Rage Against The Machine Review

artist: Rage Against the Machine date: 12/30/2003 category: compact discs
Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against The Machine
Released: Nov 3, 1992
Genre: Rap Metal, Funk Metal, Alternative Metal
Label: Epic
Number Of Tracks: 10
"Rage Against the Machine" is the debut studio album by American rap metal band Rage Against the Machine.
 Sound: 9.9
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 186 
 Views:
 3,210 
reviews (25) 54 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 30, 2003
10 of 11 people found this review helpful

Sound: The self-titled debut album, which was released by Rage in '94, was - I believe - their best album to date. The sound on this album is very original, this comes down to three main reasons: the lyrics, the lead guitar, and the bass. The lyrics will be covered later but the two others are crucial to the Rage sound. The most important is the bass line,which normally follows the guitar, playing note riffs. The bass adds gallons of power to the sound which has then provided us with the rage style. Even when the bass differs from the guitar the bass lines are hardly droning, driving sounds; they spruce up the sound - for example in the verse of "Take the Power Back", and the chilling bass line in "Settle for Nothing". Tim Crommerford (Bassist) and Tom Morello (Guitarist) have developed a very original sound when working together on the main riffs and this is shown in their debut. As a compliment to this cracking riffs the solos are simply stupendous - not the biggest shred solos ever (but check "Know Your Enemy") but complex and, as with most of Rage's sounds, immensely original. The subtle but brilliant solo in "Settle for Nothing", the dentist drill solo in "Killing In The Name", the ridiculously random solo in "Wake Up", the harmonized solo in "Township rebellion", the selector switch solo in "Bullet In The Head" ... you get the picture. However, these original solos are necessary, as with only one guitarist there is limited scope for melodies outside of the riff to embellish the song in a different way and change the flavour like a middle eight would, and just nailing riffs onto each other would get a bit tedious. This would be the same with the solos had they not sounded so strikingly original - pentatonic, dry sounding solos would have got very boring had they only got a bass riff behind them.

The drums, although not very complex did provide a good basis to lay the guitars on top but sometimes you did wish for more in that department. Overall the sound is unconventional, pretty daring and very full given the fact that there is only one guitar and bass to support it. The drums worked well with the music but could have produced some fancier fills etc. and another guitar may have provided more power but that would have given us a completely different band. Overall, a fabulous collection of music. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are - to Rage themselves at least - the key part in all the songs. It is quite obvious from the very beginning that Zack de la Rocha (vocalist) is making a stand. He is doing this in the rawest way possible - rapping. Normally rapping is very relaxed and droning and it is for this reason I dislike it - there is no enthusiasm and little emotion. With Zack this is different - he shouts, he screams and he whispers through gritted teeth. This adds a whole new perspective to rapping. In addition to this, the fusion between rapping and metal, taken from bands like Anthrax and some RUN DMC, gives a fresh edge to rapping that is often neglected. And this, as I keep mentioning, is another factor in RATM's sound. However, there are downsides to the lyrics. There are some people who dislike rapping in whatever form and in their minds this will seriously detract from the excellent music going on beneath the vocals. In addition, the impossibility for Zack to abstain from swearing due to his internal necessity to express his emotions on the political issues that he is trying to impregnate into this musical society. This will in turn decrease once more, the musical society that listens to his music. Yet I doubt RATM would have it any other way and after listening to the album just once you are likely to understand that Rage are one of those bands that will not compromise to suit a commercial target market. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is one of the best rock metal albums ever. Not only for the awesome, original music but for the lyrics and the way in which music was first made and used - to tell a story. This album suits anyone who likes the music and can accept Zacks rapping over the top - which is easier than is sounds even if you don't like rap. Also people that play guitar drawn to this album for the music or the skills. This album is a must for my collection and if people ask about my music collection, I make a note of name dropping this beauty. This album also contains the song that - I think - typifies Rage: "Killing in the Name". The verse repeats Zack's political stand point, the solo is killer, the (bass/guitar) riff is all powerful, the change in the tempo - from the superb intro to the verse and from the verse to chorus - shows the way they will contort a song to change the mood where they feel appropriate. The one line in that song that is repeated in abundance would also be the line I chose to typify Rage; "F**k you, I won't do what you tell me" - being yelled over pounding guitars and drums after an explosive crescendo of instruments and vocals shows that rage are non-comformist and utterly brilliant - and this album proves that. (Beddo) // 10

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overall: 9.3
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 07, 2005
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This band's sound is unlike any other band on the face of the planet. Many have tried but don't come even close. While their songs are rock or metal they throw in hip hoppin' lyrics and add in a guitar style completeley unique to Tom Morrelo, who I might add is one of the best guitarists who ever lived. Tim Commerfeld (or whatever) is deffinateley a very skilleed bassist who fits right in with Tom. // 10

Lyrics: Zack De La Rocha's singing is great, whether he's laying down some rhymes or screaming at the top of his lungs. His lyrics have a strong political backround and fit in perfectly with the band's music. However, many of the songs are about killing or hating America or whatever. // 8

