With the announcement of Alice In Chain’s first new album in half a decade looming, anticipation appears to keep gaining momentum. Following the band’s 2013 release, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", the new album entitled "Rainier Fog" is set to be released on August 24th. The third single, "Never Fade" was released yesterday (Friday, 10th August) and has already generated intrigue regarding the sound of the album.

Those who have followed the band over the course of their career maintain certain expectations of their New Release. Yet in a series of interviews, guitarist Jerry Cantrell has issued numerous statements that may raise concern regarding the sound of the new album.

How the band promises to break expectations

Whilst Alice In Chains are most famed for their melancholic, thunderous vocals; usually mirroring the band’s experiences of tragedy, it seems that the sound and motif captured in the upcoming release may prove to be a surprise for many listeners. Despite the initially misleading name, the underlying theme of the album is about the positive aspects that stem from tragedy. In a recent interview with The Sun, guitarist, Jerry Cantrell stated that although the band still acknowledge the element of melancholy inextricably linked to the grunge scene, they have now approached it from an alternate perspective. “GThe way I see it now is that I was lucky to have had that time with them.

Feel the feelings, of course, but reflect on the good times, not the negatives, man”.

In a previous statement, Cantrell expressed how expectations of Alice In Chains becomes almost oppressive to the band’s development. With the band’s discography revolving around themes of loss and the battle with addiction, one doesn't need to look far to understand how the members seek a new outlook with each coming album.

Rejecting ongoing demands from fans, Cantrell openly discussed how he wants to distance himself from the repetitive dwelling on the loss of Staley, “after 15 years of talking about my friends dying, you just want to focus on life and moving forward because that’s really all I can control”.

What to expect from the album

Now, with the release of the third single, "Never Fade", anticipation regarding the album continues to flourish.

Following Cantrell’s statements, it appears elements of contradiction and ambiguity is still underlying regarding the album’s sound. Despite no longer wanting to reflect merely on the loss of previous members, bassist, Mike Starr and vocalist, Layne Staley, it is certain that the death of musicians tied to the grunge industry still weighs heavily on the bands conscious.

With the overlying theme of the album centring around the ‘home’ of the grunge, the album mirrors the band’s defiant step of progress despite the darkness following the genre. The melancholic imagery provoked by the title “Rainier Fog” seems almost ironic as in the interview with The Sun, Cantrell stated the initially negative title is suggestive of an uplifting message- “'Rainier Fog' is all about home.

It’s about the obscurity from where we came to rising above the clouds and the fog”.

Contradiction within the upcoming album is further extended as although the band state they want to distance themselves from the sound they famed upon, the new album was recorded in the same studio as that of their 1995 self-titled album; the last to feature Layne Staley.

Reflecting back and forth between the distance from and ties to their grunge origins, the band demonstrate how they are capable of evolving without dismissal of the tragedy that follows the genre. This is shown as the album comes in light of the recent passing of grunge frontman, Chris Cornell. The loss of the singer in 2017 was briefly acknowledged by the band in a recent interview with Metal Hammer: “time has passed, how many of us are not here any more, but also how potent that Music was and it still lives”.

Although the wave of misery following the world of grunge appears to show no signs of concluding, Alice In Chains’ new release promises to tackle it from a fresh perspective, seeing the silver lining without abandoning the sound that defines them.

"Rainier Fog" is available to pre-order now and available to purchase from 24th August. The new single "Never Fade" is available to stream now.