These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Anvilicious: Pretty much the only way the Dirt album could be less subtle is if it consisted of nothing but Layne screaming "HEROIN RUINED MY LIFE" over and over again for an hour.note Except for "Rooster", which is screaming "THE VIETNAM WAR WAS HELL!" for over six minutes...
Broken Base: Fans are divided on whether Duvall is any good or not, which is rather moot seeing that Cantrell is usually the lead singer from Black Gives Way... onwards.
If you're on the side that doesn't like Devil..., then you think the band took their surge of interest from the comeback and put out a follow-up that just went thud.
There's also quite a bit of debate over the quality of the band's Self-Titled Album. Some like it for its drearier, druggier (if you can believe it!) tone. While others hate it for those very reasons. Some have also complained about its slightly more mainstream sound and production.
Even Better Sequel: Facelift was a great album and very influential, but Dirt was one of the defining albums of the 90s along with Nevermind and Superunknown. Dirt also solidified their sound as a sludgy, dark toned, mournful metal band, dropping all of their remaining glam elements.
Face of the Band: Due to the problems stemming from his heroin addiction, Layne Staley was pretty much this, for better or worse. Jerry Cantrell, who already did most of the songwriting, took this role after Staley's death.
Gateway Series: Alice in Chains was an intro to Heavy Metal for many older metalheads, and served as a gateway to many heavier bands and subgenres of metal.
Growing the Beard: Most fans will agree that Dirt was when they truly found their voice. While Facelift is still loved by the fans, many complain that the second half of the album sounds too much like their hair metal roots.
Similarly, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is viewed as growing the beard for their reincarnation. While Black Gives Way to Blue was well received, Devil just has a tighter, more consistent sound.
The Law of Fan Jackassery: Ever since the band's decline from popularity in the mid '90s, the fanbase has fallen dead square at the peak.
Probably has to do with the fandom containing the worst elements of both metalheads and Grunge Disco Dans.
Magnum Opus: Dirt for the Staley era, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here for the Duvall era.
Misblamed: William Duvall for Black Gives Way to Blue as Jerry Cantrell sings on much of the album, though some people who dislike the album will acknowledge this.