“The first album to successfully merge the amazingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal, Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut was groundbreaking enough when it was released, and many would argue that its importance and influence remains unchallenged and unsurpassed to this day. The living embodiment of this culture clash, guitar wizard Tom Morello fuses his roots in ‘80s metal-style shredding with an unprecedented array of six-string acrobatics and rhythmic special effects, most of which no one has even tried to imitate. And from vocalist Zack de la Rocha, the group receives the meaningful rhymes and emotionally charged delivery that white-boy metal could never hope to achieve.” ER
“Still, despite the unique elements upon which they are built, songs like Bombtrack, Take the Power Back, and Know Your Enemy are immediately memorable, surprisingly straightforward slabs of hard rock. And one need not look further than the main riff of the venomous Wake Up — lifted straight out of Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ — for conclusive proof of Morello’s influences.” ER
“Even more impressive is the group’s talent for injecting slowly mounting tension into such highlights as Settle for Nothing and Bullet in the Head, both of which finally explode with awesome power and rage. In contrast, the band manages to convey their message with even more urgency through stubborn repetition, as seen on Freedom and their signature track, Killing in the Name. With its relentlessly rebellious mantra of, ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me,’ the song is a rallying cry of frightening proportions and the unequivocal climax of their vision. A stunning debut that remains absolutely essential.” ER
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Last updated March 28, 2011.