Alice in Chains

by Jeff Suwak

Alice in Chains come across as the missing link between old-school heavy metal and what would come to be called grunge. Many have imitated them, but none have been able to truly replicate their style. There's never been a voice such as Layne Staley's, just as there has never been a creative force quite like Jerry Cantrell. Though Staley's heroin addiction derailed the band right at their peak, they still managed to create some of the most iconic music of the '90s.

If grunge did have a unifying principle, it wasn't fuzzy guitars, punk-like attitudes, or flannel. Rather, it was a devotion to authenticity and sincerity in music. Grunge can't be understood without looking at the 1980s, which rightfully or wrongfully were defined by corporate tastelessness, greed, and a general vapidity. Grunge was a response to the '80s zeitgeist. It was music made with raw feeling, and that's how it connected with youth around the world. Alice in Chains exemplified that philosophy and stuck to music that was intensely personal. It was technically brilliant stuff, but its real lasting power comes from that sincerity.

Here, we've put together an Alice in Chains quiz to test your knowledge of the band.
January 7, 2022
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