Audioslave sound just as you might expect. But with this eponymous debut, the whole does not equal the sum of its parts.
Maybe Chris Cornell's straining vocals were the perfect fit only in Soundgarden's garden of sound. Maybe Rage Against The Machine's muscular workouts only really sizzled when fronted by Zack de la Rocha's rage. Or maybe there were just too many expectations for the congress of the two.
Whatever the reason, Audioslave is a little disappointing. But only a little.
The band cook up a well-sprung racket, Tom Morello pulling off his usual guitar trickery with aplomb. Cornell, meanwhile, continues the quest he began with Soundgarden to be more Led Zeppelin than Led Zeppelin (particularly evident on the first single Cochise).
With cover art provided by Storm Thorgerson, he of Pink Floyd sleeve fame, and a few traces of the old Rage politicking scattered throughout, this release is certainly not a misstep. Taken in isolation, Audioslave is a worthy slab of metal menace.
But, if you don't already own them, you'd be better served by buying Rage Against The Machine and Superunknown first.