RATM burst into the scene with this album. It is sheer class. As soon as the funky opener 'Bombtrack' begins, you are hooked right until the final track as you are taken through the expletive filled 'Killing In the Name' through heavier tracks such as 'Bullet In The Head' and heavy/funky numbers such as 'Take The Power Back', and 'Know Your Enemy'. If you own one Rage album, make sure it is this one. Sadly, the original line up have called it a day, and I was privileged to see them perform live. This was also one of the graet things about Rage, in that they are superb live, and equally good on record. This is definitely a must have and shall remain a classic 9 years on from its release.
Well, what an album. Killing in the name is one of those songs that you can not fault. The first time you hear it you just think; oh yeah! It some how makes you feel bigger allthough the song as with many of rage's, is fairly negative. There is certainly a political spine to this album allthough this is more blatant in battle of l.a. with sleep know in the fire, testify etc. Bullet in the head is another highlight, with a fantastic riff at the end which sounds a lot like a '10 years after' song called hey little school girl. However the songs couldn't be more different lyrically, with the bullet being a metaphor for large corporations getting into our heads with their adverts ( we're just victims of the in house drive by). Know your enemy - compromise, conformity, assymilation, submission, ignorance, hypocricy, brutality, the elite, all of which are american dreams (repeat way after music has stopped), this next song has an excellent melody and inspiring lyrics. I have missed out most of the songs, purely because i could spend half the day praising them. Basically you must have this album. I have listened to it many a time in the last decade or so and it is a benchmark metal album, expertly created full of high emotion rage and addictive vibes, which you'll never forget. This and batlle of l.a. are their best, allthough don't miss bulls on parade, revolver and renegades of funk from the other albums. It is a real shame that we won't see any more of zack with the band, but hey they quit whilst the going was good.
If you think metal is just power chords and noise, this album is going to blow your misconceptions away. The first, and best Rage album, the 10 tracks are all greats in their own right. Most people only ever mention anthemic songs like Bombtrack and Killing in the Name, which are great, but there are 8 other equally good tracks on the album. The band manages to combine great dynamic contrast with great solos of Tom Morello and the attacking lyrics of Zack de la Rocha. In my opinion Tom Morello is one of the best guitarists of our time as well as being one of the most imaginative people on a guitar. He can make his guitar go from sounding like scratching through to heavy, low, "metal" tones. And his solos are not the typical "metal" solos, they are radically different, sounding musical but making no musical sense. A true guitar genius. Just listen to solos on Take the Power Back and Fistful of Steel, some of few. Put together with Zacks great lyrics and rapping, the band rocked onto the scene with this album, and have never really managed to emulate it again. When people get into a band they normally buy the latest album. DONT. Buy this one, even though it is 8 years old, it is by far their best album. Even if you don't like the band, this record is a must have for any disconcerning music lover.
This album would be a bargain at 50 quid!! If you worship at the rock-rap temple, then "Know Your Enemy", "Bullet In The Head" and the mighty, mighty "Killing In The Name Of" will be your holy trinity. Having said that, the other tracks are no make-weights either with "Freedom" one of the greatest exits to an album that you'll ever hear. More than 10 million copies sold in the US while Fred Durst & co were still sucking their thumbs . Listen closely to the lyrics too - hard hitting, political, intelligent, delivered with bile and menace. Will have you moshing round your bedroom in air guitar heaven!
I notice that ppl often overhype music on this website, but I can safely say that they aren't on this. RATM's debut charted the direction of rock and metal in the 90s...unsurprisingly the album still sounds fresh as it did when it was released at the beginning of 1993. Guitarist Tom Morello's hooks are irritatingly catchy, by the time you've heard this album twice you will be humming all the tracks to yourself. Best track? Standouts are obviously Killing In The Name and Bullet In The Head, but growers like Freedom and Township Rebellion prove to be just as good if not better. If you know anything at all about music this album needs no introduction. If of course you are a silly newbie kid who worships Korn, Papa Roach etc. you will clearly see that this band probably have more talent in their appendixes. One of the most essential albums of all time - and for the 90s, along with Nevermind, the most important release of the decade.