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King Animal

73 customer reviews

Price: £14.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£14.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 3 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Amazon's Soundgarden Store


Image of album by Soundgarden


Image of Soundgarden



“When I think of Soundgarden, I think of a sound, I think of one entity, one organic thing,” says singer and guitarist Chris Cornell, “but I guess that the exciting part is that it’s always been really varied.”

Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the 80s and 90s, the ... Read more in Amazon's Soundgarden Store

Visit Amazon's Soundgarden Store
for 38 albums, 13 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

King Animal + Down On The Upside + Superunknown
Price For All Three: £25.98

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Nov. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B00A0I11ZU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,134 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Been Away Too Long
2. Non-State Actor
3. By Crooked Steps
4. A Thousand Days Before
5. Blood On The Valley Floor
6. Bones Of Birds
7. Taree
8. Attrition
9. Black Saturday
10. Halfway There
11. Worse Dreams
12. Eyelid's Mouth
13. Rowing

Product Description

BBC Review

Of all the bands emerging in a blur of rain, greasy hair and plaid from the Pacific Northwest during the early- to mid-90s, Soundgarden have arguably been the most poorly served by posterity.

Kurt Cobain sealed Nirvana’s legend with a shotgun blast, while the likes of Mudhoney kept their underground credibility intact by lying relatively low. Soundgarden, though, never seemed to achieve the critical acclaim or cultural cachet of their peers.

But from the off, King Animal sounds as if it’s written by a band with a point to prove: “I’ve been away for too long / Though I never really wanted to stay.” This pertinent line from Been Away Too Long might speak volumes about Chris Cornell’s attitude to their return, and their initial demise; and, perhaps, the less-than-favourable reaction to Audioslave or his own solo material.

Musically, Been Away Too Long is a step up to the plate, too – there’s a rhythmic kinship with 1994 album Superunknown’s My Wave, but there’s a lot more going on. Cornell’s ever-distinctive voice is more streamlined, and there’s some high-end guitar fiddling over the booming toms before a discordant, clanging breakdown. It makes for an exciting taste of what is to come.

Soundgarden have always possessed a real ability to combine darkness with immense grooves, as heard clearly on the sinuous Taree; and it’s this that lifted them above their more thrashy, punk rock bar band peers. The 13 sturdy tracks of King Animal carry this compositional attitude into the 21st century.

King Animal undeniably draws its strength from the band’s accessible Superunknown era, but also takes Soundgarden somewhere fresh. A Thousand Days Before is rolling and melodic, and Blood on the Valley Floor almost sensual.

The overall theme is that of dark Americana, with Poe-recalling imagery and a sense of the political in lyrics about “bullets and missiles” in the grinding Non-State Actor or the negative pop chorus of Bones of Birds: “Too weak to survive.”

Soundgarden occupy a curious place in 2012, adrift of the EDM-meets-nu-metal rock mainstream. Perhaps that’s how it should be, though: they’re a stadium band yet still outsiders, singing in and of the rain.

--Luke Turner

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By nin/ja77 on 10 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
When Soundgarden reformed in 2010 and embarked on a tour the question was always going to be will they record a new album? Well the answer is yes and the even better news is that the album is very good and has all the hallmarks of Soundgarden's now classic sound. It might be 16 years since the band released "Down On The Upside" but listening to "King Animal" it doesn't really feel that long, it's as if we have been transported back to the nineties.

Fittingly the album starts with "Been Away too Long" which has a trademark Chris Cornell vocal that twists it way over the music as he uses his powerful range to carry the song on which features a typical powerful Kim Thayil riff, it also features a nice bass breakdown at about the 2.20 mark. While Soundgarden have always been associated with grunge it's fair to say that their origins always lay with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin as can be heard in hard hitting numbers "Non-State Actor" and "Blood On The Valley Floor" which are both riff heavy.

As well as the heavier numbers there is a few laid back songs on "King Animal" such as "Halfway There" which wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Down On The Upside". There is the ramshackle of closing track "Rowing" which has more than a hint of Steve Earle about it. It has to be said that Matt Cameron's drumming is a superb as ever.

It would have been easy for Soundgarden not to release a new album and to continue to live on their superb back catalogue but with album number 6 "King Animal" Soundgarden sound as relevant and as important as they ever did. It's great to have them back!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Proto on 16 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Soundgarden are back, and long overdue!

Their sound has slightly evolved but the core of Soundgarden is still there, the time signatures, nutty riffs and wailing guitars (needs more of this from Kim).

On the first few listens you might feel alienated but the more you listen the more it grows on you (classic Soundgarden) and for only a tenner you shouldn't be disappointed.

Chris has gotten on a bit so his voice isn't what it used to be (to be expected, but don't let this put you off)

I'd also mention that Matt out did himself on the drums in this album, I would argue it's some of his best work.

Overall great purchase, I hope they can release another album because there are very few bands that can come back together after nearly 2 decades, pushing 50, and still out perform and songwrite most bands today.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Eagle on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Soundgarden are my favourite band, I have all their albums and a lot of their CD singles that contain some of their rarer stuff. Like many others I was excited on the announcement of this new album and even pre-ordered the delux version.
The first listen was a little underwhelming as only the first track really appealed to me. However, like another reviewer has said it can take a number of listens to get into some of Soundgarden's later material, which holds true for this release. Also like their last album, a lot of the songs seem largely influenced by Chris, and if you have listened to his solo albums you will know where I am coming from. Fortunately there is enough of a balance with the old school Soundgarden style to offset this.
Now comes the negative, the last 3 tracks on this delux version are just demo's of 3 of the other tracks on the album. Now I wish I had read the tracklist more closely on Amazon, but being a fan I just went ahead and ordered what I thought would be the best version. As a result I feel a little short changed and let down by the band because 3 extra pounds hasnt got me 3 extra songs! And the demo's certainly dont add anything, other than run time. Am sure they had extra material when recording this album that they could have included instead on the delux version.
My advice is get the non-delux version, even if like me you are a Soundgarden fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fox in the Box on 15 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I remember it well: New Year's Day 2010. My friend informed me that Soundgarden had reformed and returned to the studio. To me, that only feels like yesterday! Now, here I sit listening to the result of that: 'King Animal'. I can't believe this has been 3 years (pretty much, if you round it off) in the making!

The first thing I have to say about 'King Animal' is that it is a good, solid and enjoyable listen; the band are really back with a bang here!

In terms of specific songs, I would select 'Been Away Too Long', 'Non-State Actor', 'A Thousand Days Before' and 'Blood on the Valley Floor' as definite contenders. Out of these, my utmost personal favourite has to be 'Blood on the Valley Floor' - it's classic Soundgarden, but with a fresh, distinctive new sound!

There are a few songs present here that, in my view, really are not much to write home about at all. Sadly, with studio albums, that's just par of the course! However, from 'Black Saturday' onwards to the end of the album, that's a real treat! In my opinion, the album really shines here!!

Also, the songs 'Black Saturday' and 'Halfway There' see the band experiment with an acoustic sound and, frankly, the results are really good!

So, overall, 'King Animal' is a solid return from Soundgarden. It's their first studio release in over 15 years and a rock solid return it is.

Buy it. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps.
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