Though their earliest origins lay in ‘80s-style glam metal, Seattle’s Alice in Chains became one of the signature bands — along with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana — associated with the 1990s’ Grunge movement. Signed to Columbia Records in 1989, AiC vocalist Layne Staley, guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Starr and drummer Sean Kinney developed a distinctive style blending melancholy vocal harmonies, downcast lyrics, and contrasting hard and soft elements — elements that reflected their inspired creative duality across two albums featuring mostly electric alternative metal (1990’s ‘Facelift’ and ’92’s ‘Dirt’) and two EPs of introspective acoustic music (’92’s ‘Sap’ and ’94’s ‘Jar of Flies’). By the second half of the ‘90s, drug abuse had torn the band apart: first leading to the replacement of Starr with new bassist Mike Inez (in 1993) and, later, Staley’s slow descent into heroin addiction (both musicians are now deceased), and a long hiatus from touring and recording. Finally, Cantrell, Kinney and Inez resurrected Alice in Chains with new singer/guitarist William DuVall in 2005, and have since toured consistently and released a pair of well-received LPs.
Selected Discography: ‘Facelift’ (1990), ‘Dirt’ (1992), ‘Jar of Flies’ (1994), ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ (2009)