Alice In Chains - Dirt
29 September 1992

01. Them Bones
02. Dam That River
03. Rain When I Die
04. Down In A Hole
05. Sickman
06. Rooster
07. Junkhead
08. Dirt
09. God Smack
10. Iron Gland (Unlisted) [feat Tom Araya]
11. Hate To Feel
12. Angry Chair
13. Would?

Dirt is a cathartic classic and an album that deserves a review of some kind. Haunting harmonies encompass lyrics that depreciate and belittle. Their vocal tones can truly hypnotize the listener. Yes, Alice In Chains waste no time in shoveling the weight of their sound onto you, with "Them Bones", providing a summary of the themes of the album. "I believe them bones are me."

For four songs, Layne Staley imposingly wills onto the listener a sense of desertion. Stranded in the desert, a meek soul, with dirt scattered over your limbs. And then, with "Sickman", Alice In Chains bring the fucking dump truck in and complete the burial. "What the hell am I?" Well you're "worn eroded pride" that's what.

The unforgettable "Rooster" follows. Portraying a lone man, standing tall in a world where the barrage is consistent. Wiping the spit from his face, he hauls his buddy through the disingenuous mirth. Shoddy images of his wife and kids, tucked away in his earth saturated pockets, are his lone source of strength. Beautifully, a feeling of loneliness culminates on this song.

"You know he ain't gonna die."

Songs of addiction and depressive thoughts fit the bill at this point, and it should be noted that these themes never become overbearing within the album experience. Jerry Cantrell throws down some wonderful bluesy solos, while Layne Staley powerfully delivers the lyrics. And then the two memorable closers "Angry Chair" and "Would?" wrap the album up.

"Angry Chair" has a minor reverb on the vocals of each verse that really do the song well in giving it its atmosphere. The song seems to capture a momentary, and unwilling, loss of control. And "Would?", with its moody verses, powerful choruses, and vague finish bring the album to a close with Layne Staley (or Jerry Cantrell, really) asking THE question "If I would, could you?"

And that's the end. In my estimation, this album is about as complete as they come and I strongly recommend that you listen to Dirt if you haven't already.

R.I.P. Layne Staley

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10

Band profile: Alice In Chains
Album: Dirt


written by Nosurper | 29.09.2012

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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Jiri - 29.09.2012 at 01:03  
One of Jiri's favorite albums, all-time. Great review, my friend!
afu - 29.09.2012 at 01:23  
I lived this album with a different drug than Layne or Jerry. It's hard to listen to the whole thing today. Too many bad memories of a past life. However, it is one of the greatest albums ever.
Susan - 29.09.2012 at 01:50  
Yes, this IS one of the greatest albums ever. I've rarely heard music written and performed with such honesty. It doesn't feel like a show with this record.

And nice review. I like how you used the lyrical content and quotes to indicate the musical moods, since the band ties the two together so perfectly.
Misfit74 - 29.09.2012 at 19:57  
If an album was ever worthy of the maximum rating of 10, this one deserves a 15.
Cynic Metalhead - 29.09.2012 at 20:53  
Written by Misfit74 on 29.09.2012 at 19:57

If an album was ever worthy of the maximum rating of 10, this one deserves a 15.

Aye, Slayer's Reign in Blood deserves 15 too.
tea[m]ster - 29.09.2012 at 20:56  
Thanks for the review, a timeless classic.
Spirit Molecule - 29.09.2012 at 21:21  
Written by Cynic Metalhead on 29.09.2012 at 20:53

Written by Misfit74 on 29.09.2012 at 19:57

If an album was ever worthy of the maximum rating of 10, this one deserves a 15.

Aye, it equally deserves by Slayer's Reign in Blood too.

Eh? Wtf??

@ Misfit , totally agree with you. This is such an awesome album. I can listen to it over and over again. I was actually listening to them quite recently. This one and the Black gives way to blue album.
I think this was their best
Sonic MrSumo - 30.09.2012 at 03:14  
One of the greatest albums of all time!
Monolithic - 30.09.2012 at 04:30  
I wish Layne was still alive.
This album deserves the credit it gets. Thanks for the review.
Ace Frawley - 02.10.2012 at 00:22  
Thanks for writing a review for this album - it's long overdue on this site. And a very well-written review too. This album has a special place in my younger days and I'll never forget seeing them play these songs live in Australia in 1993.
Bad English - 26.07.2015 at 19:39  
Songs of addiction and depressive thoughts fit the bill at this point -----

IMO its most depressive grunge band ever
BlankFile - 26.08.2016 at 19:40  
Absolute masterpiece of the Grunge scene. A must have on every shelf around the World.

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