Overall Impression: I think this is one of the greatest albums that was ever made, from any band. It is Rage's best album, then a tie between Renegades and Battle Of Los Angeles. It show's all of the band's amazing musical talent, and there is not one bad song on the album. However, the best are Bombtrack, Killing In The Name, Bullet In The Head, Know Your Enemy, Wake Up, Township Rebellion, Freedom. If I lost this CD, I would find some money and buy another within a week. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: derek5, on july 05, 2007
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: What can I say except Rage Against The Machine has a sound the've formed all by themselves, and this album clearly portrays that. Everything from Zack de la Rocha's pissed of vocals to Tom Morello's masterfull use of effects machines and Tim Commerford's amazing ability to blend rhythm and punchy riffs together. And all this is sewn together with the best production ever. // 10

Lyrics: Rage Against The Machine's lyrics mostly stay on the the same overall topic of being oppressed, by the themes chage around from genocide, political issues, war, and poverty. Zack de la Rocha sounds great and his lisp really helps him get a sound that no one else can replicate. The lyrics go together almost perfectly with the sound of the music, but sometimes they are spoken to loudly and are inconprehensible. // 9

Overall Impression: This is one of the most unique albums you ever listen to, and it will never cease to completely blow you away. Everything about it is great. Definite highlights on the album are Bullet In Your Head, Bombtrack, Settle For Nothing, and Take The Power Back. This is a must have and if anybody steals it, track them down and make them pay. Or just buy it again. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: angus_young_32, on may 05, 2009
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: How do you explain an band that has incited riots, caused many spine and neck injuries, pissed off both the people and the government, and inspired many people to radically change their political beliefs? It's hard, but one band managed to do it on a massive scale: Rage Against the Machine. Many people are quick to label this band as a rap band, but if you haven't heard them play, then you shouldn't be talking. There is no genre that Rage can be placed in. The crunchy, unshakable riffs of Tom Morello, the tumbling drums of Brad Wilk, the rocky bass lines of Tim Commerford and the pissed-off, militant crazy-ass rapping of Zack de la Rocha make this album something of which you have never heard before. It's a truly unique sound, when you mix rap and hard rock/heavy metal. It's a sound that Rage Against the Machine has defined themselves with. First time you see the album artwork, you're puzzled. After a bit of research, you see that the artwork makes sense. The guy is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, setting himself on fire in protest of the president's new administration, oppressing the Buddhist religion. In a split second, you know that the artwork actually means something, because this whole album is about protesting against unjust governments and policies, exactly what Thch Quảng Đức is doing on the front of the album. // 10

Lyrics: Let me get this out of the way first: I absolutely hate rap, with every fiber of my being. But then again, his album isn't rap. Sure, Zack de la Rocha is rhyming and delivering aggressive lines, but it's in a completely different spectrum. Zack isn't rapping about getting laid at a nightclub, doing drive-bys late at night, etc. He's rapping about the corrupt government. He's rapping about the completely defunct educational system in the United States. He's rapping about imperialism. That's what makes Zack's rapping SO much more different than any other rap I've ever heard. Of course, a rapper must be articulate with what he is saying, and Zack does not make a single mistake. He is fluid and smooth with his lyrics, as he weaves in and out of the mammoth riffs laid down by the rest of the band. The lyrics are quite interesting to read and understand what they mean, too. Zack's one of the best people I know at creating metaphors. As Zack says in the opening lines of Take the Power Back, 'Yeah, the movement's in motion with mass militant poetry... ' and that's what it is, massive militant poetry. Every song has some sort of line in it that sticks in your head, and it usually makes you want to go outside and start a mass riot. That's what makes this band so great. // 10

