Soundgarden - King Animal

There isn’t enough to satisfy the casual listener over the 13 tracks.

Label: Vertigo

Rating: 7

After 16 years and various solo projects Soundgarden are back with ‘King Animal’. It’s therefore altogether appropriate that they open with the blistering ‘Been Away For Too Long’ where crushing riffs and the enduringly powerful vocals of Cornell place the listener in familiar territory. This strong start is cemented with the politically-tinged ‘Non-State Actor’ which harnesses the wordplay of veteran guitarist Kim Thayil.

Elsewhere the contemplative ‘Bones Of Birds’ impresses with its potent blend of clever lyrics, well judged use of effects and vocal layering. The unravelling riff that sits at the heart of ‘A Thousand Days Before’ and lean call to arms of ‘Attrition’ show promise but there isn’t enough to satisfy the casual listener over the 13 tracks. ‘Taree’ frustratingly fails to ignite despite some good ideas whilst repetition is the downfall of ‘Blood On The Valley Floor’. Whilst this beast will satisfy the ravenous converted, sceptics are set to remain agnostic.