Audioslave fizzles on ‘Out of Exile’

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By now everyone knows the Audioslave formula: Take one part Soundgarden, add three parts Rage Against the Machine and a dash of loud guitars, mix in crazy effect pedals and a sprinkling of gravely vocals. Poof, you’ve got the super-group known as Audioslave.

What made this band’s self-titled debut record so great was that no one knew what to expect. Was it going to be some sort of “RageGarden” or “Sound Against the Machine?” In the end, Audioslave pulled off a top-notch debut record with a sound of its own, perfectly borrowing bits from its members’ previous bands. The follow-up release to that album, Out of Exile, doesn’t fare quite as well.

The album has some solid rock songs and it offers up plenty of ear-raising Tom Morello guitar solos. The disappointment comes in the lack of variety and innovation from Morello and some pretty poor songwriting by vocalist Chris Cornell. Throw in Morello’s bastardization of Metallica’s “Bad Seed” riff on “Your Time Will Come,” and it almost makes this guitar god seem human.

While the band’s debut showed plenty of promise, this album makes Audioslave sound like nothing more than a mediocre byproduct of two of the better bands of the 1990s. It still comes out to be a good record, but if you were pleasantly surprised by Audioslave’s debut and are looking for the same from Out of Exile, don’t bother.

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Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.