Soundgarden's first album in 15 years is King Animal. To some degree, it’s what you would expect it to be... It sounds like the music Chris Cornell has done over the past decade or so mixed in with some of what Soundgarden was doing all those years ago.
King Animal rocks primarily for the same reasons why Soundgarden has always rocked. Cornell's voice explodes with character, no matter what he's singing. It's a brooding roar that countless of others have been influenced by. It’s legendary. Chris Cornell is amazing but the guitar work across King Animal is outstanding too. "Been Away Too Long" is typical modern rock... It's cool, don't get me wrong... But there's nothing overly special about the song. It's the moments after that song that are the inspiring ones. Starting with "Non-State Actor" and moving all the way down through "Halfway There," the guitar work from Cornell and Kim Thayil is insane. In fact, it might even be clinic worthy.
King Animal's musicianship is of course going to be amazing but the songs here are what will win over old Soundgarden fans. This album sounds how you'd want it to; it’s a mixture of Soundgarden with some Cornell solo work here and there. Casual fans couldn't really ask for more than that. The die-hard segment might not be as psyched about it, but I'm sure they'll find something to like with King Animal. As witnessed throughout Cornell’s solo career and trips into Audioslave, that's a hard crowd to please. King Animal is worthy of listening to over and over. It's a throwback, a true album, and some amazing music.