Audioslave
Revelations


2.5
average

Review

by Jordan Smith USER (16 Reviews)
November 28th, 2006 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite containing some of Audioslave's finer moments, Revelations is ultimately a letdown, falling victim to poor songwriting and bland songs.

There is no denying that Supergroups often turn out being lame, recycled, and uninteresting. Several recycled rockstars either trying to relive their glory days or make a quick buck. Although it is a sad fact to face, it is almost always the truth. The sound is never original, and usually comes off sounding like a watered down and more uninteresting version of the combined bands. Despite this aforementioned knowledge of Supergroups, I would be lying if I said that I was not ecstatic for Audioslave when they dropped their first CD. Comprised of two of the best most unique bands from the 90s, featuring the limitless vocals of Chris Cornell and guitar Wizardry of Tom Morello, they seemed destined for success and phenomenal music. And while their debut didn’t exactly do anything original, it did produce an incredibly solid CD containing great riffs, vocals, and some fabulous songs. Cornell sounded just as good as he did on Euphoria Morning, and Morello whipped out a whole new selection of guitar tricks that he had never touched on in the Rage Against the Machine days. Their second album, Out of Exile was a bit of a letdown, however had some standout tracks and the inclusion of a few ripping guitar solos. Entering 2006, Audioslave had the hype, credit, and talent to produce a CD that could not only perfect their formula but allow creative expansion on their sound; and to give credit to Audioslave, they definitely brought some new influences to the table. Unfortunately, the new Audioslave sound wasn’t necessarily a step in the right direction. Enter Revelations.

Tom Morello described the new Audioslave sound as “Led Zeppelin meets Earth Wind and Fire”. Fans were promised the same sledgehammer riffs and warped guitar solos, but now with a much more steady and funky groove. Although it is hard for any band to effectively combine heavy riffs with dancing vibes, Morello and the boys seemed up to the challenge. Sadly, the band fails to effectively incorporate a disco vibe into their hard rock. The sound and style constantly shifts with every song, however not in a good way. Instead of coming across as diverse, Revelations feels inconsistent. It has almost no flow as an album, and is merely a collection of very different songs. Audioslave tries all throughout the album to go and try new styles of music, they bring in Jazz time signatures and basslines on songs like Broken City and funky sleazy grooves on Jewel of the Summertime but they are simply unable to incorporate new sounds into their formula. The only songs where they actually excel are tracks which recycle the same formula they used on their last CD, relying solely on Morello’s riffs or Cornell’s soaring vocals. Even with moments of instrumental proficiency, the songwriting is nowhere up to par with the member’s previous works.

The instrumentation on Revelations is more or less a letdown. It was not until this album that I realized that Tom Morello has been playing more or less the same riff since Audioslave dropped their debut. With the new release, he at least begins to come into his own as Audioslave’s guitarist, really focusing on chords for the first time in his career, however he is a mere shadow of the player he once was. While the new rhythm approach is different, it leaves a lot to be desired and rarely catches the listener’s attention. The guitar solos are also a major letdown on Revelations. There was a time when Tom Morello actually used a whammy pedal and killswitch to contribute to the music, using strange noises and DJ scratching to create a demented soundscape. The effort on the guitar solos is minimal, just strange noises that add nothing to the song except for a couple measures of annoyance. On Out of Exile he displayed his skills as a technical and proficient shredder, and there are a few traditional guitar solos on the CD, however they suffer from serious lack of melody. Take One and the Same for example. It starts off promising, however quickly descends into a mindless serious of quick fretboard runs. Tom Morello isn’t the only one who has begun to deteriorate as a player, Chris Cornell’s voice is nowhere near the level that it once was. It is sad to see such an amazing voice begin to dwindle, however he is nowhere near Euphoria Morning. The lyrics are nothing special, his material isn’t nearly as interesting as early Soundarden or political poet Zach De La Rocha’s. The only exception to the declining instrumentation in Audioslave is Brad Wilks and Tim Crommerford. Wilks holds his own as a solid drummer, nothing special, but still fairly interesting. Crommerford more or less steps up his game on Revelations, making up for some of the guitar’s slack.

Although most of the tracks on Revelations are rehashed and clichéd, there are some exceptions. The opening track of the same name begins with a beautiful clean intro, and stays average throughout the rest. Until We Fall is one of the stronger ballads Audioslave has written, nowhere near Like a Stone or I Am the Highway, however still enjoyable and emotional. Finally, the closing track Moth is admittedly some of the best material Audioslave has ever written. The whole song is explosive, from Wilk’s energetic fills, some of Morello’s heaviest riffing, and Cornell’s soaring vocals in the chorus. Also, not all the guitar work is bland and Morello is still quite a few levels above the average guitarist, but I have come to expect better from the man responsible for Bulls on Parade and Know Your Enemy. Cornell is also still one of the best vocalists in the current hard rock scene, despite the fact that he is not up to his former level.

