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King Animal

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iTunes Review

With this set's first single—the immediate anthem "Been Away Too Long"—Soundgarden announces its return after a 16-year hiatus that saw the rock world lose serious ground to prefab pop stars. Here, Soundgarden comes band in unaltered form. Everything that made the albums Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down on the Upside such riveting '90s hard rock is present in full force. Where most current arena-rock bands nod toward the pop market, Soundgarden steeps itself in the tough riffs that built its reputation. "By Crooked Steps" features a mammoth riff that stutters and jams like Led Zeppelin at its epic best. "A Thousand Days Before" centers on a circuitous riff that winds and snakes through complex terrain. "Bones of Birds" captures the beauty of the group's minor-key dirges where it evokes the very best of the early '70s and mixes it to Soundgarden strength. While singer Chris Cornell is the band's obvious focal point, guitarist Kim Thayil brings the firepower that takes standard-issue hard rock and turns it into something far more sustainable and unique in the long run. 

Customer Reviews

They're baaaaack!

And it's about time...I've missed them while they were gone. And now I feel better...

Seriously, I cried the day they broke up, I rejoiced when they announced they were back together, and ears are happy and the world of rock has righted itself again. I love this album and will be blasting it. Now, if they'd just swing down to Nashville, that would be spectacular!


Listening to King Animal, it's hard to imagine that there has been a 15 year hiatus in this bands history. The album sits comfortably among their catalogue and completely avoids that awkward "aging band trying to recreate the magic of their youth" vibe. It's simply another great Soundgarden album.

Soundgarden as good as ever

Amazing album start to finish. As good as Superunknown if you ask me. Doesn't sound exactly like any old album from Soundgarden but that's not a bad thing. This album only adds to the band's legacy.


Formed: 1984 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

Soundgarden made a place for heavy metal in alternative rock. Their fellow Seattle rockers Green River may have spearheaded the grunge sound, but they relied on noise rock in the vein of the Stooges. Similarly, Jane's Addiction were too fascinated with prog rock and performance art to appeal to a wide array of metal fans. Soundgarden, however, developed directly out of the grandiose blues-rock of Led Zeppelin and the sludgy, slow riffs of Black Sabbath. Which isn't to say they were a straight-ahead...
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King Animal, Soundgarden
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