Something special about both Seattle grunge pioneers Alice In Chains is how they straddle genres of heavy music. Their combination of supremely heavy riffs and vulnerable alt-rock put them in a class of their own. A similar merging of sounds exists in the music of Denver riff merchants Khemmis, who bring crushing downer-doom and widescreen biker rock together effortlessly. Which is why it’s awesome that Khemmis have dropped a cover of the AIC classic “Down In A Hole” — and why it’s no surprise that the track absolutely slays.
The Khemmis version of “Down In A Hole” comes from Dirt Redux, part of Magnetic Eye Records’ ongoing project of having classic albums reimagined by a slew of awesome bands. For Alice In Chains’ Dirt, Magnetic Eye brought together a stunning collection of doom acts to give the record its heavy, depressive due.
“Alice in Chains has long been one of the most important bands in my life,” guitarist Ben Hutcherson told Consequence of Sound. “Though they’re (understandably) associated with the Seattle grunge scene, their music carries a visceral heft that, for me, wasn’t present for the other bands of that music world.
“Dirt was, and remains, a landmark album of bleakness paired with incredible songwriting, and ‘Down in a Hole’ was one of the first songs I learned to play on my dad’s old Takamine acoustic guitar back in ’98 or ’99. The fact that a song like that works as well, if not better, on an acoustic guitar as on a distorted electric guitar is a testament to the power of what those four guys created together.”
Check out Khemmis’ “Down In A Hole” below:
The full tracklisting for Dirt Redux is as follows:
01. Thou – Them Bones
02. Low Flying Hawks – Dam That River
03. High Priest – Rain When I Die
04. Khemmis – Down in a Hole
05. These Beasts – Sickman
06. Howling Giant – Rooster
07. Forming the Void – Junkhead
08. Somnuri – Dirt
09. Backwoods Payback – God Smack
10. Black Electric – Iron Gland
11. – (16) – – Hate to Feel
12. Vokonis – Angry Chair
13. The Otolith – Would?
Check out this gorgeous cover art:
Dirt Redux drops 9/18 via Magnetic Eye Records, and is available for preorder.
Words by Chris Krovatin