Review: Jerry Cantrell

Jerry Cantrell
“Degradation Trip”
(Roadrunner Records)

“Degradation Trip” is a more than apt name for the title of this album since it describes the journey one is taken upon while listening to this incredible piece of work.  Jerry Cantrell was the mastermind behind the multi-platinum Alice in Chains project which brought truth and pain from the heart of the Seattle music scene throughout the 90’s.  In 1998, “Boggy Depot” was released as Cantrell’s first solo album proving just how amazingly versatile he could be.  Once again, Cantrell has proven he can still write rich melodic metal symphonies unlike no other.  In relation to the sound of  “Degradation Trip”, Jerry himself states, ” I realized how much Alice (in Chains) was and is a part of me and how proud I am of that band.”  Upon first listen, one might consider this a very “Alice” influenced release, but upon further listening the realization of growth and maturity sets this album aside from the former rock group.  Teaming up with two amazing musicians, Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne, Infectious Grooves) and Mike Bordin (Faith No More, Ozzy Osbourne), Catrell manages to create infectiously dark songs.

Introducing the album is “Psychotic Break”, a dismal metal tune with killer lines and the infamous Alice in Chains vocal styles.  The sheer aptitude of this opener lends itself to the development of the album.  The rage builds throughout “Anger Rising” and culminates into an acceptance of some sort with the acoustically rich “Solitude”.  The very next track, “Mother’s Spinning In Her Grave (Glass Dick Jones)” starts a parade of very clever songs throughout the remainder of the album.  One of the throwbacks to the “Boggy Depot” album, “She Was My Girl”, was awesome enough to be released on the “Spider-Man: The Motion Picture Soundtrack” album.  Without a doubt, this album reigns head and shoulders above all of Jerry’s other releases; period.

The finality does not end there, however, since the experience would not be complete without a trip by his official website at where one will find audio and video clips, tour dates and much more at the speed of light.  To summarize: Alice In Chains fans will love this album.  Jerry Cantrell fans will love this album.  Anyone will love this album if given the chance to listen to it.  One of the best albums released in many years, “Degradation Trip” is a must have for any CD library.  Hurry up; the experience will not be around forever…some day it will be “Gone”.