Jerry Cantrell
Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2



by angelo_d_necro USER (8 Reviews)
July 21st, 2005 | 36 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

As you may or may not know Jerry Cantrell was the co-founder of Alice In Chains along with Layne Staley, after gaining hefty recognition with massive video airplay of 'Man In The Box' from the debut album 'Facelift' they became huge stars and one of the most important metal bands to have come from the Seattle alternative movement (even though they had nothing in common with the other bands). After releasing Dirt they're oft disputed best they released another EP entitled Jar of Flies (the first, 'Sap' was released after Facelift) and their final self titled album.

After longstanding rumours of Staleys drug addiction the band began to dissipate, it became clear that they were coming apart, Staley then went into seclusion before sadly dying in the year 2002, meanwhile around about the end of the 90s Jerry Cantrell released his first solo album entitled 'Boggy Depot', which was met with mixed reviews since it was a large step away from his previous work, he then began work on 'Degredation Trip', originally slated to be a double album the studios wouldn't have it, so he released it as a single cd first, dedicating it to Layne as well (the release and Laynes passing were quite close), before finally being allowed to release it in its full form.

On first receiving the album I was like a five year old at Christmas (even though I had to import it from the States for 20!!!), after listening to the first track on the first disc 'Psychotic Break' I knew I was in for a treat, this song is the perfect opener, giving off simultaneously a nauseating claustrophobic feel along with some kind of adrenaline charge, this feeling basically sums up the whole album, there are the slow burning songs constantly keeping you on edge such as 'Feel The Void' and 'Thanks Anyway', there are the hard rockers like 'Anger Rising' and 'Hellbound', keeping the package from being boring but not too aggressive.

The first disc has a mostly downbeat feeling to it, even the heavier songs like 'Bargain Basement Howard Hughes' and 'Spiderbite' have that kind of asphyxiating aura around them, each song is like a hole delving deeper into the dark recesses the pschye of Cantrell (which is clearly expressed in 'Psychotic Break' with the line "Reside In Darkness, thrive where most won't go"). It is rather difficult to express just how dark this album is, it becomes quite clear that it was Cantrell and not Staley who was the dark element of Chains. The disc continues on in the same fashion allowing each track its own identity, until the final track of the disc ('Gone') which is a touching country style ode to Layne, beautiful cannot describe how heartfelt this song sounds, fantastic ending to a dark disc.

Disc two has a different feel from the first disc, although still incredibly dark the songs all have a more upbeat message to them (upbeat in Cantrell terms meaning slightly less than extreme nihilism) there are more rock based songs and the slow burners here actually have a faster more exhillirating pace such as Dying Inside, though the first song of the disc 'Castaway' is probably the bleakest of them all with strange creaking sounds and a repeating ominous baseline. The album ends with the breathtaking '31/32' which is yet another country style ode to Layne but in contrast to the sadness of 'Gone', this song has a message grounded in the acceptance of the passing, and is the most beautiful song on the album.

In whole the album is filled with contrasts but they meld to create a very dark, absorbing whole which although hard to get into should not be missed.

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user ratings (149)
other reviews of this album
NodScene23 (5)
For every “Junkhead,” there is a “Would?” For every “Psychotic Break,” there is a “Gon...

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 21st 2005


The smiley face appeared randomly

July 21st 2005


Only got the single album, but it sounds like the double album is well worth upgrading to. good review too.

heavy metal kid
July 21st 2005


this album is awesome, Cantrell is one of the most underated guitarists.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
December 23rd 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

This is way better than having the single album, songs like Pro False Idol, Siddhartha and Hurts Doesn't It are amazing. Jerry can really write stuff that is both powerful and beautiful at the same time. I'd give this 4.5/5, but I am a huge AIC fan, so thats not really a surprise.

December 26th 2005


As a long time fan of AIC i was excited to hear of this albums release and upon hearing it ive decided it was well worth the extra money i had to spend importing it. ($40!)

June 15th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Maybe I went a little crazy with the 5, but you gotta buy the double album.

The mood of this is unreal. It's almost sad to listen to at times. It's a nice counter piece to AIC songs like Junkhead.

Kinda the "oops, I guess I ****ed up on that one". It lets you see both sides.

As for the reviewer saying that Cantrell was really the dark force behind AIC, I dunno. I think this was more of a case of blowing off a whole lot of repressed steam in one place at one time. But it sure as hell is dark.

Too many good songs on this one to waste space going through all of them.

February 11th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Great CD. I like Boggy Depot more though. This CD is incredibly consistant, but long and theres not very many stand out tracks.

April 3rd 2007


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

More people should listen to this. Amazing songwriting, nostalgia (the vocal harmonies are simply awesome and pure AIC), haunting atmosphere, and a stellar rhythm section (provided by none other than Rob Trujillo of Metallica/Suicidal Tendencies/Infectious Grooves on bass and Mike "Puffy" Bordin of Faith No More/Ozzy fame) make this album the one that Alice In Chains should've gone out on. Better than just about all modern rock/alternative rock out today.

January 5th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

this album is great... Cantrell is a brilliant musician, reminds me of the old Alice in chain days and more...

April 14th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

This is one of the best hard rock albums that no one has ever heard.

Think about it. Cantrell constructed this masterpiece at a time when he was nowhere near the limelight like he was with Alice in Chains, and it has largely gone unnoticed by a lot of people. This is just as good as any material he's ever written. His heavy/organic sound is at its very best.

May 23rd 2010


Cantrell put a lot of work into this, and even sold his house to finance it's completion. I think it's a pretty interesting collection but is just a little bit underproduced. While the collection is great to have for die hard fans like me I think to enjoy it as a whole, cohesive work it helps to have it as the single disc release, which I think showcases the best of both discs effectively.

May 23rd 2010


i think the opposite

July 20th 2010


This is really good, but many of the songs are too long for how heavy they are. It's really a pummeling experience.

August 15th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

This is up there with Dirt in terms of awesome. Jerry sure did a great job with this one. Powerful, dark, completely awesome. Both the heavy and the light side are great. Bargain Basement Howard Hughes is one of my personal favorite songs of all time, damn heavy and really dark.

August 15th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules.

September 27th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

It really is a pummeling experience, Zyb. Which is why it's such a great piece of art.

September 27th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

This album is awesome. Too awesome, in fact. Jerry ****ing Cantrell is one of the reasons I decided to start playing guitar, alongside with Michael Romeo from Symphony X.

September 27th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

Pig Charmer is so good. Great album.

June 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

All Hail King Jerry

December 15th 2016


Spiderbite goes hard

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