Album Reviews

Soundgarden – King Animal Review

Released By : Mercury Records

Genre : Alternative Rock

Link : http://www.soundgardenworld.com/

 

Lineup:

Chris Cornell – Vocals

Kym Thayil – Guitars

Matt Cameron – Drums

Ben Shepherd – Bass

 

Tracklist:

01. Been Away Too Long

02. Non-State Actor

03. By Crooked Steps

04. A Thousand Days Before

05. Blood On The Valley Floor

06. Bones Of Birds

07. Taree

08. Attrition

09. Black Saturday

10. Halfway There

11. Worse Dreams

12. Eyelid’s Mouth

13. Rowing

 

I’ve always had a soft spot for SOUNDGARDEN. Out of all of the bands that came through the Seattle Grunge era, Chris Cornell and co. always seemed to be the ones with the most musical nouse. Sure bands like PEARL JAM, ALICE IN CHAINS and of course NIRVANA are usually the ones people think of first but looking back at SOUNDGARDEN’S output and keeping in mind their love of odd musical time signatures, Kym Thayil’s exemplary guitar skills and Chris Cornell’s monstrous voice, you’d have to agree that they were something special.

In the sixteen (yes, that many) years since the band’s last album Cornell has had an interesting career. His work with AUDIOSLAVE may be a little forgettable in grand scheme of things, but in their time there were just about the best pure rock band getting regular rotation on the radio. He also spent quite a lot of time doing solo acoustic stuff which was actually very enjoyable to follow and brought forth one of the greatest cover songs of all time with his version of Michael Jackson hit BILLY JEAN. Then the nightmare began… A pop/rnb based solo album created in conjuncture with modern day studio head Timbaland. Maybe Cornell won a few new teeny-bopper fans with that album, but let’s be honest here, just about anybody with any inkling about music would concede that this album was an absolute, unadulterated piece of dog shit that almost destroyed a legacy.

After much conjecture and deliberation, SOUNDGARDEN’S new album KING ANIMAL is finally here and it’s easily one of the best rock albums of 2012 and will have fans of the band feeling like all is well in the world again. Everything you could want in a SOUNDGARDEN album can be found right here and in many ways it feels like such a natural progression from DOWN ON THE UPSIDE that sixteen long years seem to fade away to a matter of moments.

Could there be a more perfectly ironic opening song than BEEN AWAY TOO LONG? Not only is the title so, so true, but the song itself is as relevant and powerful as anything the band have done in the past. KING ANIMAL is one of those albums though that demands to be listened to from cover to cover. As a whole is has a Zeppelin/Sludge crossover groove that gives nods to the past while looking full-steam ahead to the future. Other highlights include BLOOD ON THE VALLEY FLOOR, EYELID’S MOUTH, WORSE DREAMS and NON-STATE ACTOR. But the rest of the tunes here are only slightly under these few too which makes for a very listenable album with no real low points. Overall it feels a little bit more experimental and interesting than say SUPERUNKNOWN and DOWN ON THE UPSIDE.

I can’t imagine any reason why KING ANIMAL would disappoint long-time fans of the band, it’s classic SOUNDGARDEN but still sounds as modern as anything else going around these days. Thayil is at his guitar wizardry best and the magical pipes of Chris Cornell are still as golden and ridiculously awesome as ever. If you weren’t around for the first time, this album is as good a time as any to jump aboard and start supporting one of the best bands that made it big in the nineties. SOUNDGARDEN are back baby…yeah!

 

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

 

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