Ultimately, Revelations fails to live up to anything that Audioslave has done in the past. Their selftitled debut was excellent and Out of Exile still had a share of really strong material, but Revelations takes several steps backwards. It is almost ironic that the title is about revelations when the CD is nothing more than recycled material. The several new influences that they try to incorporate completely backfire on the band and make the record sound inconsistent and patchy. Just listen to the atrocity that is The Original Fire. Revelations is not an awful CD, but it is far from great or even mediocre, falling victim to poor rushed songwriting. For me, it has probably been the biggest letdown of 2006, especially after all the hype surrounding it; definitely avoid this one.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JordanS
November 28th 2006


319 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well, this is my 4th review and my first negative one. Definitely different from writing a positive one. This CD was a huge letdown for me, and seeing all the positive ratings, I figured I'd try and give another oppinion.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love members who register 10 accounts and mass vote for albums. There is no way this is a 4.5 overall album, no possible way.

Muisee
November 28th 2006


679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Mods should delete some...

Pretty good review, and agree with you overall.

Angmar
November 28th 2006


2689 Comments


I like the album a 4.5 sound right.

ohcleverhansyou
November 29th 2006


885 Comments


All I've heard from Audioslave (Out of Exile/one of the songs from their debut) has been average, with the occasional "that's pretty good." I haven't heard this, but your review (good work by the way) seems to reinforce my thoughts about the band.

6stringtaffer
November 29th 2006


25 Comments


Nice review, and i'm glad i held off from buying this, i heard original fire and thought was only okay (mainly due to Timmy) and then the "solo" came on. Wtf?

lotusfeet4027
November 29th 2006


23 Comments


Why quotations over the word solo? I love that solo, and I love the album.

Anybody who enjoys good rock music, and can keep themselves from comparing the band to Rage and Soundgarden should consider buying it.


6stringtaffer
November 29th 2006


25 Comments


^^^It's true i am big of rage and morello's older style for the most part, but compared to other solos he's done which are also effects driven i just don't think it qualifies as a worthy morello (or general) solo. However just my opinion, and if you enjoy the album then rock on!

Jim
November 29th 2006


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Out of Exile was simply boring for me. This CD was quite a surprise, though. I find the new soulful sound quite pleasing, and think Revelations is very solid throughout.
Giving Rick Rubin the arse was a good move too. He's a brilliant producer, but his minimalist approach to production didn't do them any justice on their previous efforts. Notice the "fuller" sound on this record? Much nicer
Still, the album isn't exactly brilliant, but it's alot better than their last - for this passive listener anyway.
Your review was excellent, by the way.
/votes

donkey543
November 29th 2006


3 Comments


WTF? It's an awesome album, I like all the songs! Is that 2.5 review for Revelations?!?!?! Can't believe it

JordanS
November 29th 2006


319 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks guys, also Donkey please keep in mind, you neg reviews because they arent written well, not because you disagree with the oppinion. Of course, feel free to neg away if you think it is poorly written.

iarescientists
November 29th 2006


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Every Audioslave album is a letdown tbqh. But I still trick myself into thinking I love them

It's good the first couple listens, but falls off really quickly. I haven't listened to it in about a month and a half, but I really don't care to.

Oh, yeah, good reveiw as well.This Message Edited On 11.29.06

JordanS
November 29th 2006


319 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Actually I loved their first CD. It's got a ton of great riffs and some really unique guitar work. I thought it was really cool to hear Tom incorporate his effects driven guitar into a more rock atmosphere, the best example of which being Like A Stone. This whole CD though, its just so meh. Feels like they took the already mediocre Out of Exile, watered it down, and threw in a few funk beats.

Freeyourmind707
December 15th 2006


71 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel the same way about the first CD... It's the only one that hasn't gotten old fast for me. This is better than the second CD though IMHO. There are a few really good tracks on here.

CowGlue
July 26th 2007


32 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

wow. i didnt think this was gonna get much of a rating...its so generic to me

rockfan123
April 9th 2008


344 Comments


watch out for Audioslave language.

"Chris Cornell at the eye doctor:

Eye Doctor: So what's wrong, Mr. Cornell?

Chris Cornell: I've stared straight into the sun.

Eye Doctor: You can't see anything?

Chris Cornell: I've seen 50,000 names all engraved on a stone.

Eye Doctor: So you see some things, but not other things.

Chris Cornell: Send my soul away"

from Pitchfork Media's review of Out of Exile. Sadly this is more of the same.

kygermo
October 7th 2008


996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic review. 2.5 is a bit weak for this album, as it is their best in my opinion. I agree with the inconsistency part though, but I think that adds to the charm.



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