Overall Impression: I'll lay this down, song by song: 01.Bombtrack: a somewhat quiet intro riff, and then the rest of the band drops in as hugely as possible. Zack does the lyrics over a bendy riff and the chorus is one hell of a sound explosion. 02.Killing In The Name: everyone knows this song, thanks to the last 16 of 'Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!' But really, this song is one of the most intense I've ever heard in my life. It's got some of the greatest breakdowns, and the riff after the breakdown doesn't hold any punches either. 03.Take The Power Back: I'm in high school and this song is about the corrupt educational system in the U.S, so obviously this song strikes a nerve with every pissed-off student in the grand ol' States. A lot of funky bass work by Tim and some sharp, piercing riffs by Tom. Brad does an excellent job on here as well. And who could forget the breakdown: "No more lies, no more lies..." 04.Settle For Nothing: quietest song on the album. Nice cymbal work by Brad, and some really creepy volume swells by Tom. Zack lays down the lyrics over some almost ambient noises by Tom. This song is my least favorite on the album, because the chorus is pretty weird, but it's still an awesome song. 05.Bullet In The Head: the definite highlight of this song is Timmy C., because of his kickass bass riffs. In most other bands, the bass is just used to lay down some deep sounds for the rest of the bands, but Rage doesn't stick to tradition. Tim's bass magnetizes you to this song, and the first time I heard Tom's solo to this song I almost shit myself. There's no words for it. Zack's just as solid as ever, as well as Brad. 06.Know Your Enemy: a great, simple intro riff with the killswitch being used in abundance. "Yeah we're coming in with another bombtrack!" Zack proclaims in the beginning, and you see he's goddamn right. Tom punches in with a very metal-like riff and the verse riff is absolutely brilliant. It ascends as Zack delivers his pissed-off militant rapping. "What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!" Almost every line in this song could be used as the slogan for a revolution. It's also got some vocals from Maynard James Keenan from Tool in the bridge. 07.Wake Up: this song was featured in the end credits of The Matrix, which automatically makes that movie badass, because this song fits perfectly. Some people say Tom 'stole' the riff from Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, just because the same chord is used. And guess what, another breakdown which makes you want to start a revolution, pronto. 08.Fistful of Steel: 0ne of the more unconvential intro riffs on the album with Tom doing who-the-hell-knows-what with his guitar, then drops into a slow, rough riff. The whole band is great on here, just like with every other song. 09.Township Rebellion: this drops in immediately with a handful of power chords, launches you through the verse and shoves you into the chorus where the monster resides. 'Why stand on a silent platform? Fight the war, fuck the norm!' This is probably the greatest chorus riff on the album, played on the 6th and 5th strings in Drop-D, and it takes no prisoners. The verse has another awesome bass line and some pretty quick rapping by Zack. Brad's drums stand out on here too, with some cowbell use on the verse. Tom's solo is the most traditional album here too. 10.Freedom: what an end to what an album. The riff explodes and rolls on, destroying everything in its way before stopping temporarily for a different riff and for Zack to deliver some rhymes, then drops back in. After 'Anger is a gift', we get to the solo and another rocking riff. There is absolutely you can get through this song without headbanging. Hell, there's no way you can get through this album without headbanging after the first couple seconds! There are only 2 other studio albums that get remotely close to this album, and they're both by Rage Against the Machine. Since this album was the first of it's genre, there is nothing to compare it to that I know of. For me, I think this album is flawless, but the only thing I didn't like at first was the rapping. Like I've said, I'm not a fan of rap, but after listening to the songs, I've begun to appreciate it. After a while, you realize that there is no other way to deliver the lyrics because of the blazing fast speed of most of the riffs. There are very few things that take a while to realize about this album. The first things that are apprarent, though, are that Rage Against the Machine as a band has quite successfully encompassed territory which no other band had even dared to take a step on, and this album is a solid slab of rock, metal and rap history, worthy of standing up with the big-time albums of each 3 genres. Rage Against the Machine has done what no other band has dared to even try, so even if you don't like the album, you still have to commend them, because you can't lie: in the end, you've been thoroughly rocked, and you still want to hear it again. // 10

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overall: 8
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: UG Team, on august 01, 2003
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Overall Impression: This C.D. is the pennacle of the rap-rock regime. If you are even faintly interested in the style, you will definitely want this album. It's fury is unmatched to this date and this C.D. introduces us to Tom Morello, one of the most gifted guitarists out there. He single handedly paved the way for the metal d.j. of today. One thing about the album that people might not like, however, is the lyrics. The are perhaps the most politically charged lyrics to date, and if your not interested in it, you will probably get annoyed. I say, buy this album, and most likely, you will not be dissapointed. // 8

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overall: 9.3
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 19, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 01, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Lets start with the recording, the levels for all the instruments are perfect, lots of bass, doesnt drown out the vocals, you can always hear the the instruments independantly. Guitar: Tom morello plays with all the best of all his completely unique guitar techniques. He creates some of the most original, innovative, and very easy to listen to riffs ever thought up. Along with his amazing out there guitar riffs he also shows some more conventional skill on the track "Settle For Nothing", proving that he needs no effects to play greatly. Bass: Tim rocks his bass guitar to the funkiest dimension using funk and rock skill and really adding to the sound of each of the songs, not just playing along like some bassists. Drums: Brad Wilk plays perfect. Like all rage albums all the musical sounds are made using the guitar, the bass, drums, and vocals, this album shows how innovative the powerful a band can be, while also showing the passion they have for music and being incredibly entertaining. // 10

Lyrics: On their first album Zach shows the potential that all great singers could have. He holds back nothing with his lyrics and shows the work that went into this completely unfiltered album. The lyrics are Incredibly meaningful and inspiring, they bring a sense of meaning and passion that is lost in almost all popular music nowadays. The words go perfectly with the music, they are thoughtful and well sung. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is an incredible collaboration of skill, passion, and creativity it creates a benchmark that i try to follow everytime I play music. The state that the band was in when they created this album was the absolute of musical artful perfection. You can just hear how they all collaborated so well, and created a masterpiece of musical and social passion. This album should be what every band strives to create when they enter the studio. It is a group of Rage against the machines best songs created when they were bursting with ideas and energy and mentally/musically ready to create an amazing album. It truly shows what is lacking from music today, and the potential we all have when we pick up our instruments. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: captain cake, on june 28, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The first groundbraking album to feature both rap and heavy metal. Rage Against The Machine's self titled debut album was amazing the first time I herd it and still is, it's one of them albums which makes you want to learn the guitar for it, there is kind of a fierce tone about the album with tom morellos distinctive guitar riffs and tims bass lines. There are lots of different styles used such as heavy metal, alternative metaland rap-metal. // 10

