The Death of Audioslave and the Rebirth of Rage?

Typically I don't follow a whole lot of the music industry gossip that is passed around on the Internet let alone write about it and this is especially true about current mainstream music. I don't listen to a whole lot of it and don't care about celebrity gossip so most of the rumors aren't anything I'd be interested in enough to read. Everyday there is some new rumor that will turn out to be false and some new band is in the thick of it.

When I first heard rumors of the breakup of "super group" Audioslave I thought surely this is just another music industry rumor. Now, as of February 16 (yes, I'm a little behind on my music news but I'm not a reporter, just a fan) Chris Cornell has officially announced he is leaving the band permanently. After all the press releases from the band stating that the breakup rumors really were just rumors, this was not something I was expecting and I'm a little sad actually.

Their uniquely eclectic sound that hinted at both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden (the previous bands of its members) while not really sounding like either of them, had grown on me after I couldn't get their first single "Cochise" out of my head back in 2002. As someone who listened to both Soundgarden and RATM, I thought that when the band originally formed it was an odd combination. After hearing the first album though, I thought Cornell's soulful voice just seemed to fit in well with Tom Morello's unique guitar work. Almost as well as Zack de la Rocha on vocals, but with a distinctly different feel. It felt more like hard rock and less like rap but not necessarily better or worse. I wasn't overly impressed with their second album, although it did have some great songs, and I have yet to hear all of their third album, but I did enjoy the singles. Overall, I thought the band would have made an awesome live band and I'm kind of sad that I won't get to see them play.

Though the news of the breakup is sad, there is one glimmer of hope: Rage Against the Machine will reunite for at least one show in Los Angeles. RATM was the band that I saw on everyone's shirts back in the day, but I didn't get into their music until the Battle of Los Angeles album. That album remains one of my all time favorites for its unique sound and equally poetic, bombastic and politically charged lyrics. Although their other albums are also great (especially their first) everything just seemed to click on some of the tracks from BOLA. "Ashes in the Fall" is still my favorite RATM track, up there with "Know Your Enemy" from their first release. The fire and power that came from RATM is unmatched and their voice for activism and change is missed in the hard rock community.

As you can expect, I was thrilled to hear of the reunion and my mind immediately went to thoughts of getting to see the machine at its height again and a new album. Alas, the music industry rumor is that currently this is a one shot deal.

Come on now... Audioslave breaks up and for our trouble we only get a teaser reunion of Rage Against the Machine? Not only will I not get to see Audioslave play live, I won't get to see Rage Against the Machine either as I don't live anywhere close to LA.

That just hurts. Maybe it'll all turn out to be false tomorrow.

Of course with my luck, the rumors will say that Led Zeppelin is reuniting and I won't get to go to that show either.


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