by Two-Headed Boy USER (86 Reviews)
June 7th, 2006 | 18 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

The notion of a supergroup just seems to scream "Hey, we used to be in amazing bands, so you'll love our new supergroup!". This qualifies with Audioslave, ashes from the nineties that were birthed from giant-like groups like Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden. While Audioslave are a so-called "supergroup", it doesn't seem on paper that the formula of two somewhat different bands would appeal to man, but Audioslave can about in 2002 with the massive hit Like A Stone which seemed to hook album sales like a fisherman hooks a worm. This is the story of Audioslave's first album, Audioslave.

Audioslave (2002)
The Players:

Chris Cornell (Soundgarden): Vocals
Tom Morrello (RATM): Guitar
Tim Commerfield(RATM): Bass
Brad Wilk(RATM): Drums

What emerges from all the hype around Audioslave, which is a rather rediculous amount, is an album that can pack a major punch but also gets extremely repetetive. The formula usually consists of 1-2-punch drums, bass that just simply follows the somewhat simple and repetetive guitar, save for a few effect-fueled solos, and a wailing, screaming and occasionally hissy-fit throwing Cornell. As simple and incredibly boring as this sounds, the formula works for all the songs, but alas most of the songs follow the same formula. It gets boring in there. Extremely boring. That's why, when in doubt, you throw in a few ballads and things seem to be equally balanced. It's not on this album. Roughtly 3 softer songs just seem to get sucked in with the blunt rock songs, which sometimes slip to the embarrasingly low level in mainstream rock: singing about Gasoline.

The few awesome songs here are the ballads. Not the heavy-hearted, piano driven sap fests that souldn't bite a hot dog, but rather the ones with a little bit of a rock, folk or country twist. The rock song, Like A Stone, may seem to belong in the catagory that enslaves the rest of the rock album, but also adds a touch of sensetivity to the mix. The slow, painful and death-trudge like chant of the drums are the perfect compliment to the choppy guitar riff and *gasp!* non-similar bass! The slow and trudging feel of the song seems to disintigrate as the chorus rolls around, which has a very powerful and strong performance from Cornell and the guys, with the simple chords in a phased effect, and the simple and hard hitting drums duke it out with the rumbling bass. The solo, which is a classic one, no doubt, has a ferocity to it not heard since Rage's stuff, but also balances it out with a melan-colic, Black Hole Sun kind of feel. The result is pretty amazing and brilliant, which brings this frankly brilliant song to a finish. The country/folk influenced I Am The Highway would have fit well with a Beatles album, with it's somewhat acoustic guitar strumming those familiar chords and 1---2-3-4 bass rhythm, but when Chris' vocals come in, it brings that sad, agile and versatile stylings of Like A Stone, but comes to an empowering feel in the chorus, which rides smooth with the phased lead guitar strumming along to the lead acoustic, and the keepin' on rhythm section. The solo is something worth a drool or two also.

As said before, some songs are embarassingly simple. The constant drone of three chords seem to echo through the majority of the album. The overly dramatic rock of Gasoline seems fitting on the album. It's a head banging, fist pumping anthem that doesn't have an ounce of intellegence in either it's music or lyrics, and the simple feel wears off after the opening riff. Unfortunately, they start singing about my least favorite song subject, gasoline, throughout the song. It seems to limit the music to pure, post-grunge, post-metal rock that wouldn't sound home on a Nickelback album. This simplicity is a recurring issue. Every song has its fair amount of interesting points and times, but the whole power chord and insane solo combo gets old fast. Without the screaming rage of Zack de la Rocha, it's just garage rock at it's minimal point. It's also a fact that Chris Cornell is one of the better singers recently, and his voice sounds welcome with the rest of Rage. But, alas, Chris should be getting tired from screaming all of the time, and his voice seems to be losing it's beautiful edge. Fortunately, when he's not screaming (rare), he can have a frankly astonishing voice.