Lyrics: The band manages to get their message across with stubborn repetition like "Freedom" and "Killing In The Name." With its relentless statements of, "F--ck you, I won't do what you tell me," and songs like Bullet In The Head and Wake up with constent repetition to convey their message. The guitar and bass lines match the singers all out style perfectly. // 10

Overall Impression: A stunning debut and a absolute essential. It would compare to all others in that genre such as Limp Bizkit and Korn allthough I wouldn't place it above Metallica or Megadeth. Every song on the album is good this hard to come by. The best songs in my opinion are Bombtrack, Killing In The Name of, Bullet In The Head and Wake Up because of there bold statements put out in these songs. I love the guitar riffs on the album the are so distinctive and original. I hate that some of the solos in Bullet In The Head are to hard. Also look out for: Evil Empire [1996], The Battle Of Los Angeles [1999], Renegades [2000] and Live At The Grand Olimpic Auditorium. You will not be dissapointed. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 15, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rage Against The Machine is just plain awesome, combining rap, rock, and funk. Tom Morello has one of the most unique guitar players out there, sure anyone can use a lot of guitar effects, but he does it in a way I haven't heard (maybe since the Egde of U2, except more solos). This is problem the best Rage cd out of all of them (the others are great as well). // 10

Lyrics: What is there to say, Zack De La Rocha is a great lyric writer that is totally against it all, without sounding to cliche. Discussing government issues, and the american dream. The only thing that can get a little annoying is that he sometimes he repeats a lot of stuff. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a heavy sound, that is great to rock out to. Some of my favorite songs are Bombtrack, Know Your Enemy and Killing In The Name Of. I bought this cd and it stayed in my cd player for months, and if I lost it, I would definetaly buy it again. I highly recomend to get this one, or any of their other great cds. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 27, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rap-metal or rapcore has been around before RATM formed, but RATM played rapcore better than anyone else and proved that on their 1992 self titled debut. This is how it sounds when Public Enemy and Black Sabbath are joined together. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are very powerful and are the best lyrics ever written. This is the best mix of politics and music ever made and Zack is well suited to bringing politics to music. // 10

Overall Impression: This is the best album that RATM made and it is the best rapcore album ever made. I love this record it is close to being a perfect record beacause every member is just putting their best into that record and thats what I like about a band. These are my ratings on each song: 01. Bombtrack 10/10 02. Killing In The Name 10/10 03. Take The Power Back 9/10 04. Settle For Nothing 10/10 05. Bullet In The Head 10/10 06. Know Your Enemy 10/10 07. Wake Up 10/10 08. Fistful Of Steel 8/10 09. Township Rebelion 7/10 10. Freedom 10/10 Buy this album now, trust me it is worth your money. // 10

