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on 10 November 2012
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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on 16 November 2012
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.

10/10
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on 5 December 2012
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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on 7 November 2012
I have been a fan of Soundgarden for many years, and when they reformed a couple of years ago I expected them to just do a few shows and be contented with the chance of maybe seeing them in the UK for the first time in years and years, Never in my wildest dreams did i anticipate a new album coming out with completely new material - and what an album it is, an absolute stormer full of diversity, quality playing, interesting tunes and for me most of all Chris Cornells superb vocal, which is backed up by great playing from the three other members. The album for me easily is as good as the last one of many years go "Down On The Upside", I have heard the full album (without the extra tracks in the deluxe edition ), and it really is superb fayre!!. Stand Out tracks are the brillaint "Bones Of Birds" ( which is dark and deep with a great lyric) , and "None State Actor" ( Powerful and intense ) ,which i'm sure if played live will be show stoppers. An excellent welcome back then and a definite thumbs up from me. All im waiting for is the vinyl to come through the post!,
I have now had the chance to listen to the album for a more prolonged period, and to me it rates as probably their second best album after "Superunknown" which as we all know is a bone fide classic Rock Album. As well as the two tracks mentioned earlier probably what is for me the best track on the album - " Black Saturday " , incredible feel and superb and thoughtful lyrics, simply put for me the best track they have done since the great days. Well Done on a superb album!. One to Savour!!!.
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on 13 November 2012
Buy it. Listen to it. Don't form a solid opinion straight away. Listen to it again. Keep listening to it because you won't be able to stop. Then you'll realise how damn great and important this piece of work is.
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on 28 February 2016
Having been a fan of Soundgarden since the late '80s it was great to hear this new material. I originally had an MP3 download when it came out. I've come to appreciate the album more and more over time, as with most of their music, I find I appreciate it with further listening and so I invested in the Vinyl. I'm so glad I did - it sounds great (180g Double vinyl gatefold package) and the sleeve/artwork/booklet are beautiful. If you're a fan of their music form the old days you won't be disappointed and, for me, was worth the vinyl upgrade.
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on 14 April 2014
Having grown up in the 1990s I am pleased to see many of the great rock bands like Soundgarden and Alice in chains are still keeping the rock n roll spirit alive for both bands have released very good albums recently. Indeed grunge seems to be having a bit of a renaissance with modern bands like Dead Sara incorporating grunge elements while Nirvana remain as popular as ever despite kurts death.

This album opens with real rocking intent in 'Been away to long' and maintains momentum with the slightly political 'Non-state actor' that contains an awsome guitar riff. The album as a whole is really strong and I like most of the tracks but if I had to pick my favourite tracks it would be the melancholic 'Bones of birds', the acoustic led sombre ballad 'Black saturday' and the gospel tinged bluesey album closer 'Rowing'. This is a great track to finish the album on and pretty much sums up life in a beautiful metaphor. But it is a wonderful image, that all we can do to survive, is to keep rowing against the wind and the rain and face up to any storms that come our way. To survive we literally have to keep our heads above water and breathe. Nobody knows where they are going so lets keep rowing forwards and enjoy life.

Anyone with an interest in rock music are more than likely aware of Soundgarden but if you are yet to listen to this animal of an album I would urge you to check it out and lets just hope they don't stay away for too long this time!
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on 19 November 2012
I was very excited to see Soundgarden on Jools Holland's show and had no idea there was a new album! Superunknown is one of my all time favourite albums and I can't rate Chris Cornell highly enough as a songwriter and singer. So I watched the show and was impressed with Been Away Too Long, a good rocker. I was a little confused by Taree, I thought to myself this probably sounds better on the album and makes more sense there, which it does. Great to see them play live.

Like a few comments here I was a little disappointed with the album - at first anyway, from a purely "Soundgarden" aspect. Not really a "dirty" enough sound, it's certainly not a continuation from Down On The Upside, although there are flavours of old like the very beginning of "A Thousand Days Before". But then that was a long time ago and they were never realistically going to pick up like they've never been away.

Having listened to it a few times I must say I really like it. The opening track is just great and the best way to kick off. I won't give a run down of all the tracks as this is just personal preference. I will say "Halfway There" is pure Cornell solo album (not that one we won't mention though!) but I'd rather it on the album than not as it is wonderful. Some really good songs, a few ok ones, no awful ones thankfully.

Overall I think a 3.5 or 4 is just about right. Short of their past best and a little inconsistent but in the current climate of dross and considering the break, rather good.
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on 19 November 2012
Buy it if you love Soundgarden or anything from the grunge era. There is too much of c**p around these days and this album shines like gold amongst all the X Factoresque manufactured pseudo artists out there who according to me are nothing but glorified karaoke singers. I have all Soundgarden albums and some of my favourite songs by these guys are fell on black days, black hole sun, fresh tendrils, zero chance, overfloater, jesus christ pose, outshined, rooms a thousand years wide and nothing to say to name a few. So if you love these songs you will love this album. Go buy it now, you won't regret it.
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VINE VOICEon 22 November 2012
Being an old fan of Soundgarden I wasn't expecting anything too earth-shattering from King Animal - at this point in their career, after Chris Cornell's solo projects, the band's reunion smacked of opportunism and the sweet smell of dollar bills.

My reservations were partly justified in that King Animal isn't going to be a milestone album; it's not Badmotorfinger or Superunknown. However, after repeat listens I have come to appreciate some of these new songs and overall I think this is a good album.

'Been Away Too Long' and 'Non-State Actor' are the obvious singles; 'By Crooked Steps' has a very interisting rhythm (I'm not a musician so I'm afraid I don't have the technical terms for this!). 'Bones of Birds' sounds as beautifully fragile as the content of the lyrics, and 'Taree' has a big sound that says 'old Soundgarden' all over.

My absolute favourite track is 'Black Saturday', which starts acoustically and then soars; equally, 'Halfway There' offers poignant lyrics and a melodic vehicle for Chris Cornell's still truly amazing voice. 'Rowing' at the end has somewhat of a tribal feel to it, and strangely reminds me of Temple of the Dog's 'Wooden Jesus'.

Ok, so this is not the angriest, hardest, grungiest of records, but it's still pretty good. Compared to Pearl Jam's recent output, it's infinitely more interesting. Now, if only we could bring Layne Staley back and have a new AiC album with him...
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