When Seattle's Alice in Chains unveiled its debut record, “Facelift,” in 1990, it became clear that a transition was taking place in rock music's aesthetic mentality. Released a year before Nirvana's “Nevermind,” “Facelift” drew as much from the heavy-metal riffing of artists such as Black Sabbath and the Stooges as it did the nihilist gloom of the burgeoning grunge scene of the group's area. While the band eventually reached multiplatinum status with its second album, “Dirt,” it continually was hit with setbacks, most caused by vocalist Layne Staley's constant drug addictions (something that took his life in 2002). Led by guitarist Jerry Cantrell, Alice in Chains has taken a great deal of time to truly regroup. With “Black Gives Way to Blue,” the band's first album in more than 14 years, Alice in Chains opts for a back-to-basics approach, unconcerned with recapturing past glory. On the road, the band is scheduled to perform at the National on Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m. $35.
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