‘Rainier Fog’ is an album full of vintage AIC style and delivery. Gritty guitar rhythms that inconspicuously transition into epic chorus sections, the signature vocal melodies that set them apart from the rest of their 90’s heavy rock counterparts, and of course those Jerry Cantrell hooks you just can’t help but find yourself nodding along to.
The production on ‘Rainier Fog’ is perfect for what they’re trying to capture. There are some new elements explored with studio driven effects and layering that keeps building on itself as the tracks progress, and the pinnacle of experimentation come by way of the closing track ‘All I Am’ which is a seven minute journey through emotion in music. There is also your classic vocal layering that gives AIC the sound nobody else has, and the mix is prominent, driving and perfectly balanced.
I really got that nostalgic sense of love for the band again listening to ‘Red Giant’, which I absolutely cranked about 30 seconds in. The ending section of ‘Fly’ also sent a shiver down my spine for all of its 30 seconds, not sure why they didn’t explore that feel a lot more in the early parts of the song. ‘So Far Under’ bleeds the early era vibe, as well as ‘Never Fade’ in parts even though it was a little too pop rock for my taste. And mate…. pretty much every one of Jerry Cantrell’s solos on this album. Thoroughly impressive, and certainly worth giving a spin.
Reviewed by Chris McEwin