|Genre||Hard Rock, Alternative|
|Record Label||Epic / Interscope|
|Release Type||Full Length|
The correct opening statement for a review of this album is that Audioslave’s self-titled album was the soundtrack of the youth of many who entered the new millenium expecting the new turn in sounds, influences and experimentation left behind by the 90s. This album is a perfect example of that transition, specially because it was released in 2002, where the rubble had not quite settled but things were starting to take their own shape.
Spawning from the ashes of Rage Against the Machine, and adding Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell’s unique voice, Audioslave is the unexpected side of Hard Rock, the side that drifts and sometimes falls into grungier places before coming back stronger than ever. The perfection of Cornell’s voice to this twist of genres is made legacy with all of Audioslave’s works, yet none is quite as the first one.
This albums takes so many turns, has so many ups and downs, not in quality, but in style and feel, that unlike albums that tie together as a concept, this one is more of a fair of diversity, exploring the confines of Rock. “Cochise” is perhaps one of the most differentiated of them all, as Cornell’s vocal performance is sharp and high throughout the whole song, keeping it at a certain height that is dangerously close to being too much, but manages to remain just precisely what its intended to be, hard rock. Further along the highlights, “What you are” simply cannot be dismissed, the chorus is so powerful and melodic without losing its quality of being the edge of a quieted down track, that it makes the whole song up on its own. Not even the great guitars can take away from it, not even the dark and calm bridge that stands out so much, nothing can take the spotlight away from the chorus.
Is a review of this album fair without “Like a Stone”? Not for nothing it was the absolute hit and breakout of the whole production, the lyrics are a masterpiece and they fall softly on top of such an outstanding instrumental it’s almost as if both things could not exist on their own but must only have the purpose of being with each other like a love story. The enthralling guitars and melody are the credited ones for making this song a hit. “Like a Stone” is nothing short of its praise throughout the years, it was an impressive and mystical moment for Rock and so it will remain.
“Shadow of the Sun” continues with the Rock grandiosity by being powerful in ways that do not need to be loud or over the top, while “Hypnotize” feels like a bow to 90s rock, so exquisitely nostalgic and grungy with the vocals and the high-speed contrasting instrumentals, along with the distinctively 90s mixing, making it a throwback within a throwback. “Light my Way” further down the path is even more evoking of that late 90s sound Rock that had not evolved from by 2002, and this is inexplicably appreciated as I could even dare to say some moments could stretch back to 80s Rock, and even with its experimental touches of modern sounds it cannot fully get out of those blissful places. “The Last Remaining Light” is a mellow finishing touch with a very interesting melodic composition, even more diverse than all of the slower songs on the album, it becomes a highlight by being different and truly subdued, no catches and no surprises, a light (no pun intended) remaining act of greatness to end a great ride.
Audioslave’s self-titled album is and will continue to be what it became once released, a staple in Rock, a go-to for guitar and bass players, drummers, as well as Rock vocalists, due to its masterful use of all elements blended together in one of the early masterpieces of the glorious 2000s.