Here’s a surprising statistic: William DuVall has been singing in Alice in Chains for six years, or one year longer than it took for the band to release their only three studio albums with Layne Staley. Despite his long tenure, DuVall has only put out one LP with Jerry Cantrell and the rest of Alice in Chains, 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue. That’ll change next spring when the Seattle grunge pioneers release another album with Staley’s replacement. Though the album remains untitled, its first single “Hollow” premiered on the official Alice in Chains website in the form of, what else, a lyric video. Thankfully for fans that think DuVall sounds nothing like Staley, Cantrell still sounds like Cantrell, and surprisingly “Hollow” isn’t that far of a departure from the band’s “Grind” days. For the video, the band asked fans to contribute photographs featuring the song’s lyrics, and the end result is like how Pearl Jam’s No Code artwork would look with fan-sourced Instagram photos. More importantly, Cantrell’s words are as morose and tortured as ever.
Barring a Mayan apocalypse, “Hollow” will be released on January 8, with a new album to follow in the spring of 2013.