November 20, 2012

What The Press Are Saying About ‘King Animal’

Here's what the press has been saying about Soundgarden's new album, 'King Animal':

“Time has stood still, rightfully and triumphantly, for Soundgarden’s music, which is still the moody, heaving, asymmetrical hard rock that made the band a trailblazer of grunge…the band sounds like four musicians live in a room, making music that clenches and unclenches like a fist. Added layers – of guitars, vocal harmony or horns – are for heft, not decoration.” – The New York Times

“When you hear frontman Chris Cornell's brutal wail crashing into guitarist Kim Thayil's fretboard fireworks, you'll wonder how we got by without a new disc from the guys since '96.” – Rolling Stone

“The adventurous spirit that fired Soundgarden out of the metal ghetto is gloriously alive…a mighty result.” – Mojo

King Animal not only delivers all the heaviness, darkness, and beautiful weirdness that made Soundgarden so great in the first place, but also seem to actually benefit from the passage of time since the band’s last studio album.” – Revolver

“Soundgarden have always possessed a real ability to combine darkness with immense grooves…the 13 sturdy tracks of King Animal carry this compositional attitude into the 21st century. King Animal undeniably draws its strength from the band’s accessible Superunknown era, but also takes Soundgarden somewhere fresh.” – BBC

“This beast doesn't temper expectations. It lowers its massive antlered head and simply walks forward. It doesn't run because it doesn't need to, and what doesn't run from it gets run over. In the chorus of 'Non-State Actor', Cornell sings the song of his band's bestial spirit guide: “We'll settle for a little bit more than everything.” Because that's what a King Animal was born to do.” – Spin

“None of it has the ring of compromise that so many reformation albums bring…this is a band continuing their artistic arc. Hence, in songs such as the moody 'Bones of Birds',  the dots can be joined between their classic mid-90s work and this, nearly 20 years on. Guitarist Kim Thayil has lost none of his ability to write a riff, and there's still that darkness in his playing; a growling hum seeps everywhere, adding the glowering psychedelic menace that always made Soundgarden special.” – Kerrang

“Soundgarden’s reboot has everything a fan who fell for them in their heyday could hope for….Throughout the album, the guitars function like the imposing façade of a brutalist building, clad in granite grandeur. That style finds an ideal brother in the scream of Cornell, whose macho confidence remains unmatched in the mainstream.”  – New York Daily News

“An intriguing, challenging, sometimes compelling album…their trump card has always been Chris Cornell's extraordinary voice, which still switches from urgency to desolation within a few bars, and with it comers his overall aesthetic, lyrical imagery that recurs throughout: blood, bones, fumes. These are touchstones of heavy metal that – in his hands, cradled by that furnace-intense flame of a vocal – become something more meaningful.” – Classic Rock

“Sceptics expecting to find a band struggling to match the power and weirdness of its career highs will be pleasantly surprised by the dark Americana at the heart of sprawling, bluesy monsters such as Taree and Blood on the Valley Floor, while unconventionally odd anthems-in-waiting like Bones of Birds and By Crooked Steps reiterate the band's enduring dynamism, rolled up in haunting, gratifying hooks that claw deeper into the psyche with every listen.” – The Skinny

“Rock 'n' roll roars back to life with Soundgarden's King Animal. The group's long-awaited sixth studio offering is both the year's best album and a landmark for the Seattle legends. In essence, it's a journey in the truest since of the word. From the jump, Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, and Matt Cameron open up the gates into a world not far removed from Badmotorfinger and Superunknown but existent within its personal sphere. In the most wild, weird, and wonderful way, King Animal is distinctly its own beast.” – Artist Direct

“This comeback…is a snarling, propulsive, alpha rock monster…Chris Cornell is in possession of one of the finest pure rock voices: a magnificent leather bray that comes from the top of Thor's staircase…an enveloping, heavyweight and dynamic record that will delight the diehards, and no doubt continue to reveal myriad rhythmical intricacies in the months ahead.” – The Quietus