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overall: 9
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: rhcp_9106, on march 13, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rage Against The Machine is one of the most original bands to date. Their combination of rap and rock is fantastic. The album is very guitar-oriented also. Please excuse Mr. Tom Morello for his obnoxious noises! He is being creative and also many of the solos are very tough to play. The bassist also does a terrific job. Songs like "Killing In The Name" and "Take The Power Back" are songs agaisnt the government. "Wake Up" is about racism. Each song is good and deserves a spot on the record. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on the album were very rebellious. Every song is spoken, or screamed, which adds to the style. The only issue with the lyrics is that most of the time the same ones a repeated through out the song. Songs like "Killing In The Name" and "Settle For Nothing" are good examples of that. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is Rage's best. It is probably one of the best rap-rock albums out there. The most impressive songs are "Killing In The Name," "Bullet In The Head," "Know Your Enemy," and "Wake Up." The guitar parts are amazing, and the music is very powerful. Definitly worth a listen. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: mark3h, on april 08, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rage Against The Machines self-titled first album in 1992 was the initial blast of venomous songwriting and energy. Unlike most conventional bands at the time, The use of Toms guitar playing made it sound if anything but a guitar. All the songs are very provocative in the form of politics, which is trying to push through the point of rebelling and waking up to everthing going on around us, hence the track "Wake Up" and "Killing in the Name" with its "F--k you I wont do what you tell me!" The album basically covers the problem with our governments and Zak uses many metaphors such as guns and bullets "Bullet In Your Head," "I think I heard a shot" to make his point heard. The music in itslef is very innovative with the guitar solos, the heavy thunder of the drums, and the slapping of the bass. With an ending track named "Freedom" it is self explanitory as to what is being said here, and is an excellent ending to a marvellous album. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are an attack against the government and politics. Rebelling against, making a stand. They are all based on american historical events and the bands childhoods, especially Zakk's. The music and the lyrics go well together, with Zakk yelling them out, then followed by one of Tom's solos, which fit perfectly together. The lyrics also raise awareness to those who have suffered from the wrong end of politics and the injustice in society. Zakk's vocals are an attribute with its slight rap hinged on to the punk aura. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall this has to be the best album Rage have made. Bombtrack has got to be one of my favourites along with Wake up and Freedom, which I love to play on guitar. Whenever I'm feeling down or sad, its great to just put on this album, pump the volume up and relax listening to that guitar soloing and amazing lyrics. Again id just like to say that this is one of the best albums I've ever listened to in my life. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: con job, on november 25, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This wasn't the first Rage album I ever heard, having arrived on the bandwagon quite late with the Battle of Los Angeles, but I got this as soon as possible, after hearing "Killing In The Name". And I was absolutely blown away by the raw power when that intro riff to "Bombtrack" just explodes into an intense guitar line. It had so much intensity that was lacking on the Battle Of Los Angeles, and I had no idea what RATM were capable of. After buying all their albums, this is definitely the best in terms of sound and power. Tom Morello and Tim Commerford play extremely simple riffs, but these two are the only two in the world who can make easy riffs sound amazing. There is less exposure of Morello's ingenuity and originality in soloing on a guitar(solos like those in "Bulls On Parade" and "Wind Below" notably missing), but that does not subtract from the album. Sometimes those insane, non-guitar sounding solos can get slightly annoying, but really they are brilliant. "Wake Up" is really the only example of this type of solo on this album. Commerford has his career highlights elsewhere, because for most of the album he mimics Morello's guitar. I'd prefer to hear Commerford go his own way on these songs, like he did on Evil Empire, and his playing in Audioslave. Brad Wilk also would go on to have better albums with RATM, his drumming much improving and becoming a real part of the music, as opposed to being in the background. But even his simplest beats really add to these songs somehow. The sound of this album is incredible. You can tell these guys really love what they're doing, it shows up very well. // 10

Lyrics: Zack's lyrics are extremely blunt and to the point. They really are inspiring at times, for example "Settle For Nothing". However, soon they become pretty predictable, and reptitive. Again he would go on to write better things, but what the man writes is what he thinks and feels, and he deserves a huge amount of respect for that. // 8

Overall Impression: The highlights of this album(it's so hard to narrow it down) are "Bombtrack", "Killing In The Name", "Settle For Nothing", "Bullet In the Head", and "Freedom". What I love about this album is the atmosphere and tension the group can collectively make. The bridge in "Township Rebellion" is incredible. Zack whispers his lyrics, and palm muted riffs from both guitarists in the background, which slowly builds to an obnoxious explosion of flange effects and Zack screaming his lungs out. It really is emphatic. I would have preffered to hear a few darker songs on this, but overall this album is stunning. Morello really is a brilliant guitarist. RATM would go on to make more creative albums, but this is the pinnacle of their career. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: Aro, on february 27, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Released in late 1992, Rage Against the Machine's self-titled took the music scene by storm. Their sound is made up of funk-metal and rap-rock, blended with MC5's raw energy; keep in mind that this is nothing like what appeared in the late '90s (where corny white guys with skateboards whined about girls). Once I popped this CD into my stereo, a quiet, funky bassline turned into a direct explosion of sound; this CD begs to be played loud. I was amazed at how crisp the production is. It's very clean, but the production is never holding back the energy each instrument brings out. Tom Morello is a guitar genius; his solos are *not* conventional, and rely on funky melodies and unique use of effect pedals. While bassist Tim Commerford provides a funky rhythm, Tom simply adds to it, layering over the rhythms in traditional funk fashion and providing interesting effects (and making very liberal use of the Digitech Whammy pedal). The closest you'll hear to a convential solo is in "Bombtrack", but is anybody looking for conventional solos anymore? Drummer Brad Wilk keeps the beat and provides excellent fills, but his talents aren't put out on the forefront like the others. // 10

Lyrics: People are often turned off of the band because the lyrics, but if you have an open mind or like rap in the vein of Public Enemy, this will only enhance the album for you. Keep in mind that rapper Zack de la Rocha's lyrics can't be simplified as mindlessly "hating America"; he's very well educated and has the lyrics to prove it. He never fails to show his anger and contempt for the government, raging against the machine better than anybody ever has. Read the lyrics on the booklet and "listen" along if you want to know what this guy's ranting about, otherwise you might not get it. Indeed, he does swear, but these songs wouldn't have the same passion or anger without the swearing. "Screw you, I won't do what ya tell me" doesn't have as much of an affect on the ears. The lyrics align with the chaos of the music perfectly; Zack screams like a maniac and you will not find a single song where he doesn't sound pissed off. The only problem some might encounter is that he stays on a similar theme throughout the entire album, the injustices of government figures and social commentary. Really though, it's a welcome vacation from the love songs that plague radio. Zack never "sings", so don't expect to find a melody in anything he spits out. His high pitch, stern voice is something that many might have to get used to. But what you will find vocally is many dynamics he uses to match up with the instrumentation, from screams to whispers, all given a shiny gleam in the studio. And hell, guest vocalist Maynard James Keenan of Tool even provides his hypnotic vocals for the bridge of Know Your Enemy. // 10

