Review Summary: Out of Exile is an excellent rock album and release as Audioslave express their talents as musicians with hard rocking songs to slow, bass driven tracks.
Only taking a small glance of a listen at #1 Zero, it could be easily passed up as a purely average song to Audioslaves standards. It begins at a slow, walking pace with a heavy bassline taking the burden of this boring song under Chris Cornell's normal vocals. Tom Morello adds little to the melody with his guitar making more reason to call #1 Zero a boring track. And as this song continues on, the listener remembers why they hate Audioslave; why people think they’re generic; why they’re not the rock powerhouse he thinks they could be. Though, as he progresses further into #1 Zero, it explodes. Heavy riffage appears out of nowhere and blows that generic feel from the beginning of the song out of the water. Everything is at full force here and the rhythm section of former hard rock band Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk, take the listener back to those days where the energy drove the music. And now, as former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell sings to his fullest over this heavy riff, the listener remembers why he loves Audioslave; why he still follows them wherever they go in music; why he liked them in the first place. He remembers that sometimes they simply just rock and own hard. After a blazing solo from Tom, #1 Zero slows down again into the boring song it was before, but as it ends, it still passes as one of the best songs on the album.
It could be said that the 11th song from supergroup Audioslave, #1 Zero, on their second album, 2005s Out of Exile, defines their sound and style. Sometimes they are just boring and generic and seem to make little effort trying to make their music sound interesting to the slightest like at the beginning of #1 Zero. On the other hand, other times they are one of the hardest rocking, energetic band around in mainstream music and live up to their former groups of the 90s, the grungy Soundgarden and the rap-rock Rage Against the Machine like in the middle of the song where Tom Morello and Chris Cornell are at their very best and show their true talent in songwriting as well as musicianship, and where the band shows they are truly one and more melted together then they were on their debut, which sounded more like Rage Against the Machine with just Chris Cornell vocals. On Out of Exile, Audioslave displays a mixture of both the generic and boring and the loud and energetic, each with their ups and downs. One of the more exciting soft songs is the first single, Be Yourself. In a sense like #1 Zero, it starts out soft and bass driven with Cornells deep, scratchy vocals then arousing into a blasting chorus but much more fitting and expected then the part in #1 Zero. Be Yourself comes off as quite an epic song for their standards as a stunning wah wah solo is thrown into the mix.
Like on Audioslaves as well as Rage Against the Machines other albums, Out of Exile begins with a blasting riff rocker, this time know as Your Time Has Come which slightly resembles the opener to their self-titled debut Cochise. Brad Wilk really shines on drums here as well as the other members of the band as this rocker has the listener craving for more. Similar to Your Time Has Come, songs like Drown Me Slowly and Man or Animal follow in that style and formula with a heavy riff driving the music into a hard rock direction. As the listener begins to hear these hard rocking songs, he or she realizes how expressive each member of the band is. Tim Commerfords bass is heard regularly despite the fact the volume of Tom Morellos guitar. Brad adds in plenty of fills and keeps songs from feeling empty with constant crashing of symbols and pounding of the bass drum. Probably most notable in the instrumentation is Toms solos. Most of the songs on Out of Exile have solos from Tom and while they sometimes sound similar or even irritating at times, they are undeniably unique and interesting with weird effects and style. The strangest solo can be found on Man or Animal where Tom really takes his effects to the extreme and pulls off a quite entertaining spice to the already wonderful song. Probably the most normal and effect free solo can be found on Doesnt Remind Me where his true skill is really displayed. Toms "partner", Tim Commerford, really takes the stage with his bass playing. Not only is it noticeable, especially during Toms solos, it really drives the songs forward and creates a trench that the listener can dive deeper into. He shows off his skills most notably in Drown Me Slowly before the guitar solo where his fingers dive down the fret board with impressive speed. Overall, each member of the band has its moments and succeeds in expanding their skill and playing to their best ability.
As there are the heavy Rage Against the Machine like rockers on this album, there are soft more Soundgarden like songs too. The soft songs on this album are really where Out of Exile takes a hit. Yesterday to Tomorrow is possibly the most generic song you can find in Audioslaves catalog. It sports a heavy bass line and emotional vocals but nothing exciting really happens. There is little up-front guitar playing and the songs simply drags on. Of course many listeners might find that they like this song for it is be no means so bad that it is unlistenable, but Yesterday to Tomorrow is really proof that Audioslave arent always the most exciting band. Equally as generic is Heavens Dead. Heavens Dead might still have the same generic qualities as Yesterday to Tomorrow does, but we must not forget all the beautiful tracks Chris Cornell has wrote in his lifetime. Luckily, Heavens Dead comes off as quite beautiful and an album highlight. In conclusion, save Heavens Dead, the soft songs on Out of Exile are mostly boring and nothing special at all.
Overall, Audioslave create another wonderful album with Out of Exile. From the riff rockers to the slow bass driven tracks, Audioslave composes excellent music. Although it could be easily labeled as just generic modern rock music, its still is good generic modern rock music and still enjoyable. Out of Exile is certainly different from their other releases, but most importantly is the blend of style and musicianship these 4 men find. Out of Exile feels easier at points and less forced. Also, each member of the rhythm section really stands out and expresses their style. In general, Out of Exile is a great release that shows Audioslaves full talent and skill.
Your Time Has Come
Drown Me Slowly
Man or Animal
Please Comment and Enjoy
Flea is Godly