Rage Against The Machine was formed in 1991 in Los Angeles, California by guitarist Tom Morello. Tom Morello recruited singer Zack de la Rocha, drummer Brad Wilk and his long-time friend Tim Commerford (Bass) to Rage Against The Machine and this has been the lineup since then. They’ve released four full-length albums, the latest being the cover album Renegades where they covered different songs by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Minor Threat, Cypress Hill and Bob Dylan. Their self-titled debut album was a huge success and reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #45 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The Album: Rap… metal. Sounds like an odd combination but Rage Against The Machine definitely pulls it off with their debut album. The theme of the album is politics and the song Killing in the Name has a pretty clear political message - “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”. Killing in the Name is also often referred to as RATM’s signature song.
Settle For Nothing is a relatively calm song that bursts in to a heavier and angrier part as the song elapses. The album continues with more fan-favorites such as Bullet In The Head, Know Your Enemy, Wake Up and Freedom.
Know Your Enemy features Tool singer Maynard James Keenan and is a pretty fast and energetic song with a message - “What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy!”.
Wake Up starts off with a great intro (Inspired by Led Zeppelin’s song Kashmir) and the song discusses racism. This is a typical RATM song that makes great use of the wah-wah-pedal and a very funky song that defines the RATM style. It’s creative, experimental and has a RATM feel to it.
Last song of the album is Freedom that barks off with Zack de la Rocha’s trademark “UH!” sound. The song turns it down a notch after two minutes, but picks up tempo after about two minutes and finishes on an aggressive and angry note.
It’s a groundbreaking album and there’s a reason why this album is considered one of the best albums ever. RATM is one of the first bands to incorporate rap in to metal and actually getting a good sound out of it. My favorite track on this album is Know Your Enemy. Epic stuff.
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