King Animal - Soundgarden
King Animal Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 70 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth studio album for the rock band led by Chris Cornell is its first release of new music in 16 years.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Dec 10, 2012
    80
    In 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]
  2. Nov 14, 2012
    80
    This is a surprisingly strong reunion, one that puts the band back on the track they abandoned long ago.
  3. 75
    [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]
  4. Nov 13, 2012
    70
    While this record lacks the canonizing tracks like "Jesus Christ Pose," "Black Hole Sun," "Spoonman" and "Burden in My Hand," Soundgarden deserves to be commended for recapturing the feeling of grunge and reintroducing it today.
  5. Dec 4, 2012
    65
    A backhanded compliment, sure, but really--things could have been so much worse. [No. 93, p.61]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Nov 24, 2012
    10
    Definitely a masterpiece, like they said, it takes where they left off, heavy, trippy, dark, and well written, it hava an awesome start with "Been away too long" and it ends perfect with "Rowing". glad Soundgarden is back!. Expand
  2. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    Oh hell.. It IS soungarden............................................................................................................................
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    No, this album is not a "10". But it's hands down better than anything Cornell and the rest of the guys put out during the band shut down. It sounds more Superunknown than Down On The Upside, which is good :). To me, best album of 2012, along with Killing Joke, The Walkmen, and dEUS. Collapse
  5. Nov 13, 2012
    8
    An album that requires a series of listens to comprehend, ironic in a sense, as first impressions were of disappointment. Whilst not a groundbreaking, or incautiously innovative discovery, there is undoubted quality and progressive intrigue that develops with each listen. Best tracks - Bones Of Birds, A Thousand Days Before, Blood On The Valley Floor, Eyelids Mouth

    Avoid - Halfway There - A track that can only be described as a plastic revolver amid a bag of shotguns.
    Expand
  6. Mar 20, 2013
    8
    I was very happy when i heard this album. Nice come back. 8 out of 10. The band sounds tight and together. 16 years way too long, keep rocking guy's. Excellent effort! Expand
  7. 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 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

See all 21 User Reviews