Album Reviews

Soundgarden – King Animal (REVIEW) 2012

Chris Cornell performs with Soundgarden in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Clay Lancaster. clayancaster.com.

Let me start by saying one thing: for everyone who was expecting a sort of rehash of Audioslave… you’re wrong. Admit that you’re wrong, and move on with life. I actively challenge anyone to compare this to Audioslave.

Now that I’ve said that, this is very much Soundgarden. Very much. I had my doubts, and I’ve been hugely disenchanted with other “reformed” bands’ new attempts (Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, etc). King Animal is… well… good. Fucking good.

The first two tracks are the only “leaked” ones so far, and they’re pretty good. But wait until the rest of this record kicks in. Holy crap.

Heavy riffs, weird time signatures, odd guitar parts… it’s so very Soundgarden.

And for once, the artists’ statement about their own music rings true: Chris Cornell said that this would be “where they left off” (with 1997’s Down on the Upside). And it’s very true. More mid-tempo, very melodic, but just killer.

Chris’s scream is still there for sure. Maybe a little more calculated than before, but it’s very present.

It’s my first listen, but right now “By Crooked Steps” takes the cake for me.

Bottom Line: It’s Soundgarden. It’s true Soundgarden. Buy it. The only thing I’m not hearing is a clear epic song like “Black Hole Sun” or “Fell on Black Days”. Not that I want them to repeat their work, but so far there’s no clear single that will still be rotating on radio 15 years from now. Of course, people nowadays seem to be more impressed with “Call me Maybe” or Justin Beiber. But even in bars people still sing to “Black Hole Sun”, and I’ve even heard “Spoonman”. Time will tell, but so far a clear stand-out single is what I’m missing from King Animal. Other than that, the rest it pretty damn consistent with what you might hope for.

Rating: 9/10

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