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Barely a year Out Of Exile and Audioslave have already released their Revelations. The new album from the band is already creating waves and promises to be their heaviest album yet. Revelations is the third studio album from rock supergroup, Audioslave. Supergroup you say? After a point, even supergroups falter. This is what fans feared before they released their second album ~ the success of previous lives can only carry a band so far. Post-Out Of Exile, however, even the critics had to agree that Audioslave were driven by more than just the ghosts of their illustrious pasts. And now, a new obstacle awaits the band, living up to the expectations of a demanding audience, and a host of insatiable critics.

How Was It Made?
Breaking away from the usual album-tour-album format, Audioslave decided to make the best of the momentum they gained from the European leg of the Out Of Exile tour and got into the recording studio. The success of the tour fuelled the heaviness they offloaded into this album. Even Tom Morello's definitive hard-rock riffs couldn't keep the soul out from the boys, and it shows. Touted as Led Zeppelin meets Earth, Wind and Fire ~ a big hard rock record with a funky bottom ~ the album shows the band changing track from their previous efforts.

Audioslave got to test their efforts on the American leg of the tour, and were pleased with the results. Morello says there's a great groove to the album, and it’s one of the hardest they've made. He adds, there's probably more Chris Cornell singing on this record, albeit less screaming. The soul funk sound wasn't intentional, but the band's influences made their presence felt and elements of Earth, Wind and Fire; Sly and the Family Stone; Funkadelic; and Led Zeppelin can be seen.

The album was produced by Brendan O'Brien, who the band worked with on their Out Of Exile. O’Brien is an accomplished producer, having worked with a number of major rock acts like Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Bruce Springsteen and the former bands of Audioslave: Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden. Strangely enough though, both ex-bands had worked with O'Brien before. He produced a couple of RATM records: Evil Empire, Battle of Los Angeles. Cornell's worked with him on Superunknown.

Tracks from the album have found their way into other mediums. The title track Revelations is featured on the NFL game Madden ’07, incidentally one of the band’s favourite games. Wide Awake and Shape of Things to Come are featured on the soundtrack of 2006’s Miami Vice. Thanks to the band’s contemporary style, it is easily accessible to rebels of all ages.

Original Grooves
The album kicks off with a decidedly heavy riff cracking through Revelations. With a telltale ’70s groove in hand and a funky lyrical style running through the verses, this track reeks of style. This is a special song for Morello and the band, because it was the first track they recorded going into the studio, and it revealed (forgive the pun) the pace and tone for the rest of the album.

The first single Original Fire has to do with both the musical and political scenarios of today. The guitar riff has been around for a few years, but it took the groove and lyrics to come around to find fertile soil to grow. Original Fire looks like a strong contender for the post of rebel anthem of the decade. The track will have you clapping your hands and stomping your foot in consent. The video is a mixture of the band performing amidst a visual collage of the band's heroes and the events that made them the men they are.

The record on the whole deals with a lot of things that Audioslave has issues with. Sound Of A Gun for example, deals with the changing faces of cities. The lyrics speak out about the hazards that children and entire families, for that matter, are faced with in a city that’s growing increasingly intolerable and finds itself ‘packing heat’. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Wide Awake is (in the band’s words) the most politically explicit song that Audioslave has ever done. Written about the disillusionment experienced by the American people after Hurricane Katrina hit, the song has come about at an important time for the band. With lyrics like, “While you’re somewhere trading lives for oil, as if the whole world were blind” and “I find you guilty of a crime, of sleeping at a time, when you should have been wide awake”, there’s no doubt about the direction of Audioslave’s finger.

Moth is a track that jumps up and bites you from behind just when you're not looking. The opening/chorus riff sounds massive, unusual and is best played loud! With a pumped-up groove to match and non-cryptic lyrics filled with resentment ~ “I don’t fly around your fire anymore” ~ the song brings a hard-hitting end to the record.

You can read the rest of our feature on Audioslave in the September 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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