Don't give you're hopes up. This album has pretty much two sides to it. The sensitive man ballads versus the ripped jean garage rock. It's nothing new, and the only thing that remains interesting in this album is the softer side, consisting of only a few song, which could've, quite frankly, made this album a fantastic album. The lack of beauty, passion and, ultimately, triumphant influence in the blunt-rock songs make them less soothing to the ears, but it's fair to say that rockers are more listenable than others, to say the least. Songs like Set It Off can tear your head off, or take you back to a magical musical place called the nineties, where distortion didn't necessarily mean several power chords hammered on top of each other and being labeled a song. No, Audioslave create a scale-laced riff that provides the brain and brawn needed in a rock song. It's overall a very unforgiving yet ultimately enjoyable song that can rock. The other side of the rock songs appear to have less of an appeal, and rely on power chords, screaming vocals and semi-interesting solos to make it a complete song. It doesn't work too often, but Shadow On The Sun makes it a prime example that rockers don't have to rock all the time. It's a soemn piece at first, but can bite your head of in an instant. Plus it boasts the better of Tom's soloing techniques.

So, that's it. This is Audioslave's first album, and from what I understand it will not be the most memorable at all. It ends up being an incredibly average release that serves as a dissapointment from the legacy of their predecessing bands. Bands like Soundgarden and Rage Against The Machine sounded new, fresh and exciting, while these guys sound nice but don't come out as original in the least. In conclusion, this album has it's ups and downs, but ultimately come down to a solid album with a few catchy songs and a few ballbreakers, but also a few mindless rockers that encourage fist pumping rather than thoughtful nodding along, but this may be best for some listeners. So, this album is worth purchasing if you played with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, and also if you like a good, hard-hitting rocking time.

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Med57 EMERITUS (4)

RSHD (4)
A solid album that immediately sets apart Audioslave as a band in it's own right. Everything from th...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
June 7th 2006


good review. I honestly think Chris Cornell is a horrid vocalist. There is very few songs from Soundgarden I can stand, and none from Audioslave.

June 7th 2006


great review :thumb:

This is a good album, better than their newer one I think. I Am The Highway is my favorite off this right now.

Digging: Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here

The Jungler
June 7th 2006


I liked what I heard off this, good job AV8RS except:
[quote=review]Chris Cornell (Audioslave):[/quote]
They are all in Audioslave, I think you meant Soundgarden.This Message Edited On 06.07.06

Two-Headed Boy
June 7th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Thank you, dandy sir. :thumb:

June 7th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Great review, although I do think the album is much better than you said.

My favorite songs are Set it Off, Like a Stone, and I Am the Highway.

Electric City
June 7th 2006


Another damn good job, AV8RS. Stickin round? This review shows your more than adequate.

June 7th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This album was good. It had alot of heavy stuff, but also had alot of slower stuff too. Which is good.

June 7th 2006


Great job, man. Best review I've seen all day.

Two-Headed Boy
June 8th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

I was going to give it a 2.5, but tom79 gave me some peer pressure to raise it to 3. Naturally, I always cave in to peer pressure, but this time around I'll lower the rating a tad. Thanks for all the feedback.

July 19th 2006


Fantabulous review.

Although I sort of like these guys.

February 15th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

Wow can't believe this review hasn't been negged...this is a bad review.

which sometimes slip to the embarrasingly low level in mainstream rock: singing about Gasoline.

I see you heard the chorus...perhaps the verses might interest you.

August 9th 2008


It was a really good review. I thought you would have given it a 3, since you said it's a solid album. I kinda like what I've heard, but it's not as good as Soundgarden or RATM. I think it'd be quite funny if Zach from RATM joined up with the guys from Soundgarden, but I'm not encouraging it! Just saying it would be funny. And why did Audioslave have to perform Killing In The Name live? Why? WHY?

August 9th 2008


Chris Cornell fails

edit: I posted this ahalfway through but it actually gets worse as it goes on...some of those that hold office invented mother fucking crosses...what does that mean?This Message Edited On 08.09.08

August 10th 2008


If he says that he hasn't even learnt the lyrics to the song properly! I couldn't get past the ridiculous way he says the words to even understand them. It was a bad idea from the moment Audioslave was born for them to cover RATM. Cornell doesn't have anything near the energy of Zach, even though he's a better singer, with Soundgarden particularly.

August 10th 2008


Album Rating: 2.5

at least like a stone rules

August 11th 2008


Yeah, I'm fine with the album. It's the covering RATM which annoys me.

August 11th 2008


Album Rating: 2.0

jesus christ that cover sucked, I didn't know I could lose more respect for chris cornell

August 11th 2008


It's not just that the cover sucked, it's that they closed the show with it...what was the thought process? Let's end on a high note but let's use a song our singer didn't write...that's brilliant!

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