Kerrang!Dec 10, 2012In an era when so many classic bands return to tout but without risking new material, it's a delight to have Soundgarden take that gamble and win. [17 Nov 2012, p.52]
Entertainment WeeklyNov 8, 2012[Skip tepid "Been Away Too Long"] to the latter half, home of the Stonesian psych flourishes ("Attrition")and a bluesy power ballad. [9/16 Nov 2012, p.98]
MagnetDec 4, 2012A backhanded compliment, sure, but really--things could have been so much worse. [No. 93, p.61]
Nov 19, 2012King Animal is the first Soundgarden album that doesn't contain any "fillers" in my opinion, Gold from start to finish. Best album I've heardKing Animal is the first Soundgarden album that doesn't contain any "fillers" in my opinion, Gold from start to finish. Best album I've heard in a long time.… Expand
Nov 13, 2012The 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.… Collapse
Nov 13, 2012Sixteen years is a LONG time for any established creative collective, in any medium, to finally break silence and get back to doing what theySixteen years is a LONG time for any established creative collective, in any medium, to finally break silence and get back to doing what they do best; and with all the days, weeks and months that pile on, so does expectations. On that end, it's not hyperbole to say that Soundgarden have their work cut out for them, coupled with the fact that the last couple of work from frontman Chris Cornell haven't exactly made a splash with people, other than the truly devoted, does garner some doubt into the reformation of the much heralded musical collective; but somehow, just somehow, these four have shown that the newly reformed group are not some cash-grabbing nostalgia trip by way of a new record that at once feels comfortably familiar and genuinely exploratory. 'King Animal' would've fit snugly into the late nineties as a great rock record but feels absolutely vital in this century.
Listening to the album from top-to-bottom is a genuinely enlightening, albeit strangely paced, journey thus I will not spoil it with a track-by-track dissection. The only thing worth mentioning to longtime fans is that the transition from 1996's 'Down on the Upside' to this is staggeringly smooth and expected, to the uninformed however, this album is a history lesson into a time when rock musicians weren't afraid to take creative risks and at the same time not altering too much of what defined them. Guitarist Kim Thayil's playing still sounds like an extremely gifted child trying to explore every angle of his instrument, bass player Ben Shepherd still occasionally ventures off the beaten path with his writing and playing, drummer Matt Cameron still hasn't learned to keep a steady beat (in the best way possible of course!) and singer Chris Cornell still...well, expecting him to hit those high notes like it's 1992 is grossly unfair to a musician who has proven himself time and again to be more than the sum of his [vocal] parts, but his voice has a much more raw, more feral and uninhibited twinge to it now; but the fact that the man still retains his patented drum-shattering-scream-to-seducing-croon-in-nanoseconds is a truly herculean achievement.
If there's any criticism with the record it's that it barely holds any surprises for the stalwarts, as mentioned above this album is a rather smooth transition from their last work, which is a shame given how the band showed their inexorable will to evolve with each of their past albums; but let's not try and sound too ungrateful; there's still that sense of wonder, angst and exploration in these tracks that we've all come to expect from a 'post-Badmotorfinger' Soundgarden album. All in all, King Animal is an absolutely essential listen to any individual who claims to love rock music and a great sigh of relief for us nervous longtimers.… Expand
Nov 13, 2012This has all the elements that are distinct to Soundgarden, and then some. Ben's bass-work is more pronounced that previous albums, Kim is asThis has all the elements that are distinct to Soundgarden, and then some. Ben's bass-work is more pronounced that previous albums, Kim is as atmospheric as ever, Matt is still in his prime, and Chis' 14-or-so years of non-Soundgarden experiences show through, but in a good way.
There seems to be lacking that dominant track that sticks in playlists 20 years into the future. Lovers of radio singles may be disappointed, but the real treat is the album as a whole. One cannot merely break these songs up. They are so diverse and unique that every next song seems to feed off of whatever element was missing in the last song.
Personal favorites are Non-state Actor -- what should have been the original single in my opinion -- and 1000 days before -- a dark but euphoric track that builds to a satisfying climax of Kim's distinct guitar work and Chris' haunting wails (a deadly combo that is distinctly Soundgarden).… Expand
Nov 13, 2012The opening track is pretty awful... things quickly change. 2-13 are fantastic. Highlights from a longtime Soundgarden fan:
1. A ThousandThe opening track is pretty awful... things quickly change. 2-13 are fantastic. Highlights from a longtime Soundgarden fan:
1. A Thousand Days Before - Gave me the chills... the Soundgarden I once new.
2. Blood on the Valley Floor
4. Black Saturday… Expand
Nov 13, 2012If 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.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
- By user score
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