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Alice in Chains: Rainier Fog Vinyl Review

Alice in Chains: Rainier Fog Vinyl Review

Come with me as we venture through the fog of the Rainier mountains. I’ll be your guide as we traverse through the rocky paths and sludge that await us in “Rainier Fog”, Alice in Chain’s (AIC) 6th studio album. Despite the sounds of doom and gloom that are prominent in this album you’ll find this vinyl has a lot more depth to offer.

Inner Sleeve A

Music – I always like to begin with music as that’s the main reason I end up buying vinyls. Rainer Fog is an interesting album because it has the classic sounds we’re used to hearing from AIC in tracks like “Drone” & “Never Fade” but at the same time they explore a little outside their comfort zones with tracks like “Fly” & “Never Fade” sounding like classic AIC until the chorus hits. Singer/songwriter/lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell unleashes some of his vocal potential in the latter two tracks with an almost country/folksy twang in his voice. The best part of this album are his guitar solos. Cantrell shows us that guitar solos in rock are not in fact dead. These solos add a lot of life to and remind us why AIC was such a huge influence in the grunge/alternative scene in Seattle. Rainer Fog was rightfully so nominated (and I think snubbed) for a Grammy in the best rock album of 2019. 4.5/5

Vinyl Side A

Vinyl – The vinyl quality itself also sounds great as well. At several points in the album the guitar and vocals meld so well together and really bring out the classic AIC vibe. My biggest gripe about the sound quality of the vinyl are the drums. They feel a little drowned out, which is something I personally don’t like in rock albums. I question whether it was the band’s choice to make them sound that way, or if it was a mixing/mastering issue because they really pop in some songs like “Deaf Ears Blind Eyes” & “Never Fade”. Thankfully the guitars are very clear and powerful sounding (classic AIC) and you can hear the quality really come through when Cantrell wails on his guitar solos. 4.5/5

Inner Sleeve Band Photo

Design – The cover has a neat little feature in the center of the album cover. The eye slit is cut out, so when you slide out the inner sleeves you see that the image is actually on the record sleeve and not on the cover. I feel this was a missed opportunity for them to add variant covers so you can interchange them as you please. I was also expecting a slightly bigger album cover that folds open as it comes with 2 vinyls, so that was also a bit of a let down. Even though it has 2 vinyls, only 3 of its sides are used for tracks. “Side D” was used to etch part of their album cover design which is a nice feature to look at and admire (you can see that below). The album sleeves are great because not only are they made out of a thicker almost cardboard-like paper, but they also have a great design on one and fantastic pictures of the entire band rocking out. The back of the sleeves also have the lyrics to the songs which is always a great addition in my book. 4.5/5

Vinyl Side D

Rainier Fog is a must-have if you are a fan of Alice in Chains or hard rock in general. Don’t be discouraged by any negative feedback I provide as it is meant to give you an honest representation of the flaws this vinyl has, however this album is too good to ignore and so are the quality of the vinyl and album cover. Thanks for reading!

Back Album Cover

About Me: I am a classically trained guitarist and trombonist (it’s a word look it up). I’ve received highest honors in state-level competitions back in high school and was pursuing a degree in music until life came crashing down on me. I still create music on my own time and for my gaming podcast which you can also find here under the gaming section of Drop the Spotlight. Email me at [email protected] if you’re interested in having me review your album/band and have an article up on Drop the Spotlight.