Overall Impression: I've listen to several, several funk-metal bands (from Infectious Grooves and Red Hot Chili Peppers to Faith No More and Primus); in my opinion, the Rage Against the Machine self-titled album best represents both the funk-metal and rap-metal genre, having energy, instrumental mastery, and pure innovative wit. It's obvious they aimed for a unique sound when they released this CD. The strength of this album is in the line-up of great songs; the fourth song "Settle for Nothing" is the only slow song, and any energy lost is regained immediately afterwards during Bullet in the Head. On the seventh song, "Wake Up", the CD is almost brought to an energetic climax; this song is an epic, and every second of this six minute monster is put to good use. Many will recognize the booming intro riff as similar to the riff used in Led Zep's Kashmir, except this one's booming with distortion, and the guitar scratch with the beat during the verses while the bass plays the role of the guitar. This song never gets boring, and I have no idea how they hell they bring the song crashing to the skills; it sounds like all of the instruments are chaotic and off-tune, yet retain melody. I'd say the only bad aspect of this album is how the CD slows down and almost commits suicide after the epic "Wake Up"; it's a crime that the following three songs were positioned after it, since they're great songs, but much slower and more vocal oriented. The album stands up on two feet again once it reaches the chaotic boom of "Freedom", where it sounds like the band destroys their instruments in a fury. I recommend this to anybody who has a love for rock or guitars. As stated in the booklet, the effects and music made are all created by guitar, drums, bass and vocals; nothing's manufactured, nothing's fake. All in all, I'd definitely buy another if this was stolen or lost, but I always keep the original somewhere safe and listen to burned copies; I'll be damned if I scratch this masterpiece. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 15, 2004
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Sound: This Album has the most creative and original guitar parts ever made by any band. Tom Morrello(Guitarist) is the Jimi Hendrix of the 90's. His innovative style of playing and his signature "make it sound like anything but guitar" solos are what make this album worth listening to. // 10

Lyrics: Creating a revolution is not any easy task. But Zack De La Rocha (singer) might as well be reffered to as a modern day Malcom X or Bob Marley. His political lyrics drive the force that is Rage Against the Machine. Takeling subjects like Racism and War is what made this band so succesful. // 10

Overall Impression: Rage Against the Machine is not only one of the best albums of the 90's but one of the best bands of the 90's. Furioucous lyrics, Original guitar sounds, a solid bass player, and an excellent drummer are words that are to small to describe them. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: ANewFoundPride, on april 06, 2004
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Sound: As I have said before, Tom Morello is a god. He can do just about anything on the guitar and make anything sound good. Im really glad that he joined Rage. Even with Zach, the band would be nothing without him. I am really impressed with his solo in Take The Power Back (In my opinion, the best song on the album). He is right up there with all the other great guitarists. Tim is a great bass player along with Brad Wilk on drums. Together, they form a great band and have one hell of a sound. // 10

Lyrics: Zach de la Rocha's lyrics are powerful and meaningful. Rage, being totally anti-government (which goes well with their name), allows Zach to write some really good stuff. As I have also stated before in my review for "The Battle of Los Angeles" (1998), I find that Zach doesnt shout the lyrics, but in a way preaches them in a very effective and fun to listen to. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this cd is another great production by Rage. I hadn't listened to Rage for a while, when surprissingly, my interest in them was restored by my history teacher who was talking about Che Guevara, and referenced them to Rage Against the Machine. I talked to him after class about it and he talked to me more about it and said that he loved Rage Against the Machine. Hence, my interest renewed, the glory found again, I set out and write this review. This cd is definetly worth buying and listening to over and over again. So what are you waiting for?! GO BUY IT. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 14, 2004
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Sound: This Rage Against The Machine album is just pure brilliance. Tom Morello (guitarist) is one of the best in the planet, the solos he does on killing in the name of, bullet in the head and know your enemy are so amazing the made me get guitar lessons! (seriously). If you have a spare 7 pound then I suggest you buy this album, it's great! The best songs that I recommend listening to 1st are the 3 I mentioned and also the bomb track and take the power back. // 10

Lyrics: The lead singer is also one of the best in the world (until he left)! His singing in Bullet In The Head will blow your mind away, he screams like a dog with a thermometer up it's ass! (not in a bad way!) His voice goes great with the excellence of the guitar playing of Tom Morello. // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of the best albums I had ever bought, I suggest you buy it as well. I love all the guitar solo's and all the times that the lead singer screams his ass off. I would definately buy it again if it got stolen or lost. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 19, 2004
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Sound: This album is one of the top three albums of the 90's. I got a q? Can you name two better albums? The over all sound is just so powerful and in your face and they have a real message instead of just topics like drugs and women and love. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are so politically charged it is amazing that it is legal zach de la rocha is a lyrical mastermind. I challenge any one who has a differing opinion to go out and buy the live at olympic auditorium dvd. Then watch them at the democratic national convention. Absoulutely, hands down the most powerful live performance I have ever witnessed. // 10

