In anticipation of “King Animal,” their first studio album in a decade and a half, Soundgarden unveiled the aptly titled first single, “Been Away Too Long,” on Thursday (Sept. 27).
Built around a heavy snarl of a Kim Thayil guitar riff, “Been Away Too Long” features frontman Chris Cornell bestowing rock fans with more unbridled energy and upper-register declarations that he is, indeed, been away for too long. “I got nowhere to go and it seems I came back!” he yells ahead of an all-encompassing chorus.
“King Animal,” due out Nov. 13, is Soundgarden’s long-awaited follow-up to 1996’s “Down on the Upside,” although the grunge-rock veterans have actively released new material since reuniting in 2010. Along with retrospective disc “Telephantasm” and last year’s live release “Live on I-5,” Cornell and co. contributed the single “Live To Rise” to the soundtrack for the 2012 blockbuster “The Avengers.”
Cornell, Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd recorded “King Animal” in Seattle with longtime producer Adam Kasper. Earlier this year, Cornell told Billboard that the comeback LP would offer a variety of sounds.
“I don’t really know how to describe it musically,” he said, “because typically with Soundgarden… every time we write a song we always take it for what it is and try to make it the most it can be. It’s very diverse, I can tell you that.”
Upon their reunion in early 2010, Soundgarden played a handful of gigs in 2010, including Lollapalooza in Chicago, before heading out on an official reunion trek in summer 2011. No tour dates have yet been announced in support of “King Animal.”