OAAR: Audioslave - Revelations (2006)

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If there's nothing else I love about these Opportunity Assassins Album Reviews, it's the opportunity to get around to albums I haven't had the chance to hear yet. In true Opportunity Assassins form, Audioslave's third and final album, Revelations, has been an album I just haven't had the chance to get around to until tonight. So while I'm sure I've heard at least a couple singles from this album, the entire experience is new to me. So let's get down to wrapping up Audioslave, shall we?

Revelations stars off with what would appear to be an Audioslave standard with pretty straightforward title track, "Revelations." Sure, it's a decent way to start out the third album by leading with the firmed up Audioslave song, but it just doesn't really get me into the album. We'll leave that job to "One and the Same," a great track featuring solid vocals and a great classic Tom Morello guitar solo complete with fun effects. "Sound of a Gun" keeps things going with a solid heavy sound and simple guitar riffs that make the third track actually quite catchy. While Audioslave pulls back and delivers a somewhat mediocre effort with "Until We Fall," they quickly turn it right back around with "Original Fire," a song that I'm sure will one day be considered a great example of what Audioslave rock was all about.

The middle part of Revelations is a pretty strong showing of some great Audioslave chemistry from "Broken City" to "Wide Awake." While none of these tracks in particular really stands out head and shoulders above the rest, the funky jam of "Somedays" is probably sitting out on the highest peak in that particular range. After coming down a bit in the middle, the last two songs provide a really nice bookend to the Audioslave experiment that lasted about four years in total. "Nothing Left to Say But Goodbye," while not exactly the greatest song title for the second to last track brings us quite well into the finale, "Moth," which reminds us just what kind of song writing abilities the band has. Oddly enough, though, they decided to fade out on the last track which just doesn't quite give the satisfaction of completion that I was looking for. Oh well, though. They can always get back together down the road, right?
Author: Jake

Audioslave's final album, Revelations, provides some mixed reaction as it showcases both intricate songwriting and what are easily the best lyrics that Cornell produced within the group.  There is no better example of this than the album's first single, "Original Fire", which is a horrible song that is saved from a 2 or worse rating by the refrain – "The original fire has died and gone, but the riot inside moves on" – which is a metaphor that plays out very strongly throughout the album, the band's history, and probably even connects with each listener in a very specific way.  In essence, "Original Fire" is the exact opposite of Out of Exile's "Be Yourself". 

Another solid lyrical offering is the album's penultimate track "Nothing Left To Say But Goodbye", which offers the sorrowful observation:

"Just like a rescue of a stray dog in the rain I was hungry when you found me
And you can tell by my tail and my ribcage what was once around me"Politics begin to creep in through the Hurricane Katrina-inspired "Wide Awake", but surprisingly the song as a whole delivers so well I was unable to mark it down for that, while the heavy jam "Broken City" is full of cool dystopian lyrics, not the least of which is "...no one cares about climbin' stairs, nothin' at the top no more".

For all the good lyrics and varied riffs that weave an enjoyable picture, Revelations is ultimately just okay, and thus ultimately forgettable.  While filled with metaphors both simple and deep, the album is unable to escape the metaphor (perhaps for the band itself?) that its opening and title track, "Revelations", is by far the best song on the album, and all the others are simply marking time until the end.  In Cornell's own words, "I know what I know why don't you fill in the rest?"
Author:  Pete

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