By Chris Moore:
King Animal (Soundgarden)
Producer: Adam Kasper and Soundgarden
Released: November 13, 2012
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Top Two Tracks: “Been Away Too Long” & “Non-State Actor”
As was heralded by “Live to Rise,” their fantastic contribution to the Avengers soundtrack earlier this year, Soundgarden is yet another of 2012’s long-awaited reunions, this album coming out sixteen years after 1996’s Down on the Upside. In King Animal, Soundgarden has found a new groove that brings their signature sound alive again with reinvigorated appeal. “Been Away Too Long” is the perfect opening track, and it is followed up with glorious riffing and cutting lyrics and vocals on “Non-State Actor.” The eleven tracks that follow are reliably exciting with hardly any exception, never trying too hard to be catchy yet clearly concerned with being lively, particularly with guitar and vocal parts. Freshly energetic and consistent throughout, King Animal is one of the year’s best reunion efforts, and despite the considerable expectations facing such a release, it is one of the better albums of 2012 as well.