Alice in Chains will return in 2013 with 'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,' their second album since the tragic loss of Layne Staley. Despite Staley's absence, AIC released one of the best hard rock albums of 2009 and we expect even more from the grunge heavyweights in 2013.

Alice in Chains' follow-up to their incredible 2009 comeback album, 'Black Gives Way to Blue' would've likely been in stores already had Jerry Cantrell not been sidelined with a shoulder injury in the early days of conception for the band's fifth LP. After ecovering from surgery, the band quietly went back to work with the probable end date of 2013 in sight.

While no one can guess what the new material will bring, we're guessing it will involve a lot more of the band's newest member, William DuVall. Many of those less familiar with Alice in Chains were incorrectly turned off by BGWTB, thinking that the new guy sounded like he was imitating the late, great Layne Staley -- nothing could be further from the truth. The familiar voice they heard was Jerry Cantrell, who always split vocal duties with Staley and wrote a pretty good chunk of their songs as well.

While DuVall does do Staley's voice justice in a live setting, his natural singing voice is, well, his own. DuVall came from an under the radar band called Comes with the Fall, and is an incredible guitarist as well as a powerhouse vocalist (see video at bottom). Cantrell's voice dominated most of the last record -- probably a smarter move for their first album back than "look at the new guy" -- but expect William DuVall to get a big spotlight on the new material, and rightfully so.

Not much is known about the new material aside from the fact that Ann Wilson of Heart thinks it's "amazing."  The band has yet to give a live preview of any new material in their few appearances since work on new tunes began in 2011, but we're willing to bet you can expect more of what they proved they still do best with their last disc -- make heavy ass rock tunes with hauntingly beautiful melodies.

Update (12/5): Jerry Cantrell recently confirmed that the album is finished, which means it should be released fairly early in 2013. He had previously stated, jokingly, that the album would "be out about three or four minutes after we’re finished." Along with the news of the record's completion, Cantrell addressed the expectations surrounding their second outing minus Layne Staley, saying, “It’s like having to deal with the sophomore jinx for the second time in our career.” We're not worried though, their last sophomore outing was 'Dirt,' and that seemed to turn out okay for everyone.

Update (12/7): The first single from the as yet untitled album, 'Hollow,' will be released on December 18th.

Update (2/14): After having some fun with fans by mixing up the album title letters and asking fans to figure it out, Alice in Chains announced that the album, unexpectedly titled 'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,' would be available in May 2013.

Update (3/22): The band has announced that the album drops on May 14th and said the following in response to the misconceptions of the album's title when speaking with Revolver (via Grunge Report):
"Read a f---ing paper. What I’ve seen is the most basic message to most faith systems is in contradiction with how it gets applied. The human element seems to f--- it up. It seems to f--- up the basic truths of acceptance, loving your brother, helping each other out, not trying to kill each other or steal each other’s s---. Those are all pretty good ideas. And most of your major religions have those things as basic tenets of the belief system. It always amazes me that some of the most hateful and hurtful things are done in the name of some sort of belief system.”

'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here' Tracklist

  1. 'Voices'
  2. 'Low Ceiling'
  3. 'Stone'
  4. 'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here'
  5. 'Hollow'
  6. 'Lab Monkey'
  7. 'Hung On A Hook'
  8. 'Pretty Done'
  9. 'Breath On A Window'
  10. 'Choke'
  11. 'Phantom Limb'
William DuVall with Comes w/ the Fall - 'Black Cross'