Saturday, 17 November 2012

Soundgarden - King Animal (2012)

Genre - Grunge / Alt. Rock

Track listing:

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
14 – Worse Dreams (Demo)
15 – Black Saturday (Demo)
16 – By Crooked Steps (Demo)
17 – Bones Of Birds (Demo)
18 – A Thousand Days Before (Demo)

After a monumental 16 year hiatus, Soundgarden return with an all new offering in the form of "King Animal". Now out of all the leading Grunge era bands, Soundgarden, in my honest opinion were one of the strongest, building their sound upon some classic rock and metal foundations, whilst taking rock music into a whole new direction. But are they still relevant? Can they still pull it off? Is this album just another example of a long defunct legend trying to cash in and ride a wave of nostalgia? Well with "King Animal", Soundgarden prove that yes, they are still very relevant to today's music world, and yes, they can still pull it off! Although "King Animal" does at times feel a little formulaic in places to me, Soundgarden are far from riding any waves of nostalgia.
"King Animal" is a strong and solid album, opening with ‘Been Away Too Long’, which serves as a battle cry for the band’s triumphant return. It’s almost as if the band wrote a personal letter to their fans with Cornell’s brooding confessions, “I’ve been away for too long” and “I only ever really wanted a break.”
This album is classic Soundgarden, moody, groove-laden rock. Jam packed with great riffs, hooks and melodies. "King Animal" is a journey that showcases the bands evolution, building upon a legacy that the established over two decades ago, with an ease as though they had never been away.

Highlights include, 'By Crooked Steps', with its explosive drums, the ethereal vocals of 'Blood On The Valley Floor', and the intricate soundscapes of 'Bones Of Birds'.

A good solid album from a band that have been away far too long!

Rating - 9/10

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