Audioslave - Audioslave (Cover Artwork)


Audioslave (2002)


When I heard of the reunion of Rage Against the Machine (minus Zach) and Chris Cornell, I just damn about shit my pants. Soundgarden was and will always be the best grunge band ever, and Rage, well; it's just kind of hard not to like them. So with great anticipation, I headed off to the record store to pick up this cd, and when I entered and heard it being played throughout the store, I knew that it had to be good (especially when the cashier said it had been in his CD player for the past two weeks). I am having a hard time pinning down how to concisely describe Audioslave. They are Soundgarden, yet they are Rage. There are the distinct vocals of Chris Cornell and there is the insanely distinct sound of Tom Morello on the guitars. The end result is a marriage of sounds that should only be allowed to be played in heaven.

The CD opens fast and furiously with Cochise. For anyone that isn't immediately hooked forty nine seconds into this album, they deserve to be shot. The guitars start up with something that resembles Rage with the Soundgarden edge, and then Chris Cornell starts howling. What else can be said but, dear lord.

After a couple of tracks that sound a tad bit similar to Cochise (but just as awesome) Audioslave slows it down a bit for What You Are. This track shows off the amazing vocal abilities of Cornell. This song is definitely a look back to Soundgarden, flashing between a lighter, more ballad tone and the heaviness that can be expected. The highlight of this song has to be the classic Morello solo, heavy on the effects and distortion. It's simple in itself, but so complex at the same time.

One of the highlights of the CD has to be the astonishing effect that Morello pulls on the fifth track, Like a Stone. It's a weird noise that only he could make and only he could even dream of.

Now, very few albums can be completely good, and I have only one beef with this album. In the days before the super group formed, way back in the days when both Soundgarden and Rage existed, they both were bands full of angst and rage (who would've thought). That edge seems to have been slightly lost with Audioslave. Now I know the whole thing where Cornell said he didn't want to be replacing Zach when he hopped aboard, but it takes away slightly from the album.

Nevertheless, this album rocks more than anything ever. If I had thought about it more, I might put this in the top 5 albums of 2002. It's alternative at its finest. Call in your local radio station and tell them to only play Audioslave. Fuck Korn, fuck Puddle of Mudd. Only Audioslave.