"King Animal" is the 6th full-length studio album by US alternative/hard rock act Soundgarden. The album was released through Seven Four Entertainment/Republic Records in November 2012. "King Animal" is a comeback album after a 16 year recording break. The band´s last studio album was "Down On The Upside" from 1996.
The music on "King Animal" pretty much take up where "Down On The Upside (1996)" ended. In other words this is the unmistakable sound of Soundgarden. Chris Cornell has always been an outstanding vocalist with a distinct and instantly recognisable vocal style and listening to the opening track "Been Away Too Long", it soon becomes apparent that nothing has changed in that department. Powerful and raw vocal delivery but the years haven´t gone by completely unnoticed and Chris Cornell is probably a more well balanced singer today than he was before the band split up. I could have wished for a bit more bite and attitude in his delivery though. Maybe the now more mature singer lost a bit of the youthful energy along the way? The rythm section is as strong and tight as ever and Kim Thayil´s colourful guitar playing adds some atmospheric textures to the tracks.
The songwriting is decent but like the case was on "Down On The Upside (1996)" there are too many unremarkable tracks on the album. The songwriting certainly isn´t as inspired as the songwriting on the band´s best work, but less will do and "King Animal" is still a pretty entertaining, very well produced and well played comeback album by Soundgarden. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is fair.