Its about time Jerry stepped up and showed all of these Alice in Chains Rip-Off bands (i.e. Staind, Puddle of Mudd, Godsmack, etc.) how it supposed to be done. Degradation Trip is a 70+ minute long heavy, emotional gem that us die hard AIC fans have been waiting for. Not to knock Cantrell’s solo debut “Boggy Depot”, which was a great album, but it was a slight departure from the dark and heavy sludge that epitomized AIC. Jerry was always the main creative force behind Alice, and he undoubtedly proves it here. There isn’t a single song on this album that disappoints. Jerry mixes his trademark strange and heavy riffs perfectly with layers of minor key vocal harmonies that can fool you into thinking that good ol’ Layne is alive and well. The lyrics are personal and emotional, and deal a great deal with Staley’s problems, which just puts the icing on the cake as we are given a hint as to what it was like to be watching Layne’s decline from close range. There is only one thing missing on this album that holds it back from being a masterpiece, and that is Sean Kinney’s drumming. Don’t get me wrong, I think Mike Bordin does an excellent job filling in, but Kinney has a destinct style that was as much of the AIC sound as Jerry’s guitar crunch and Layne’s nasaly wail. Thats my only complaint though, and believe me, its a small one. Any fan of AIC, or heavy music in general, will love this album. And fans of the previously mentioned “AIC Copy” bands should pick this album up and hear what Grunge should sound like. P.S. Shame on Columbia records for giving up on Jerry. They are most certainly kicking themselves right now. RIP Layne.