Rage Against the Machine XX

Tom Dale reviews Rage Against The Machine’s re-mastered debut album for The Breaker.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of Rage Against the Machine’s self titled first record, hailed as one of the most influential rock albums of all time, it has been re-mastered and rereleased. The release comes with a second disc including the original demos that landed the band a record deal with Epic, also remastered and a DVD of RATM’s electric Finsbury Park performance of 2010.

This album was a groundbreaking musical creation. It was the first time that heavy metal and hip hop had been merged to such great effect and arguably RATM are the only band to have truly achieved this successfully. It was the soundtrack to many a youthful rebellion through the 90’s and beyond and kept the notion alive that musicians could still say something real with their music. The fusion of the loud aggression of heavy metal and the poetic social commentary of hip hop were blended to perfect effect by RATM.

The politically fuelled venom of De La Rocha’s vocals and the powerful and innovative guitar playing of Morello coupled with the rhythmic backing of Tom Commerford (bass) and Brad Wilk (drums) creates the unmistakable sound of Rage Against the Machine. The album that encapsulated the anger of a generation expressed through music with total confidence in the ideas and sound.

Their original and unmistakable sound is beautifully re-mastered on this 3 disc rerelease. The fire of the songs and the raw sound has not been lost through this process and the songs still evoke the same feeling they did when the album was first released in November 1992.

From start to finish powerful riffs, powerful vocals and an energy that bleeds from every verse and every chorus on the album has given this album a longevity many would have doubted twenty years ago. Tom Morello’s creative guitar work and Zach de la Rocha’s incredibly powerful vocals stand the test of time and still incites a need to get onto your feet and find the nearest mosh pit.

The DVD shows footage of the bands 2010 gig in Finsbury Park, London and shows the passion and energy the band still had for their music and how their music, then as old as 18 years, still moves people and brings huge crowds. The band may not have changed the world but they have provided a soundtrack to the revolutionary spirit of youth and this album is the quintessential Rage album, them at their most pure and untainted.

Main image: ratm.com

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