Sound — 9
Alice In Chains' dark and brooding music calls upon comparisons to no one else in the music industry. When you hear "Would?" or "Them Bones", you know immediatley that you are listening to AIC. The creators of grunge (not Nirvana, who made it mainstream) perform at near perfection on every track on this masterpiece of an album. Cantrell himself plays some of the best guitar pieces of the 90s with "Them Bones", "Would?" and "Dam That River". As a whole, AIC achieves exactly what everyone expected them to do: produce listenable music that rocks out loud in every way possible.
Lyrics — 10
Layne Staley writes some of the most haunting and chilling lyrical subject matter of the 90s on songs such as "Them Bones" and "Rain When I Die". Cantrell also provides some lyrical genius with "Rooster" (a song about Cantrell's Vietnam-vet father). The subject matter is more eerie and thought provoking than that of Facelift's. Staley reflects on his new challenges with drug abuse on multiple tracks, and moans some of their greatest hits-"Rooster", "Down in a Hole", "Angry Chair". Overall, this is the band's best lyrical performance.
Overall Impression — 10
Alice in Chains stands on a list with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden as the Seattle-native innovators of the grunge movement. As a whole, Alice in Chains blossomed into one of the best hard rock outfits of the '90s, where they would stand for most of the decade.