Pantera In Chains?

I’ve been reading various internet musings regarding a reunited Alice In Chains recently, and how they’re going to be touring this summer across Europe, and to a lesser extent, the U.S. From everything I’ve read, they’ve lined up a singer to fill the shoes of Layne Staley, but will also be having plenty of guest singers on stage to sing a song or two. I like that idea. Layne Staley’s voice and the moods he painted with it were both very diverse, and varied widely from song to song. There are very few singers I know of that could rival the diversity that Layne had. One of them is Maynard James Keenan, and he actually sang a few songs with them for a benefit concert a few months ago. He was pretty good, but he’s got his own thing going on with Tool and A Perfect Circle, so I seriously doubt that he would ever join up with Cantrell and Company for anything more than a few guest appearances.

One person that I have heard rumors about is Phil Anselmo, singer of the now-defunct Pantera. I had reservations about him being any kind of permanent singer as well. While he can sing when he chooses, his singing style just doesn’t really fit a good portion of their music. Harmony is a big part of the AIC vocal style, and I don’t think that he has a lot of practice in that area, but I could be wrong. There are a few songs that I think he could totally nail, and I was given evidence of this last night. AIC played on a VH1 special last night with a vocalist carousel, and a few people were good enough to record it and post song clips online. The one I was interested in was Phil singing “Would” with Alice In Chains. I have to say that I liked the combo, even if Phil sounded a bit restrained. I think he could have let go a bit more and really let himself get into it with more of his singing style. He’s obviously not on stage with them because he sounds like Layne Staley, and “Would” is one of the songs in the AIC catalog where he could let loose and still be in the proper form for the song.

I have to say that I like the fact that AIC is touring again. They’ve been one of my favorite bands for a long time, yet I’ve never seen them live. Hopefully they don’t limit themselves to the limited amount of American tour dates they currently have lined up.

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