Rage Against The Machine review by Rage Against the Machine

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  • Released: Nov 3, 1992
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.6 (187 votes)
Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against The Machine

Sound — 10
The debut album of a very unique band, Rage's self titled release is quite impressive. It combines Alternative Metal, Rap, Funk, and even some traits of Grunge. This makes for an incredibly powerful and angry sound, the perfect soundtrack for front man Zack De La Rocha's political rage. The band would continue to use this formula, but by "Battle Of Los Angeles", I personally feel that they lost the initial feeling that fans loved about this album. From the opening bass line of "Bombtrack" to the final angsty scream of "Freedom", this album just emanates raw energy and emotion. It's just inexplicable. From Tom Morello's crunchy Metal riffs to Tim Commerford's funky bass work, the hatred of the government present on all three of their records is strong and powerful on RATM. You tell very easily that the bass is the dominant instrument on most of the songs, and for good reason. Commerford's totally funk influenced bass lines are hypnotizing and mesmerizing, sucking you in to the frenzy of Rage Against The Machine. His talents and techniques are made for this kind of musical witches' brew, while Tom Morello is the polar opposite. While his performance with Rage is admirable, he did much better when Zack was replaced by Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and the style of the music was changed with the band name; as well as his acoustic solo record, The Nightwatchman. The drummer - Brad Wilk - is not untalented, but his percussion on this album is nothing to be said for.

Lyrics — 10
The theme of the lyrics on this album is straightforward and hard-hitting, but the exact subjects of the songs vary. Of course, there's the infamous line from "Killing In The Name", F**k you, I won't do what you tell me! to the many times repeated line from "Take The Power Back", No More Lies. Once again, you can feel Zack's fury and anger radiating from every line he hatefully spews out in a rapid, Hip-Hop style.

Overall Impression — 10
After all is said and done, RATM is possibly one of the most socially influential bands ever, outside of Straight Edge music. While the feeling of this amazing album was eventually lost, they would continue to pump out songs that feature all of the best things about them. And even though they're not releasing anymore LPs, they continue to play their own brand of riot-inducing, break neck concerts. The legacy of this band will live on both musically and politically.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    What an album.  There aren't enough superlatives to describe how original and perfect this album is.
    Root Beer wrote: Killing in the Name for the win. This and Frizzle Fry by Primus are probably the greatest debuts ever.
    You sir have got it right.
    I like RATM, but I don't understand why we need yet another review on a 19-year-old album.
    A Poe
    I disagree with Trashuleashed's review about Morello's playing being polar opposite of hypnotizing and mesmerizing, and that his playing was better with Chris Cornell as frontman. Audioslave made some good songs for sure but they came nothing close to a level RATM were on especially live. Audioslave were basically forced to play Rage Songs live from fans screaming to hear it. I love timmy c he's a bad ass but come on, Morello basically invented a style of playing guitar. Morello's playing is nothing short of extraordinary. He took what he heard in his head and took it to his guitar, acting basically as a dj as he say's. You say that his performance with rage is admirable? You got to give him more credit than that man.
    hmmmm.. why now UG.? seems like we just ran out of new albums that deserves a good review huh..? ^_^