When I was about 8, I was really into rap and was slowly getting into rock and metal (mainly Nu Metal). So a cross pollination of the 2 made me very happy.
Rage Against The Machine were the best so called rap metal band of the time (with Body Count & the rest of the early Nu Metal bands trailing behind in talent & sophistication.)Their anarchistic lyrics, political satire and anger towards western cultures and their lack of sympathy for others was the perfect fuel for the fire. Even though at times they may be hypocritical (being signed to a major label, getting to number 1 this X-Mass), they were able to counteract with a load of crazy, e.g. being naked with tape on their mouths in order to protest against censorship, performing in politically active areas, starting riots, you know, all that stuff.
This album (better than Evil Empire but not as strong as their debut), is an amazing example of the genre, with enough anger, politics and amazing lyricism in order to put forward their ideals.
1. Testify - An amazing intro to the album with an amazing chorus. Another weird solo from Tom as well.
2. Guerrilla Radio - Again another amazing chorus, and doesn’t the solo sound a wee bit like a chicken.
3. Calm Like A Bomb - Or as other people know this song, That Song From The Matrix. Amazing song, with a lot of cool time changes. Another kick ass chorus as well.
4. Mic Check - This reminds me of a Public Enemy song with the repetitive backing and the almost free form for the rapping. I love the final verse of the song, especially the lyrics.
5. Sleep Now In The Fire - A wee bit repetitive and to be honest It doesn’t make too much sense. Perfect song for a single though.
6. Born Of A Broken Man - This is the slower song (a bit like Settle For Nothing from their debut). I love the line, “where Jesus stripped bare, and raped the spirit he was supposed to nurture.” The mixture of religious and quite controversial imagery is really affective.
7. Born Of Ghosts - Amazing chorus and use of Tom Morello’s weird guitar effects.
8. Maria - Probably my favourite song on the album. The vivid imagery makes the story of the song way more enjoyable. The chorus is also amazing.
9. Voice Of The Voiceless - An amazing chorus. The lyrics are based on 1984, which is the perfect subject from these guys to be writing about.
10. New Millennium Homes - This song reminds me of something from their first album. Catchy and very effective.
11. Ashes In The Fall - Another monumental moment on the album. Very funky influenced. Amazing lyrics. I love the closing stanza, which is about how ironic that schools and workplaces hold future criminals and jailbirds.
12. War Within A Breath - What happened on New Year’s Day? This song is amazing and is a great way to end the album.
CONCLUSION: Amazing album. Not a bad song on it. Perfect for angry people (I’m not angry…although I still enjoyed it.