Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heaven Beside You...In A Box, 17 May 2003
This review is from: Music Bank (Audio CD)
Since Alice In Chains unofficially died in 1996, and officially died in 2002 (The death of frontman, Layne Staley of an overdose, and guitarist Jerry Cantrell's second solo album perhaps silently confirming this), there's been nothing, absolutly nothing as rollicking, frightening, or downright painful...
There was to be nothing that could not only give astounding vocal harmonies and truly sublime guitar solos, in hard rock, both on a huge heavy metal scale and respectively the more somber slower paced songs. Equally as painful and emotional, Alice did it best. Music Bank is the box set released to commemorate this great band, containing some of their best songs, along with rare unreleased demo's and songs from earlier days.
Box sets of this variety have always confused me and certain not convinced me. Why mix all the 'best' songs with rejects and unreleased efforts? It doesn't seem to make sense, and has failed on many occasions for many bands. But the fact is that all Alice In Chains songs are so damn good, you can't go wrong putting any of them together. Even the demo's have a certain quality to them, because....it's Alice In Chains. Many of the demo's on the discs (I Can't Have You Blues, Whatcha Gonna Do...) are mainly based around their original sound which was glam metal, but this is still very good music, even if it's just for novelty value, and maybe even for a bit of a laugh, but the quality shines through right from the start. Interestingly enough, the first CD kicks off with their latest, and inevitably, their last song ''Get Born Again'' which is another fine example of atmospheric heavy metal, which also showed just what Alice might have been capable of if they'd stuck around a while longer. The world would have been a much darker place.
But throughout this fine set, many of Alice's best songs are shown through, including the shocking 'Them Bones', the metal slab, 'We Die Young', the glammy, 'Man In The Box', the unrecognised, 'Love, Hate Love', the hard as nails, 'Rain When I Die', 'Dam That River', 'Would?', the heavily under-rated 'What The Hell Have I' and 'A Little Bitter' (vicious, to say the least) from the Last Action Hero Soundtrack, and the acoustic power of, 'Got Me Wrong', 'I Stay Away', and 'No Excuses'. There is also 3 songs from the much loved 'MTV Unplugged' set, including the never before heard and incredibly beautiful, 'The Killer Is Me', which was written in a very short time before the show took place. Disc 4 is the multi-media CD which includes a discography, interviews, an interactive game (which doesn't seem to work on this computer), and much more, which at first seems hard to get around, but in the end you'll realise that it was made like that to challenge you. Alice In Chains to the very end...
Certainly not for the casual fan (if you are, I suggest Nothing Safe), and certain not for those lacking an open mind. This pretty much captured the true Alice In Chains. And as you'll tell from reading the lovely booklet provided this is meant only for the majesty of Alice In Chains fans.
4.5 Stars.
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S. Wright
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Location: Sheffield, England.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,184,087