One of my favourite album covers — one of Storm Thorgerson’s best.

Now this is rock.

Audioslave truly is rock; proper groovy, catchy, riff-y rock. It’s got the influence from old time classic rock and Rage Against the Machine – which it shares the presence of the guitar genius Tom Morello with.

It’s band members are, well, Tom Morello, Chris Cornell, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. They are all fantastic at their respective roles; but the one that stands out is Chris Cornell. He is one of my favourite rock singers, and in this album he shows tonnes of tone, pitch variations, aggression and he sounds different in every song – which adds great variety. Without Chris Cornell as the singer, this album wouldn’t have the personality it does.

Tom Morello does a fantastic job on the guitar, experimenting on it as he always does and making some cool sounds that only he can make, and he does some pretty awesome guitar solos. His heavy guitar alongside the brilliant bass-work by Tim Commerford makes a really rocking sound — and I love that. And the drumming is also great, but, you know, I don’t really know much about drumming; but it sounds better than it does on a lot of other stuff.

Now, starting an album on a good note is always important. This album did it, well, I’ll say it did it pretty well. No, I’m lying. It did it incredibly. Cochise, the album’s first song, is one of the best on the album, if not the best, it is powerful, catchy and the perfect possible opener for the album: introducing you to the style of it in the best way possible, with an amazing riff, brilliant singing from Chris Cornell and one of the best hooks I’ve heard in a rock song – it was stuck in my head for a good while after I’d heard it for the first time. It’s a song that can make you instantly love a band. At least that’s what it did with me.

And then the album doesn’t get any worse, if not maybe better: with two superb heavy rock tracks following on from where Cochise left off, Show Me How to Live and Gasoline.

After a spectacular opening three tracks, the album then turns into different directions; sometimes going heavier – sometimes it’s pretty much metal, more alternative rock-y and maybe even a bit prog-y. So there is more variety in the album than I thought there would be, and that is great. But it does go a bit quieter sometimes, and more gentle, with a few of the songs being a bit weaker than others; like I am the Highway and The Last Remaining Light. Nonetheless, both those songs are great listens and they can grow on me — and no song is any worse than great, so they can’t make the album any worse, just a bit less consistent. But variety is always good, and Audioslave have a lot of variety; and the awesome songs make up for all the not-quite-as-good-ness of some of the more alternative sounding songs. And pretty much every song on the album I absolutely love. Quite a big proportion of the album is, well, incredible.

Furthermore, this album was the band’s debut album, and it definitely impressed, and it brought to the world a unique style of rock. And I was also as impressed as anyone else who’d heard it, and it’s made me want to listen to more of the band. But once I’m done listening to this album.

Verdict:

This album is revolutionary in the genre of rock, and is one of the best rock albums I’ve heard; with groovy riffs, catchy hooks and a whole lot of variety and personality: with Cochise, Show me How to Live, Gasoline and Set it Off all being some of my favourite rock songs. Chris Cornell is incredible and Tom Morello is almost just as good along with the drummer and bassist, making a unique and brilliant rocking sound. It may be a little bit inconsistent, but when it has the amount of amazing songs on it that it does that doesn’t matter much.

One of the best rock albums I’ve heard.

So I give it: 93/100.

– Speedy.

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