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Jerry Cantrell is an American musician best known as the main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist of the legendary alternative metal band Alice in Chains. During the band's silent years in late 90s and early 2000s he released two solo albums, Boggy Depot and Degradation Trip, before the band reunited with William DuVall as their new front man.

(the short biography written by Pekka)
Thanks to Pekka for the addition and rushfan4 for the updates


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Boggy DepotBoggy Depot
Legacy 2008
$5.89 (used)
Degradation TripDegradation Trip
Music on Vinyl 2017
$28.92 (used)
Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2
Roadrunner Records 2002
$37.50 (used)
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JERRY CANTRELL Boggy Depot album cover 3.27 | 9 ratings
Boggy Depot
Heavy Alternative Rock 1998
JERRY CANTRELL Degradation Trip album cover 3.50 | 7 ratings
Degradation Trip
Alternative Metal 2002
JERRY CANTRELL Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2 album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2
Alternative Metal 2002


JERRY CANTRELL Selections from Degradation Trip album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Selections from Degradation Trip
Alternative Metal 2001

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JERRY CANTRELL Degradation Trip

Album · 2002 · Alternative Metal
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"Degradation Trip" is the 2nd full-length studio album by alternative metal/hard rock artist Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains). The album was released through Roadrunner Records in June 2002. The writing for the album began shortly after the release of Jerry Cantrell´s debut solo album "Boggy Depot (1998)" and lasted for a couple of very intense months where Cantrell locked himself up in his house, wrote music and practically didn´t leave the house until he felt that he was inspirationally "dry". He wrote 25 songs and originally planned for a double album release in 1999, but then he got dropped from Columbia Records. As a consequence he funded the recording of the tracks himself and finally Roadrunner Records agreed to release the album albeit in a 14 track, one disc version. In November 2002 Roadrunner Records released "Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2" in a limited edition, which is how Cantrell originally intented the album to be released. "Degradation Trip" is dedicated to Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley, who had died from a drug overdose just two months prior to the album´s release.

Jerry Cantrell handles all vocals and guitars (with a little help from former Queensrÿche guitarist Chris DeGarmo on "Anger Rising") on the album while he enlisted Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica) on bass and Mike Bordin (Faith No More, Ozzy Osbourne) on drums.

The music on the album resembles the dark and heavy alternative metal/hard rock style of Alice in Chains, which of course isn´t too surprising since Cantrell was always the main composer in that band. The trademark heavy riffs, melancholic/depressive mood and the signature harmony vocals are all present and accounted for. Tracks like "Psychotic Break", "Anger Rising" and "Angel Eyes" are well written and catchy material but overall the material are generally not as memorable as it could have been. The 72:51 minutes long playing time, is also a bit of a show stopper, when the material aren´t stronger than it is. The two disc version must be quite a mouthful to get through. The fact that Jerry Cantrell isn´t the most distinc sounding frontman doesn´t help things along either. He is a skilled vocalist, but his voice is rather unremarkable.

"Degradation Trip" is both well produced and well played, but the songwriting is holding me back from giving the album a high rating. I guess the fact that it´s taken me 10 years to be able to get through the full album in one spin says it all. It´s too bad because when Jerry Cantrell captures the dark depressive magic, which thankfully happens several times during the playing time, I´m transported right back to the glory days of Alice in Chains, but the amount of filler material, that doesn´t rock my boat one bit, is unfortuntately dominant. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t unfair.

JERRY CANTRELL Degradation Trip

Album · 2002 · Alternative Metal
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Jerry Cantrell was at least to some extent working on the follow up to his solo debut Boggy Depot when Alice in Chains made a surprise return to studio to record two new tracks for the Music Bank box set. He may have had hopes for a proper return to action since the completion of that album took four more years, in which time he had written enough material for a double album. All the songs were recorded with the respectable backing of Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, both playing in Ozzy Osbourne's touring band at the time - but due to the insistence of Roadrunner Records, the album was first released as a single disc edition, later to be expanded. This is a review of the first edition which was released just a couple of months after the death of Layne Staley, for whom the album is dedicated.

