Jerry Cantrell: “The precision and power of James Hetfield's playing is otherworldly – his right hand is really something else”

Jerry Cantrell
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jerry Cantrell remembers exactly where he was when he first heard Metallica’s fifth record – sat in a car with drummer Lars Ulrich. The Danish-born drummer was naturally excited about the music his band were about to unleash onto the world and keen to share the anticipation with friends. 

The Alice In Chains guitarist, whose band had released their Facelift debut the year prior, even remembers which of The Black Album’s 12 genre-defining tracks got queued up first. As it would for countless others following its release, the music that blasted out of the car stereo that day left a long-lasting impression…

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).