Audioslave - Revelations
With each subsequent Audioslave release you have to wonder, what’s the point? With the initial intrigue of hearing how Chris Cornell would sound fronting Rage Against The Machine (good, but not great), has the obvious talent on show here been allowed to go to waste?
This is their third album and the least essential yet. There's nothing on here you haven't already heard before, by them as well as other Rock acts. When Audioslave were born they said that they weren't going to plough the same furrows as RATM or Soundgarden and yet, in this day and age, we need to hear something akin to them more than ever. Audioslave have gone into territory that's normally associated with radio-friendly, stadium-rock acts. Any edge that they had has long gone. Even Tom Morello's guitar solos have begun to sound tired and predictable. When they peel through your speakers you're no longer excited but left cold - you've heard it all before.
There are a few of highlights here. The title track begins the album positively, with a thunderous riff and Cornell's voice sounding as gruff and as powerful as ever. But the album never retains this pace and adventure. "Somedays" is another rare highlight, stadium rock at its best - duelling guitar licks, some studio trickery and a bass line that drags you into its dark depths - it even has an obligatory "lighters aloft" moment half way through. "Wide Awake" hints at what might be, with a funky bass line and the guitars nicely arranged around the power of Cornell's voice, the chorus positive and bolstered with some chunky guitar riffs. However, there are some serious lows. "Sound Of A Gun" is pretty embarrassing and is obviously meant to be a comment on third world oppression, but the lyrics sound as if they've come from the pen of a Sixth Former, the refrain "Running from the sound of a gun" echoing infinitum. "Moth" is also poor, ending the album with a damp squib of a song - lifeless and without any form, you have to put up with Cornell uttering the truly bizarre line "I was a King / I was a moth". Elsewhere there a small riffs, couplets and bass lines to make you think that there's something better just round the corner, but they never materialise and quickly descend into rock-by-numbers.
That's not to say that this is a bad record, it's just that you expect something more from these guys. The songs all lack a certain something, a certain spark to make them come alive and engage you. We've been waiting for this for three records now, but perhaps it's time to resign ourselves to the fact that it's never going to happen and they're always going to be ripping off old Led Zep riffs.
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