RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — Rage Against the Machine

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RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - Rage Against the Machine cover
4.07 | 74 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1992


1. Bombtrack (4:04)
2. Killing in the Name (5:14)
3. Take the Power Back (5:37)
4. Settle for Nothing (4:48)
5. Bullet in the Head (5:09)
6. Know Your Enemy (4:55)
7. Wake Up (6:04)
8. Fistful of Steel (5:31)
9. Township Rebellion (5:24)
10. Freedom (6:09)

Total Time: 52:58

Bonus disc: Anger Is a Gift
1. Darkness (3:40)
2. Year of tha Boomerang (4:02)
3. Freedom (remix) (6:13)
4. Take the Power Back (live) (6:12)

Total Time: 20:08


- Zack de la Rocha / vocals
- Tom Morello / guitars
- Tim Commerford / bass
- Brad Wilk / drums, percussion

- Maynard James Keenan / additional vocals on Know Your Enemy
- Stephen Perkins / additional percussion on Know Your Enemy

About this release

Released in 1992 by Epic Records. The 1995 Australian re-release had a bonus disc called Anger Is a Gift.

Thanks to Pekka, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

From what I've seen and heard, rap metal may not be the most popular genre among metalheads. This could be due to the constantly painful thought of LIMP BIZKIT. Yet, there is a lighter side to the rap metal spectrum, and leading the helm was and still is RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE.

I find it funny sometimes when an artist's debut is their most famous album. It just makes me laugh: an artists first release and first actual studio release to the masses just so happens to be more popular than all of their releases afterwards. Of course I'm not saying that this album is bad because/even though it is famous. Let me explain why I like it.

Even though rap does front the music, there is no doubt that the other instruments are far behind. Speaking of the instruments, the guitars as well as the drums retain a constant and heavy funky metal beat that grows depending on where the song goes or is going. The vocals usually dictate where the song is going to go, ranging from quieter BEASTIE BOYS-style rapping onto similarly BB yelling vocals. It certainly was the general rapping sound back in the 90's.

Some highlights of mine include 'Fistful of Steel', 'Bombtrack', 'Killing in the Name', and 'Township Rebellion'.

So overall, I would suggest any alt/funk/rap metal fans to check this out, it's a definite must.

Go give it a listen.
Although rap and metal are often seen as polar opposites from both musical and cultural standpoints, it was only a matter of time before the two styles came together to form a killer album. While the genres had flirted with each other in the past, Rage Against the Machine's iconic debut was the first to really solidify 'rap metal' as a genre. Combining the lyrical delivery and and rhythmic phrasings of hip hop with the heavy riffs associated with metal, this observation is a stunning example of political frustration and angst that spoke to listeners back in 1992, and still stands as one of the most important albums from the early nineties'. Rage Against the Machine would, unfortunately, help pave the way for hordes of mediocre nu-metal acts over the next decade, but I wouldn't recommend discarding this masterpiece because of that - this one is essential listening for any open minded metal fan.

On this album, Rage Against the Machine primarily combines heavy and groovy metal riffs with emotionally charged rapping from Zack de la Rocha. His lyrics are extremely political and left-of-center, and though more conservative listeners might not like the band's message, I can't imagine too many staunch religious conservatives having interest in this style of music anyway. The tracks here criticize nationalism, American consumerism, religion, obedience to ideologies, and just about anything else 'traditional', all with a very rebellious attitude. I could see the lyrics here striking some people as over-the-top and overly rooted in teen angst, but I think they are a large part of what makes Rage Against the Machine's debut charming, even if they lack a bit in the subtlety department.

The album's strongest asset is probably in its riffs, however. Much like the classic Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin records, Rage Against the Machine is a nonstop bombardment of powerful riffs with irresistible groove. It's tough not to headbang at least once in each of the tracks here, and songs like “Bombtrack”, “Killing In the Name”, “Wake Up”, and “Township Rebellion” especially stand out as highlights. The riffs are groovy as hell, and the totally defiant lyrics make this the perfect album to rock out to whenever school or work have got you down. Tom Morello also delivers some really great solos throughout the record, and in addition to having some solid technique, his quirky phrasing and note choice makes his style stand out from the crowd.

When you top it all off with tight musicianship and audiophile-quality production, it's hard not to fall in love with Rage Against the Machine's clever riff structures and angst-ridden attitude. The only potential flaw I see in this album is that it doesn't have much in the way of dynamic variation, but I personally think that the observation's strict adherence to killer riffs and furious vocals makes for a coherent listen from start to finish - when the riffs are as catchy as they are here, it's nearly impossible to complain about the band's heavy reliance on them. Rage Against the Machine is an essential purchase for anybody wondering what 'rap metal' sounds like when done right, and it's also one of the most enjoyable albums in my collection. Highly recommended!

Members reviews

I'm not a fan of alternative metal but I like Rage Against The Machine and love the eponymous album. The drum work and the bass lines are just groovy as hell, the rap vocals are pretty good, and the Tom Morello's guitar playing is very enjoyable. The main riff of Killing In The Name is just killing, tracks like Freedom, Township Rebellion and of course Know Your Enemy are just awesome. I'm just not a fan of the rap side that brings the 5 starts to four and a half. But I think that the compositions are just great. A metal masterpiece.

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