MUSICREVIEW Audioslave Revelations 3 stars With its third LP, Revelations, Audioslave not only reveals society's seedy underbelly, but also that the band still has some work to do. In 2002 from the ashes of Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden rose Audioslave. Revelations comes off the chart-topping success of 2005's Out of Exile. Clearly a slave to the audio, this release comes only a little over a year since the last studio recording. The aptly titled Revelations explores a thematic journey concerning the state of the world. Rather than emitting a Green Day-esque diatribe on the mishaps and grievances surrounding the political climate, Audioslave takes a more existential, what-does-it-all-mean approach. The title track opens with the kind of gut-busting energy that makes listeners want to drop everything, head bang and start hurling themselves around the room. Lead singer Chris Cornell soon launches into equally energetic vocals invoking the roundabout angst that has become a staple for the group. Throughout the album, former Rage guitarist Tom Morello keeps the breakdowns coming, laced with plenty of distortion techniques and Wah-pedal usage. With an impressive arsenal of surging riffs and churning rhythm sections, Morello's consistent solos are more than enough to raise a few eyebrows. "One and the Same" begs listeners to take to empty swimming pools, as it boasts a classic late 70s skater vibe. The track is one of many on the album that the band decides to toy with the idea of more funk-inspired rhythm sections and retro backbeats. Cornell's tendency toward vocal monotony rears its ugly head throughout the album, but fortunately the vocalist's usual broody, self-important rambling has been exchanged for more even-tempered, generalized uncertainty concerning the world around him. In "Shape of Things to Come" he invokes what could be seen as religious sentiment or mere thoughts of hope in desperate times, singing: "Now I feel the worst is near . and pray a ray of light appears to shine down on us here." He echoes that exclamation of existential angst in the surprisingly upbeat track "Original Fire." Not quite living up to the top-of-the-charts example of Out of Exile, Revelations is a decent follow-up with an onslaught of non-stop energy. The band is still working hard to come into a sound all its own, and while it's close, there's still a ways to go. While Audioslave's latest work fails to push any boundaries, it more than succeeds in living up to the level of heart-pounding alt-rock glory listeners have come to expect. Contact the Diversions Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.