I am one of those music fans that follows 'rock family trees' so am constantly stepping backwards and finding new bands I like ... or at least experimenting with those I think I might. Sometimes I make a mistake, but this is certainly not the case with Alice in Chains: on the strength of one track on a compilation, I bought not just this album but also a triple pack containing three of their early albums (and there was a fair gap between those and their latest, let's be fair). Surprisingly, I find that I like all four. Their 2009 offering is certainly impressive and consistently good (there are no duff tracks here), so the passage of time certainly hasn't dulled their powers or ambition. The vocals (from the 'new guy') are strong, the rhythm section is full of driving power, and the guitar work runs the full gamut from hard rock riffs to melodic, almost balladic strains that pull at the heart-strings. Old fans will certainly be rewarded for the long wait, while this collection is as good a place as any for any potential new fans to start.