Alice In Chains were one of the few bands, in my opinion, to overcome the stigma that the label of “grunge” brought to bands in the 90s. While it took years (if even that) for the likes of Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots to be thought of as more alternative rock, Alice In Chains sort of stuck in the middle. They don’t quite fit into any particular genre. The amount of blues they are influenced by makes one want to put them in with the like of Guns N’ Roses, yet the heaviness that guitarist Jerry Cantrell brings to the table, combined with the vocal harmonies the band is now famous for, puts it somewhere in metal. (Cantrell, for the record, actually believes the band to be heavy metal.) But nonetheless, the influence the band has had has been enormous. Dirt remains one of the best albums of the 90s, and Layne Staley is remembered as one of modern rock’s greatest singers. It’s about time we go back and go over the albums that made this band what they are today.
Nine Inch Nails—either to the dismay of "hardcore" industrial fans or the delight of fans who've followed the band—is a household name for metalheads everywhere. For almost thirty years now, Trent Reznor has been making music that has paved the way for future industrial metal and electronic rock bands to succeed. He has been able to (paradoxically) put genuine human emotion into what is usually a very cold sounding genre, and do it with great success.
Before writing this, I watched The Dillinger Escape Plan perform “Prancer” live at the 2013 Golden God Awards, where, about halfway into the song, Greg Puciato cuts his head, yet performs, blood just streaming down his face, and finishes the song, even smashing a guitar against the huge wall of Orange Amps in the process. I had seen this video before—a lot of people have—but while I watched it this time, I realized how symbolic this was of the Dillinger Escape Plan as a whole. Ben Weinman and company don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about their music, and are prepared to do what they need to do to make their music. And it shows, as there really isn’t a bad Dillinger Escape Plan album—they’re all solid in their own, unique ways.