Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: A Looking In View, Alice in Chains, Black Gives Way to Blue, Closer, Darren Aronofsky, Editor's Picks, Layne Staley, Nine Inch Nails, Stephen Sommers, The Fountain, The Mummy, Van Helsing, Virgin Records, William DuVall
On September 29, Alice in Chains will release Black Gives Way to Blue, its first album in nearly 14 years. The album will be the band’s first with new lead singer William DuVall, who replaces the late Layne Staley, and also its first to be released on Virgin Records. So far, a complete track list and album art have yet to be released, but the band did release the first single, “A Looking in View,” on June 30.
“A Looking in View” is classic Alice — heavy and ominous, with a searingly evil vocal performance. It might be the darkest thing the band has ever done. DuVall has the same vocal intonation and pitch choice we’d come to love from Staley, but his delivery is stronger and more aggressive — a huge departure from the often withdrawn, vulnerable performances of his predecessor. The song suggests quite clearly that there are big things to come from Black Gives Way to Blue.
But things get more than a little weird in the promotional video (after the jump). It’s almost like the offspring of Nine Inch Nails‘ “Closer” and the Darren Aronofsky movie The Fountain, but even less comprehensible than you’d think. Yep, that’s “A Looking in View.” It unfolds in three mini-acts, which I’d like to believe are connected, but don’t think actually are. We start with an amateur clock-maker working furiously at a new project, only to jump randomly to … a rapidly-aging naked girl staring at herself in the mirror. And then, after a sequence with a possibly-sex-addicted older man whipping himself. “A Looking in View” all of a sudden turns into a Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing) movie, with a CGI valley of enormous, golden human heads.
O.K . …
If nothing else, the video showcases the single, which, in turn, showcases the return of a long-lost friend in Alice in Chains. We’ll have to wait until September 29 to see if they still truly “have it,” but if “A Looking in View” is any indication, signs point to yes.
— Dan Kaplan, Front-of-Book Editor