This may be a slightly controversial Metal for Friday, because it raises the age-old question: is Alice in Chains really “metal?” This question, hotly debated in the 1990s, is something of a chimera. When Facelift, Alice in Chains’s debut album, came out in August 1990, the term “grunge” did not yet exist. I remember accepting Alice in Chains as a metal band, and most of my friends did too. They got airplay on Headbanger’s Ball frequently and they opened on the Clash of the Titans tour in 1991. As the early 1990s progressed and “grunge” became a distinct sound from traditional heavy metal, the term “grunge” began to be applied retroactively, mostly by the mainstream music industry and media. The world forgot that it had once considered Alice in Chains to be metal.
I haven’t forgotten, and I still love this song. Lane Staley’s anguished vocals and the chunky guitar riffs are very much in a heavy metal tradition. Though AIC passed mostly out of a metal style with their successive albums, the Facelift stuff is still pretty heavy. This is the official video, which unfortunately mars the original lyrics (which are supposed to be “buried in my shit”). With the sad deaths of Lane Staley in 2002 and Mike Starr in 2011, both from drug related causes, Alice in Chains is now only a shadow of its former self, but they left behind a legacy of great music.
Have a great Friday, and Shabbat Shalom! \m/