: 54:18


Alice in Chains
  • Jerry Cantrell – co-lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
  • William DuVall – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Mike Inez – bass, additional backing vocals
  • Sean Kinney – drums, percussion
Additional performers
  • Elton John – piano on "Black Gives Way to Blue"
  • Lisa Coleman – vibraphone on "Black Gives Way to Blue"
  • Chris Armstrong – tabla on "When the Sun Rose Again"
  • Stevie Black – string arrangement, performance, and engineering on "Your Decision" and "Private Hell"


Alice In Chains~ Black Gives Way To Blue (Full Album)

Alice In Chains~ Black Gives Way To Blue (Full Album)