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Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine (1992)

February 11, 2013

[Album 145/1001]220px-RageAgainsttheMachineRageAgainsttheMachine

Apt band/album name.

Nowadays, bands are advised to keep the intros short in order to be more radio-friendly.  It would be a shame to trim these instrumental openings as Rage may have done them better than anyone else in the 90s.

The intriguing bassline to open Take the Power Back, the Kashmir-esque Wake Up intro (which made for a good outro in The Matrix), and the clean Bombtrack opening pattern (essential repertoire for any budding high school guitarist back in the day).

Bombtrack is a representative sample of the record as a whole: stellar opening, decent follow-up riff, the song gradually becomes less interesting as it approaches the 4-minute mark.  Then Killing in the Name of bursts in with another great intro and the pattern continues.

The riffs: who else had the funk of Frusciante, muscle of Metallica, and even drift into McCready/Gossard territory (on Freedom)?  His influences may have been noticeable, but the unique mix of sounds and effects is unmistakably Tom Morello.

While Morello & the De la Rocha rants get most of the attention, the contributions of the rhythm section are solid.  Ditto the blink-and-you’ll-miss it cameo on Know Your Enemy by Tool lead singer/Arizona Vineyard owner Maynard James Keenan.

The benchmark for metal rap.


From → 1990s

  1. Love this one. For Christmas, I just got the “XX” edition, the 3 disc thing. It’s amazing how fully-formed these guys were even in the demo stages. I don’t think they ever topped this album.

    • Agreed – some strong singles in later years, this one’s likely their most cohesive set. Definitely doesn’t sound like a rookie album!

      • No it doesn’t, not at all. And Morello was easily the most original guitar player of the era too, so even if you hated rap-rock, you had to begrudgingly give these guys credit.

        It took me a while to warm up to Rage myself, but ultimately Morello won me over. I love this album!

  2. Emily Cavers permalink

    Love love LOVE this album. Still in regular rotation around my house. Fun fact: Tom Morello played French horn in his school days. We should probably be best friends.

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