• Record Label: Republic
  • Release Date: Nov 13, 2012
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 60
    The energy level Soundgarden maintains is certainly admirable for a band whose members are all hovering around 50 years old, but this fairly narrow focus on capital-R Rock songs and little of anything else results in a homogeneity that keeps it from offering the level of depth or surprises that the band's previous albums held.
  2. Nov 27, 2012
    60
    There's nothing bad about these 13 tracks, but nothing remarkable either.
  3. Nov 12, 2012
    50
    They sound more like singer-songwriter leftovers from his solo albums than the stuff of which big rock-band comebacks are made.
  4. 60
    Production issues aside, this record proves that Soundgarden still have their muscle but also hints that they are in the process of figuring out how to flex it again.
  5. Nov 8, 2012
    50
    King Animal would have been better had it foregone the regal pretensions and just stuck to being a feral beast. There was clearly the makings of a decent album here, but somewhere along the line it's all gone wrong.
  6. 60
    All those years in Audioslave have smoothed Cornell's appealingly rough edges, and as grand as King Animal occasionally sounds, it lumbers when it should roar.
  7. Nov 16, 2012
    59
    The group's first album since 1996 just sounds like the one they would've churned out in 1998.
  8. Nov 16, 2012
    60
    Soundgarden pivots and parries as usual, but a better sense of dynamics is much needed to make the performances truly pop.
  9. Nov 21, 2012
    60
    The rest of King Animal struggles to match "Been Away Too Long" for musical flair or raw energy. [Dec 2012, p.113]
  10. Dec 10, 2012
    60
    The album is less a triumphant return than an example of what happens to most middle-aged rock bands: They've returned as a slightly more conservative version of what made them famous in the first place.
  11. Nov 15, 2012
    40
    Soundgarden's best material conjures a dense atmosphere of gloom that renders Cornell's angsty lyrics portentous and significant. But few of the songs on King Animal evoke much of anything in the way of feeling.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    The Knights of the Soundtable ride again! King Animal is Soundgarden's first studio album since their 2010 reunion, and their first album ofThe Knights of the Soundtable ride again! King Animal is Soundgarden's first studio album since their 2010 reunion, and their first album of new material since 1996's Down on the Upside. And this album was definitely worth the wait. Soundgarden, driven by the wailing (and no less powerful) vocals of Chris Cornell, the mighty guitar riffs of Kim Thayil, the bouncy basslines of Ben Shepherd, and the eclectic and versatile drumming of Matt Cameron, have crafted a magnificent work of rock 'n roll. The overall vibe is similar to that of the band's previous albums Superunknown (IMO their magnum opus) and Down on the Upside. The songs are grungy without sounding nostalgic; instead they sound like a fresh reawakening. The band maneuvers through odd time signatures with ease, performing with vitality despite their older age. There are fast songs and slow songs, heavy rockers and soft acoustic tracks, psychedelic dirges and energetic bursts of alt-metal. Hats off to Soundgarden for making not only an excellent comeback album, but one of the best albums of 2012. Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    A triumphant comeback for Soundgarden. King Animal is a perfect followup to Down on the Upside, so much so that it hardly feels like theirA triumphant comeback for Soundgarden. King Animal is a perfect followup to Down on the Upside, so much so that it hardly feels like their first album in 16 years. Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2012
    5
    If i had to define this album in one word : uneventful. It's not terrible, but it's not great either. Every song feels like mediocrity afterIf i had to define this album in one word : uneventful. It's not terrible, but it's not great either. Every song feels like mediocrity after mediocrity. Perhaps it is Cornell's voice that is holding it back. Since Audioslave, his works have been in decline. I think die hard Soundgarden fans will be happy enough with new content. The most disappointing thing about this album is that it lacks even one great song. All of them are passable, but no more. Full Review »