Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains' debut arrived at the outset of the '90s without a name for the market they were supposed to attract. Their sound was too unique to be considered metal and more visceral than mere straight-ahead rock, but it was soon lumped in with that of other prominent bands emerging from the overcast skies of Seattle around the same time. Gritty, down-tuned guitars kept their legion of fans headbanging to "Man in a Box" and "Would?," offering sharp contrast to their mellower acoustic output ("Got Me Wrong," "No Excuses"). However, it was Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley's thick and dissonant harmonies which became one of their most imitated and original features, spawning endless copiers. Heroin-tinged lyrics and jagged, odd-time riffs foreshadowed their supposed demise, but their influence lives on in many of today's copycat bands.