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Two albums from top bands reviewed


Muse's "The Resistance"

In the last couple weeks two of the world’s most influential rock bands have released albums. First, Muse released “The Resistance” on September 15th then Alice in Chains released “Black Gives Way to Blue” last Tuesday.

“The Resistance” is the first album from United Kingdom’s Muse since 2006’s smash hit “Black Holes and Revelations,” and it continues the theme of paranoid-1984-style doom. It is broody, intense, and at times magnificent. It sounds like what Beethoven might have sounded like if he had an electric guitar and a microphone. Matthew Bellamy's voice soars with power and beauty but at times he pushes it too far and it loses its effectiveness. "United States Of Eurasia" might be the best song on the album but there is one curious moment at about a minute and a half through the track when for a couple seconds it sounds identical to a riff from Queen’s “We are the Champions,” it is hard to imagine they did not notice this; perhaps it is done on purpose. Despite these critisisms it remains another brilliant album and Muse continues to be one of the premiere bands in the world. Their style and ability to craft a unique and interesting sound remains in top form.

Alice in Chains last album was released 14 years ago, during the crest of the grunge movement. The band broke up shortly after that and then in 2002 lead singer Layne Staley died of an overdose of heroin and cocaine (source). “Black Gives way to Blue” is William DuVall’s first chance to sing on an album with the band; he has been performing live music with them for a few years now. DuVall sounds about as close as possible to the unique sound of Staley’s.

Is this Alice in Chains best album yet? No, far from it, but it still is very good. There are plenty of songs with the dark, melodic, crunchy sounds that fans of the band are familiar with. “A Looking in View” is probably the best of these dark songs. And there are a couple nice acoustic mellow songs to balance the powerful ones, specifically the title track that ends the album and is a tribute to Staley (and features Elton John on piano).

Overall I would recomend both of these albums, especially if you are already a fan of either of the bands. Just don't be surprised if it is not the best work you have heard from them.

 Alice in Chains' "Black Gives Way to Blue"