Marking a New Chapter Nearly Two Decades Later: Jerry Cantrell “Atone” Single Review

Returning with his first new solo album in 19 years, see how the latest single signifies a new chapter for the Grunge Guitarist.

Back with his first new solo album in nearly two decades, Brighten, Alice In Chains’ guitarist, Jerry Cantrell, showcases a sound quite unlike any other with his first single, ‘Atone’. For those most familiar with the heavy, effects-driven sound of his previous albums, ‘Atone’ offers a matured, almost-solemn approach to his distinctive Grunge style, provoking intrigue for the album yet to come.

More reminiscent to Alice In Chains‘ most recent release, Rainier Fog, back in 2018, the aura conveyed by the track is one of regret, melancholy and an underlying sense of hope.

Opening with an immediate upbeat, bluesy riff, ‘Atone’ immediately draws parallels to that of Johnny Cash and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, with gritty, American-Rock undertones coming to the forefront. 

Yet, it is only upon multiple listens that Cantrell’s signature style becomes prevalent. Whilst opting for an overall simple, stripped-back approach to the track, it is within the subtle layering of instruments that his Grunge sound becomes clear, with nods to his earlier, most famous work emerging.

As a whole, it has become evident that Cantrell has evolved as a songwriter over the past two decades, with ‘Atone’ being closer to that of Alice In Chains‘ later discography than his earlier solo work. For instance, building up to its almost-anticlimactic chorus as the frontman echoes the line, “Gotta find a way to atone”, the droning, Country-inspired simplicity of the track is a far cry from tracks such as ‘Psychotic Break’ and ‘Chemical Tribe’.

From the progressive shift in tempo at the halfway point to the heavily withdrawn, lacklustre solo as ‘Atone’ draws to its close, the single marks a new chapter for the guitarist; one centred on hindsight, regret and perseverance.

Whilst holding an overall melancholic, hopeless undertone throughout, that is not to imply that the forthcoming album will be one solely of ballads as moments of determination and perseverance begin to prevail as the single progresses. It is here where we see the vital role both authenticity and maturity will play in the album- reflecting the guitarist’s extensive time within the industry and newfound approach towards songwriting

In its entirety, the track is almost certain to appeal to fans of Alice In Chains’ later discography, with its message and overall sound sitting perfectly alongside tracks such as ‘Never Fade’ and ‘Stone’.

Yet, whilst fans of Cantrell’s earlier solo work may be left feeling underwhelmed by the release, brief nods to the guitarist’s signature grit and distortion camouflaged within the track promise that a darker, more aggressive route is still yet to be found in the upcoming album.



‘Atone’ is out now via Warner Music records and available on all major streaming platforms.

Jerry Cantrell’s upcoming solo album, Brighten, is set to be released on October 29th. 

To preorder your copy, check out the link below!


What are your thoughts on ‘Atone’? Let us know via the comment section!


Check out the album cover for Brighten below!


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