Alice in Chains

We Die Young

Song Review by

Two and a half minutes of pure heavy metal rampage -- but taking its cue from the slow Black Sabbath death march school of thought -- "We Die Young" alone would have probably caused Alice in Chains to be enshrined. It's a masterpiece of arrangement and production -- from Layne Staley's sly opening groan to the way Sean Kinney's drums suddenly hold back then crash on the final verse, and especially the sudden, brutal ending -- but the song itself is what matters, and it's undeniable. Jerry Cantrell's riff obviously comes descended from the likes of Tony Iommi, but that's the whole point -- it's reminiscent of the slashing doom riffs of the past, packed into a commercially friendly length (and even allowing room for a quick solo or two). Staley's lyrics are among some of his most agonized, and if the whole doom-mongering seems overdone, his delivery is flat-out brilliant, an evil drawn-out drawl that veers between collapsing moan and vicious snarl.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Facelift 1990 Columbia 2:32
Nothing Safe 1999 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 2:28
Music Bank 1999 Columbia 2:32
Music Bank: The Videos 1999 Sony Music Distribution
Nothing Safe/Music Bank 2003 Smv 5:26
The Essential Alice in Chains 2004 Legacy / Columbia 2:32