Sound — 10
The band's first cd is arguably thier heaviest album. Each track on this album is chock full of great riffs and shredding guitar solos, but even with such great guitar work by Jerry Cantrell the vocals stand as the most impressive part of the album as with most AIC albums. Layne Staley's vocal tone throughout the album is filled with anger and pain. Each line that he sings, serious or not, stings with emotion. Even though few of the songs on this album stray from the heavy metal genre, each song seems quite fresh from the last song.
Lyrics — 10
Alice In Chains is known for thier depressing lyrics and melodies and this album certainly holds up to it. While I would have to say that the lyrics that Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell wrote improved with each album after this, the lyrics written here are no less than exceptional. The only thing this album lacks are the deeply personal lyrics that came from the following AIC albums. The singing and great creativity in thier writing makes up for most of that though.
Overall Impression — 10
All in all this was an amazing start for the band. They created thier own voice and 12 quality songs with thier debut. Every song is extremely unique and never gets boring. I'd have to say that the stand out tracks would be "We Die Young", "Man in the Box", "Sea of Sorrow" and Bleed the Freak". If I lost this album I would be sure to buy it again as quickly as possible.