Whereas Boggy Depot was a mix of the familiar type hard rocking songs and strong ballads, Degradation Trip finds Cantrell striving for the heaviest sounds he's recorded yet. This is not a feelgood album. Backed by a slowly pounding rhythm section and haunting guitar Cantrell begins the album with the line "I feel the fear take hold..." in a patented AiC-like paranoid vocal harmony, setting the pace for things to come. Bargain Basement Howard Hughes is a brilliant piece of slow metal riffery and threatening vocal work. And the the band sounds fat and heavy, perfectly complimenting the music. Anger Rising retains most of the heaviness of the previous tracks while taking the music to a more melodic direction further explored on Angel Eyes, a lighter rocker on which Cantrell brings out the acoustic guitars. Some of the best Cantrell choruses on these two tracks. The slide to a lighter direction continues with Solitude, a mostly acoustic ballad containing the album title in its lyrics. I've never been a fan of this song, there's something in its melodies and the rather monotonous chorus that doesn't sit well with me. Album closing Gone takes the acoustic approach to much more enjoyable results.

If the first two tracks established the first cornerstone of the album in their crushing heaviness, the next two the second cornerstone in their melodic heavy rock and Solitude put down the third acoustic cornerstone, Mother's Spinning in Her Grave (Glass Dick Jones) builds up the fourth corner of the album with the upbeat palm-muted three chord riff and simple chorus. This kind of "ah f**k it, let's just rock" type songs I would've mostly preferred to leave out, but they do bring a different dimension to the album that I'd perhaps miss if it wasn't there. My favourites from the rest of the album are mostly among the first two groups or combining them, most of all Hellbound, Castaway, Spiderbite and Chemical Tribe, which at first, despite its good parts, may sound a bit disjointed but is crowned by an absolutely fantastic hard rock chorus. Give It a Name falls into the fourth group of tracks, but is saved by great vocal harmonies lacking the usual crooked element and instead creating a feeling of comfort.

This one disc edition contains a few tracks that could be called filler, and because of that I haven't dared to buy the double album yet. At times I think about it, perhaps one day I'll have the courage. At least this version of the album is very enjoyable despite the few lesser tracks here and there. Recommended for friends of Alice.


Album · 1998 · Heavy Alternative Rock
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When Alice in Chains ran into problems with Layne Staley's drug struggles, Jerry Cantrell lost the primary outlet for the songs that still kept bubbling in his mind. So the natural step was of course to record a solo album, especially since his voice had been becoming a bigger and bigger factor in the AiC sound with every passing album. On this album he's joined by the two functioning AiC bandmembers as well as some other all star musicians like Les Claypool from Primus and Rex Brown from Pantera and a couple of guys from Fishbone.

The album begins with one of Cantrell's finest ever riffs, which along with the slightly twisted drum beat and the main man's charismatic rock voice make Dickeye a top class heavy rock track, a great kick off to the album dispelling some doubts that Cantrell needs strong personalities around him to make effective music. Cut You In is just as memorable with it's weird country feel and horn flavored chorus, but not nearly as enjoyable, but My Song is another brilliant track - a calm ballad-type song with great slightly distorted guitar work and one of my favourite Cantrell vocal performances. The louder chorus doesn't quite live up to the subdued verses, but doesn't bring the track down too much.

Cantrell's piano and Fishbone's Norwood Fisher's fretless bass carry Settling Down, another fine ballady piece with a lot stronger chorus than the preceding track. Nice acoustic guitar spices here and an atmospheric but slightly indecisive sounding guitar solo. Breaks My Back uses a processed vocal track and a sitar-like guitar to create and ominous feel that's quite unlike anything we've heard from Cantrell before. One could expect a big storm at the end of the track but instead it fades out to the desert sand where it came from. Works as well. Jesus Hands is a return to a familiar territory of heavy riffs and edgy rhythms, and Devil By His Side is perhaps the most AiC track of these all despite the relative lightness of its rocking. The rest of the songs are somewhere within the boundaries set by the first half of the album, the highlight being Between, a southern rock vibed feel good road trip track. Something he couldn't have pulled off with Alice, but fits nicely on a solo album.

Boggy Depot is an album full of good but ultimately quite unmemorable material with a couple of gems thrown in - not really up to par with Cantrell's former work with Alice in Chains but kept the man alive and strong.


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