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Album Review

With Alice in Chains on hiatus by the turn of the 21st century, Columbia Records issued several stop-gap releases to fill up the space — 1999's greatest-hits collection Nothing Safe and the box set Music Bank, and a year later, their first true live collection, titled simply Live. Despite Alice in Chains' inability (or outright refusal) to launch a proper tour after 1994, fans lucky enough to have caught one of their early tours will attest that they were quite a powerful live act. Their detuned sound and tales from the darkside are even more sinister and gripping on the concert stage, as evidenced by this 14-track set. With a healthy helping of selections from their 1992 tour de force, Dirt, Alice in Chains let it rip on such metallic standouts as "Dam That River," "Would?," "Rooster," "Angry Chair," "Junkhead," and a "drunk and disorderly" version of Dirt's title track. Also featured are the early classics "Man in the Box" and "Bleed the Freak," as well as a track that never appeared on any of their official studio albums, "Queen of the Rodeo." Live shows what a devastating live band Alice in Chains could be.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In many ways, Alice in Chains was the definitive heavy metal band of the early '90s. Drawing equally from the heavy riffing of post-Van Halen metal and the gloomy strains of post-punk, the band developed a bleak, nihilistic sound that balanced grinding hard rock with subtly textured acoustic numbers. They were hard enough for metal fans, yet their dark subject matter and punky attack placed them among the front ranks of the Seattle-based grunge bands. While this dichotomy helped the group soar to...
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