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Have Audioslave come to save rock 'n' roll from imminent peril? Judging by the 14-track debut of this rock supergroup, it's still not conclusive. What can be said, however, is that the members of Rage Against The Machine, sans Zack, and ex-Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, make for one enormous rock entity. Intelligent, hard edged and overall excitable, Tom Morello's guitar work never sounded so complete, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford remain the most potent rhythm section on the face of the Earth, and Cornell's rich vocal delivery and forlorn lyrics are as wondrous as ever, shooting him straight to the hard rock frontman upper echelon where Plant and Morrison reside. While the disc is flawed and some songs, like the forced blues of "The Last Remaining Light" and the meandering "Getaway Car", seem clunky, the undeniable groove of "Cochise", the passionate darkness of "Like A Stone", and the mind-blowing mood swing of "Shadow On The Sun" make for amazing groundwork for a band that just could take the world over if given the opportunity.
- Mike SOS