Soundgarden revived with ‘Telephantasm’

Reid Engwall

“Telephantasm” marks the sixth studio album and the long-awaited return of the hard rock, grunge band Soundgarden. When the band released its newest single “Black Rain” last August, Soundgarden had previously not released any new or old material since the band’s breakup in 1997. Now the guys are back and haven’t given up on what made them a staple of ’90s rock.

In the mid-1990s, Soundgarden, known as the hard rock representatives of the grunge era, produced more of a guitar-driven ’70s feel than its counterparts Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The unnatural power vocals and Zeppelin-like guitar energy of lead singer Chris Cornell and lead guitarist Kim Thayil propelled the band to success, earning them a Grammy in 1995 for Best Hard Rock Performance with their song “Spoonman,” and a nomination for Best Rock Album with their five-time platinum album “Superunknown.”

Their newest album is no exception to the band’s hard rock reputation. The dual-disc giant is filled with tracks fueled by dark melodies and the almost inhumanly strong vocals from Cornell. The album contains mainly original material from the Seattle-based group but also provides re-released classics like the band’s hit “Black Hole Sun” and some never-before-released live material.

The album already has reportedly gone platinum due to the disc’s simultaneous release with the latest entry of the Guitar Hero series, Warriors of Rock.

All of the previous and current success aside, “Telephantasm” is still a solid, hard rock record. For this reason, it’s a bit of an acquired taste. If you aren’t into a sound that could be described as metal or hard rock, this record probably isn’t for you. But for anyone that still enjoys power-driven rock and roll, this is the album for you.

Photo credit: Soundgarden