Sound — 8
Technically the sound quality is brilliant, with Tom Morello's inventive guitar effects often stealing the show. There's a lot of single line playing by him, no punk rock power chords, which can sometimes make the less catchy songs sound a bit weaker, but there aren't many of those. Singer Chris Cornell's gruff voice goes great with the rock style music, and he can sing the slower tempo songs (eg. The Last Remaining Light) just as well as he can the kick ass hard rock tracks (e.g. my personal favourite Show Me How To Live and hit single Cochise). You can tell it's just 4 guys making this record - don't expect any Good Charlotte style orchestral intros here. Though there maybe aren't so many standout tracks, quality is maintained throughout, and it is a good album to listen to the whole way through (on the other hand, it is a long album, but you won't notice it while listening).
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are certainly interesting, with many metaphorical imagery used by singer Chris Cornell. It's refreshing to hear an album with such depth and thought - not a case of New Found Glory syle "she dumped me"etc. (I'm not dissing NFG-I'm a fan).
Overall Impression — 8
Audioslave's 2002 debut is certainly an impressive one, yet when you take into consideration that the band formed from two of the monsters of rock (Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden) of the '90s, you realise that it could have been something more special. Lyrically, the music does not pack the emotional punch that RATM hits posses, and the riffs aren't quite as catchy. Saying that, any rock fan would do good to buy it, as it is a good all-round album, one which has little filler. Hopefully the new album (Out Of Exile) will be just as, if not more successful.