Soundgarden has hammered together the strands of so many different elements - seventies metal, hard rock, punk, goth-into an alloy that's stronger and harder than any of its constituents, and one which by its very nature stands a little bit beyond definition. Is it metal? Is it punk? Does it really matter? It is Soundgarden, playing their music. You get it or you don't.
Soundgarden is, without doubt, the real thing. Where will they go now? They've taken metal to places it has never been before. They've melded it with punk in a manner so natural that the seams don't show. Badmotorfinger held the real glimmer of identity; Superunknown brought it into the light. Soundgarden isn't just the Next Big Metal Thing...they're the Next Big Thing.