Overall Impression: They were the origionators of new rap/metal. Just go alter your mood, get a copy of the lyrics, through on some headphones and just educate yourself. // 10

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overall: 8
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: PsychoWolfD, on september 13, 2004
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Sound: Rage Against the Machine might as well be the only band I actually like that has rap elements in it! Tom Morello has the most unique solos and guitarwork! This and The Battle of Los Angeles has the most catchiest riff of all time! The riffs to the song "Killing In The Name", "Settle For Nothing", "Freedom" and more are great. The solo to "Killing In The Name" is cool. // 8

Lyrics: Zack de la Rocha, in this debut album, screams more than he raps, so thats better. The lyrics are political, and I like most of them because of how they are done, but one or two I beg to disagree with. "Know Your Enemy", for example. I disagree when he says "Land of the free? Whoever told that is your enemy!" "Killing In The Name", by the way, has pretty cool lyrics. The radio fooled me until I got this album! The entire set fo verses where he goes "-- you I won't do what you tell me!" is edited, taken away in the radio version! I strongly dislike radio "Settle For Nothing" I liked very much. // 8

Overall Impression: This is the best, most powerful, most angriest album by RATM. I still don't quite understand the album art concept, but oh well. Recommended tracks are: "Bombtrack", "Killing In The Name", "Settle For Nothing", "Bullet In The Head", and "Freedom". I personally listen to RATM because of their music, but a lot of their lyrics are all right. Don't disregard this because the singer uses a rap-style of singing. This is not Limp Bizshit, RATM actually has musical talent, and the lyrics are meaningful whether one agrees with them or not. So check this CD out you might like it. I also recommend 'The Battle Of Los Angeles'. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: autumnskyguitar, on march 04, 2006
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Sound: This was their first album, and it was their best one to just sit back and listen to. All of the songs on here are nihilistic and bring an entirely new style of music (rapcore, mixture of rap lyrics with hard rock/heavy metal music). The best song on the record is "Killing In The Name," which may be their most well known song. Tom Morello is an extremely innovative guitarist. He uses a lot of unconventional techniques (pickup switch flicking with tapping, rubbing an allen wrench on the strings {People Of The Sun - different album}, unplugging the amp cable from the guitar and touching the strings while the amp is on {Guerilla Radio solo - different album}). This produces some very different sounds like on "Bullet In The Head." Also Timmy C is one great bass player. There is a section of slap bass on "Take The Power Back" that is amazing. This is just a great sounding record. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are mostly opposed to the government and opression of African Americans, "Wake Up." Zack de la Rocha is a rapper with a band. If you don't like rap, then you probably won't like RATM. At least give them a chance and listen to a few tracks because they are an amazing band. The lyrics do get repetive, though. The lyrics are elaborate and excellent in other songs, though ("Wake Up"). De la Rocha's lyrics do not take away from Rage's greatness, but adds to their unique style. // 8

Overall Impression: This is their second best album. First buy "The Battle Of Los Angeles" if you want some Rage, but if you actually want anger then this album is better suited. Rage Against the Machine is one of my favorite bands and this is one great album. I like it better than "Battle Los Angeles" because there is more anger, but the music is better on the other album. It's ten song burst of anti-government sentiments which amounts to "Rage Against The Machine." // 9

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: ragehead111, on june 12, 2006
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Sound: This album sounds completely original. Rage weren't trying to copy anyone when they released their self-titled debut. Zach sounds like he should, an angry Mexican-American trying to get his message across. His rapping style is completely original. Tom Morello is an amazing and underrated guitarist. He uses techniques with whammy pedals and wah-wah pedals that are completely amazing. He also creates bone-crushing riffs that would make Jimmy Page proud. Tim Commerford uses his bass like no other on songs such as Know Your Enemy and Township Rebellion (wah-wah). He is a great asset to the band. Brad Wilk is a good solid drummer who stands out on Killing In The Name, Township Rebellion, and Freedom. The overral sound quality is amazing, clean, and original. // 10

Lyrics: With this album, Zach De La Rocha proves that he is the greatist lyricist of the '90s (Better than anything Fred Durst has to offer). He uses poetic lyrics to get his message across on such topics like The KKK (Killing In The Name), the American school system (Take The Power Back), anti-war protests (Township Rebellion), the civil- rights movement (Wake Up), and the American way of life (Know Your Enemy). The lyrics fit right with Tom's innovative guitar playing, and the funky rythm section. For once, rap is used for a good cause, unlike idiots like 50 Cent and Snoop Dog. Zach's lyrics will really make you think. // 10

