The defining moment from an unclassifiable band remains brilliantly off-kilter as metal, crushingly moody as alternative and strangely reassuring as classic rock. This 20th-anniversary reissue of the grunge era's most ambitious statement adds a second disc of mostly unnecessary music (the five-disc superdeluxe version adds more). Demos and rehearsals let you hear Chris Cornell's powerful voice go occasionally out of tune; B sides drag ("Black Days III") or are goofs ("Exit Stonehenge") – and the best ones from this period, like the cubist hair metal of "Cold Bitch," or a sludgy take on Devo's "Girl U Want," aren't included. Even without any very particularly illuminating extras, though, Superunknown is a Nineties benchmark.
From The Archives Issue 1210: June 5, 2014