It's been a long 16 years, but the wait is over. Seattle rock legends Soundgarden are back with a new album under the title King Animal and it flat out kicks major musical ass. Chris Cornell still has that screaming voice that can peel the paint off walls, Kim Thayil plays some of the most badass guitar riffs known to man while drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Ben Shepherd combine to form one of the best rhythm sections in rock & roll. Every song just blows me away, putting the state of amplification up to new highs.
Now I'll be honest, I was a tad skeptical when I heard this album was coming out. Don't get me wrong, I was excited like a kid in a candy store on New Year's Day 2010 when I heard that Soundgarden got back together. I was skeptical because usually when a band puts out their first record in such a long time, you'd expect a letdown from their previous work. King Animal is anything but a letdown though, with track after track just getting louder and louder. Cornell hasn't lost the ability to crush mountains with his dynamic howl and Thayil's guitar technique on each track is stellar, with his chord progressions going all over the place but still keeping a rhythm.
- Rob Duguay
Three things are guaranteed in life: death, taxes and me picking my favorite tracks off of King Animal. It's never easy but somebody's gotta do it as part of a service to you, the ever so faithful reader. Anyways, here goes something: "Non-State Actor" is all about Cornell's views on a flawed political system, Thayil's riffs hit you like a ton of bricks. "By Crooked Steps" showcases the amazing syncopation that Cameron and Freeman have, forming a wall of sound that has Cornell's voice breaking through it like a wrecking ball. "Eyelids Mouth" starts off with little funky tones and then Thayil just takes everything over with simple and emphatic strumming that will melt your brain. "Attrition" is fury-filled and shredtastic, no holds barred rock & roll at it's finest. Now you know what to do, don't just sit there and read this without checking it out for yourself. Grab a copy of Soundgarden's King Animal and let your eardrums immerse themselves in the music.
Soundgarden will be celebrating the official release of King Animal tomorrow, November 13th, at Irving Plaza in New York City for a night that no music lover in The Big Apple should miss. Soundgarden will be also rocking The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on November 16th and The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, CA on November 27th, a nice little tour that anyone who likes to bang their head and go absolutely crazy should check out. Until Soundgarden hit up your neck of the woods, get yourself a copy of King Animal. It's a breath of fresh air in a world of madness.
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