Sound — 10
People call RATM the godfathers of nu-metal. I call them modern rock legends. This, their debut, and arguably their best, album, is an amazing statement of what can be done when every member of the band has never-ending talent, most notably Tom Morello. The heavy and crushing riffs combine with Zack's political screams to create an overwhelming screen of noise. No doubt you'll have heard the band's definitive songs "Wake Up" and "Calm Like A Bomb" from the end of the Matrix films, even if you're not a fan. If so, you'll know what to expect. Rapping, rocking and just general funky protest. You can't help but tap your foot, the beats are so infectious. This album represented the damn of modern rock, spawning hundreds of copycat releases, and shaping the Linkin Parks and Limp Bizkits of today's world.
Lyrics — 8
Zack De La Rocha's political lyrics are as much a pat of RATM as anything else, they pull everything together and are so graphic and powerful that you can't help but take note of the emotion and protest. The way he manages to make rapping good is also amazing, and he can really scream well too. There are also random political facts (e.g. at the end of "Wake Up"). Overall, not really relevant if you don't share his views, but are still pretty cool.
Overall Impression — 10
This is an amazing album. It defines RATM and combines everything that's great about heavy rock riffs, and mixes them with talented vocals, political ramblings and rapping. The best songs are "Wake Up", "Bullet In The Head", "Know Your Enemy" and "Killing In The Name". I'd definitely buy it again, it's so much better than anything that any other band has attempted in this genre. Go buy it, you won't be disappointed.