Tuesday, 14 June 2011

CD Review: Out Of Exile, by Audioslave (2005)

The second Audioslave album after the self-titled debut is more of the same: finely polished radio-friendly metal, making the most of Chris Cornell's distinctively anguished vocals and Tom Morello's exquisite guitar wizardry. Out Of Exile does not set the world on fire, but neither does it disappoint. Four guys deep into their second decade of making metal, the rage has long since been replaced by a combination of resignation and the patient wisdom that can only be earned from the experience of trying to change the world.

The best two tracks come early. Your Time Has Come confidently crashes in to open proceedings with an energized beat propelled by Brad Wilk's drums, and a straightforward but powerful Morello riff, a rare instance of guitar resoundingly trumping vocals on an Audioslave track. Be Yourself is the most memorable song on the album, a haunting but understated melody perfectly matching Cornell's impassioned delivery, who then yields to allow Morello a fun, old-fashioned solo.

Late in the songlist, #1 Zero is a slow trip down a really dark alley, Morello's guitar dominating the music of the night with a siren song that generates its own gravity field and demands slow dancing with the first available dark stranger.

Both Cornell and Morello can be overbearing in large doses, and with 12 tracks Audioslave are almost guilty of just slightly overstaying their welcome, despite the good intention of serving up a substantial feast of elegant music. But too much of Audioslave is not necessarily a bad thing: Out Of Exile is mature metal for a discerning audience, aiming for the often ignored middle ground where accessible music is infused with hardened energy.


Chris Cornell - Vocals
Tim Commerford - Bass
Brad Wilk - Drums
Tom Morello - Guitars

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Your Time Has Come - 10
2. Out Of Exile - 8
3. Be Yourself - 10
4. Doesn't Remind Me - 7
5. Drown Me Slowly - 8
6. Heaven's Dead - 7
7. The Worm - 8
8. Man Or Animal - 8
9. Yesterday To Tomorrow - 7
10. Dandelion - 7
11. #1 Zero - 9
12. The Curse - 6

Average: 7.92

Produced by Rick Rubin and Audioslave. Mixed by Brendan O'Brien.
Recorded by Brian Virtue, Thom Russo, and Jim Scott.
Mastered by Stephen Marcussen.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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