I waited for some time before reviewing Audioslave’s “Revelations”, their third studio release. Immensely enjoying both their self-titled debut and the sophomore effort of “Out of Exile”, I wasn’t very concerned that Revelations would be enjoyed as well. Although at first it did not capture with the first few listens, it grew on me as their other albums did. Audioslave embodies a powerful and innovative rock formula that makes them more of a “rock” band than many others out there.
Revelations: My first perception of this album was that it didn’t quite flow like the first two, and had more of a gathering of singles that were hit and miss. Over time, however, I realized that this album again delivers a good mix of superb guitar work coupled with good songwriting. The title track opener as well as the catchy “one and the same” are good openers that quickly lead the listener on a journey of various themes and artistic direction by the band. “Sound of a Gun” is a masterpiece and hopefully will be a staple for some greatest hits CD down the road. Soulful and poetic, Cornell’s voice (which has been criticized on this album by many) is the best it’s ever been here. “Until we fall” (track 4) is a beautiful, slower paced track that again implores a timeless feel to it and leaves out the powerful Morello riffs and pounding drums.
Track 5 Breaks into the FM hit “Original Fire” which is catchy and fast, laying down a good beat. Some great bass playing is experienced with this track. The next track, “Broken City” has a funky groove to it that definitely adds to the plate the fact these guys can add some diversity to an album. “Somedays” follows that and is more of an uplifting tune that has a groovy bass line that allows Cornell to belt out a signature, if sometimes repetitive line of “Somedays, it don’t come easy”. Track 8 is an awesome one with a heavy guitar intro that leads into a melodic chorus. This is one of the darker songs on the album, and is called “Shape of Things to Come”. “Jewel of the summertime” is also heavier and darker and has some of the lead singers old band’s sound (Soundgarden) in it. Great guitars on this song, so Morello fans won’t be disappointed.
Track 10 is “Wide Awake” and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe was on e of the songs featured on the recent “Miami Vice” film by Michael Mann (Mann also incorporated an Audioslave tune in the movie “Collateral”). Wide Awake is a driving anthem with many dark undertones and a lot of changeups in melody that again, really bring out the great vocals that are experienced on this album. Track 11 is “Nothing left to say but goodbye” and is another slower paced song that brings the tight songwriting of the album to the forefront. Nothing spectacular, but by now I’ve realized that anything these guys do is something I enjoy. Although I said it was a slower paced tune, it still retains their signature edge to it.
Speaking of Edge, they left the sharpest for last. The final track “Moth” starts off with a heavy, sonic assault of a riff before breaking into a little melancholy chorus by Cornell. This is soon followed by the meat of the song, which continues to follow on the Morello riff of rage. From the lyrics “I don’t fly around your fire anymore” to the continual driving riff, the album to me ends on a very high note.
Audioslave makes great music. I was a big Soundgarden fan and though was not ever to big of a Rage Against the Machine fan, the collaboration of Singer Chris Cornell with the guys from Rage has been one of the most successful matchups within the rock music arena in a very long time. Great songwriting, hooks that catch you and overall musicianship that is to be appreciated, I only hope this band continues to release more material together. The rock music landscape changes every day, and many said rock itself was dead long ago. I feel the ingredients that Audioslave bring to the table is a sign there is still life in modern day rock music when it comes to keeping the filler out and the quality in.