Overall Impression: I put this album is the same league as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles. The album is simply a masterpiece. Listen to every song on the album without skipping any because every track is a gem. All of these songs are impressive and each deserved to be listened to. I completely love this album. There is nothing I would change. If this album was to be stolen I would track down the thief and say "enjoy a great album" and then take $13 dollars from him and buy a brand new one. So get Rage Against The Machine. You won't regret it. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: BassPlayer500, on february 05, 2007
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Sound: Rage Against The Machine are an excellent rap-metal band. Their self-titled album is a great album no matter what style you listen to. The bass is so awesome! Tim is an excellent bass player. Songs with good basslines are "Killing In The Name" and "Know Your Enemy". The slap bass riff in "Take The Power Back" is really good too. The guitar works together with the bass so well. The guitar solos are awesome. Songs with good guitar solos are "Wake Up", "Freedom", and "Settle For Nothing". The guitar sounds unique because of the effects and pedals that Tom uses. Brad Wilk is a pretty good drummer too. "Township Rebellion" has some unusual drumming in it, so does "Killing In The Name". Overall, the sounds is amazing. The guitar, bass, and drums sound perfect all together. // 10

Lyrics: Zack is a great singer/rapper/screamer, and his lyrics are amazing too. All of the songs on this CD have great meanings and messages behind them. "Take The Power Back" is about bad teachers and education in schools ("Europe ain't my rope to swing on, can't learn a thing from it, yet we hang from it"). "Killing In The Name" is about racism in government ("Those who died are justified for wearing the badge and they're chosen whites"). "Bullet In The Head" is about people getting brainwashed by what they see on the TV ("Just victims of the in-house drive-by, they say "Jump" you say "How high?"). So, those are some of the songs that have great lyrics and meanings. All of these songs are great and Zack is an amazing vocalist. // 10

Overall Impression: Whether you like rap or heavy metal, this album is awesome. The best tracks are "Know Your Enemy", "Freedom", and "Wake Up". Trust me, get this CD even if you haven't heard of Rage Against The Machine before. Their other albums are good too, so if you like this one you should get "The Battle Of Los Angeles" or "Evil Empire". Rage Against The Machine is awesome! // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: asmiff, on august 21, 2008
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Sound: Former Harvard student and wildly experimental guitarist Tom Morello was searching for a new band in 1990 when he came across Zack de la Roche rapping at a local Los Angeles show. Morello quickly recruited de la Roche as a frontman and de la Roche's childhood buddy Tim Commerford to play bass, and the trio added drummer Brad Wilk soon after. Thus, Rage Against the Machine was born, fueled by Morello's crazy-sounding riffs and solos complementing de La Roche's anti-establishment messages. Morello's work has been deemed by some as the most original and innovative in rock and roll history, and he is backed up by Commerford's jazz-influenced bass lines. Wilk has a penchant for busting hip-hop beats out of his set to bolster de la Roche's rapping techniques. Rage brought a completely new style and attitude to the industry with their debut effort, and any rock fan should peer into this new world of sound if they get a chance. // 10

Lyrics: Zack de la Roche established himself one of the best lyricists in the game with this album. Though his lyrics seem to all have the same message (take down the man), his flow is riveting and he has the ability to put goosebumps on the listeners arms. De la Roche seems to have unlimited energy and is emotionally invested in every song. After hearing him, the things other lead singer's have to say pale in comparison. The vocals also combine with the band's music seamlessly to create an extremely unique atmosphere. De la Roche's lyrics shine the brightest in the songs "Bombtrack", "Bullet in the Head", and "Wake Up". // 10

Overall Impression: This is one of the best albums ever. It redefined the rock landscape and also redefined the way I look at our nation and helped me recognize the plights of underprivileged citizens in America. How many rock albums can do that for you, and still maintain an amazing sound? Rage's defining song, "Killing in the Name", comes from this album and features one of best solos of Morello's career. Every song is very very good,, and the weakest ("Settle for Nothing") would be in the top 3 on most other rock albums. Other headlining songs are "Bombtrack", "Freedom", "Bullet in the Head", "Know Your Enemy" and "Wake Up". There are only ten songs, but it really doesn't matter because there is enough talent shown from those tracks that makes this one of the best albums ever. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: Nirvanafan60, on november 02, 2010
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is possibly RATMs best album mainly rap metal. This album hooked me and the story behind it is better. Most of the songs on this album are inspired by the struggle of the A.I.M (American Indian Movement)and they are protesting the innocence of arrested A.I.M members. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are all true and the singer has got very good song writing skills. Some people say there sell outs but they aren't and if they were they are still telling the truth. These guys know there facts and have knocked it on the head. No-matter who you are you have got to appreciate the skills of Zach De La Rocha as a singer and songwriter he is also a very good poet. // 10

Overall Impression: I am one of the biggest rage fans after I heard this album and bought every single other album afterwards and I can safely say this is their best piece of work.I like it because they are exposing more of the governments cover ups. I would replace every album if I lost them. Killing in the name is the most influential song from the album but my favorite song is know your enemy. // 10

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overall: 10
Rage Against The Machine Reviewed by: ThrashUnleashed, on september 29, 2011
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Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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