Outspoken fanatics and activists Rage Against the Machine educated crowds of music fans by injecting their explosive Molotov cocktail of rap, hardcore punk, funk and metal with a dose of fiercely controversial and politically charged urgency.
Mainstream explosion in 1992 for Rage Against the Machine with "Killing in the Name" - their sonorous protest against police brutality and systemic racism - Rage Against the Machine planted its flag in the scene with its first triple platinum, Rage Against the Machine, which courted controversy with its cover graphic of a self-immolated Protestant Buddhist monk.
For the remainder of the decade, Rage Against the Machine continued to deliver this anti-authoritarian and revolutionary message, extending their platinum streak with subsequent winners of the Grammy Awards Evil Empire (1996) and The Battle of Los Angeles (1999).
By the turn of the millennium, it looked like they would show no signs of easing off, balancing sales and chart success with headline-grabbing protests (like the closing of the New York Stock Exchange for a video shoot. ).
However, at the end of 2000, Rage Against the Machine imploded and decided to take a hiatus. After releasing a cover album, Renegades, the members pursued other projects, with lead vocalist Zack de la Rocha solo and the rest of the band forming Audioslave with Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell.
In the 2010s, a comeback album from Rage Against the Machine never materialized, but the band remained a staple of the cultural landscape, performing shows and working on side projects such as Prophets of Rage.
At the turn of the next decade, Rage Against the Machine made another official comeback, hosting a global reunion tour in 2020 that was sidelined by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That same year, amid international protests against police brutality, their landmark debut struck a chord with protesters, re-entering the U.S. charts as each of their albums hit the Top 30 streaming services.
Rage Against the Machine: the formation of the group
The initial training of Rage Against the Machine
Tackling American business, cultural imperialism and government oppression, Rage Against the Machine was formed in Los Angeles in the early 1990s from the wreckage of a number of local bands: singer Zack de la Rocha (the son of Chicano political artist Robert de la Rocha) is from the Headstance, Farside and Inside Out groups;
guitarist Tom Morello (nephew of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president) is from Lock Up; and drummer Brad Wilk performed with future Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.
First tape of the group
Completed by bassist Tim Commerford, a childhood friend of de la Rocha, Rage Against the Machine debuted in 1992 with a self-released 12-song cassette titled "Bullet in the Head", which became a hit. when re-released as a single later. during this year.
The tape won the group a deal with Epic, and their leap into the majors did not go unnoticed by critics, who questioned the groundbreaking integrity of Rage Against the Machine's decision to align with the parent company of the label, media giant Sony.
Rage Against the Machine: the success
Undeterred, the quartet made their official debut on major labels with Rage Against the Machine , scoring hits with singles like "Killing in the Name" and "Bombtrack". After touring with Lollapalooza and declaring his support for bands like FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Rock for Choice and Refuse & Resist, Rage Against the Machine has spent four seemingly tumultuous years working on their follow-up.
Despite rumors of a breakup, Rage Against the Machine returned in 1996 with Evil Empire, which entered the US charts at number one and scored a hit single with “Bulls on Parade”.
The track "Tire Me" won a Grammy for best metal performance.
In 1997, (the Wu subsequently abandoned the tour and the Roots replaced them) and remained active in supporting various left-wing political causes, including a concert-controversial profit in 1999 for the condemned to death Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The third album The Battle of Los Angeles followed in 1999, also debuting at number one and going double platinum the following summer. The single album "Guerrilla Radio" earned Rage a second Grammy, this time for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium In early 2000, de la Rocha announced plans for a solo project and the band put on an incendiary show outside the Democratic National Convention in August (and months later things turned in outside the Republican National Convention).
The Rage Against the Machine split
In between, bassist Commerford was arrested for disorderly conduct at the MTV's Video Music Awards after his bizarre disruption of an acceptance speech by Limp Bizkit. Plans for a live album were announced soon after, but in October de la Rocha abruptly announced his departure from the band, citing breakdowns in the band's communication and decision-making.
Surprised but not angry, the rest of the Rage Against the Machine announced their intention to continue with a new singer, while de la Rocha refocused on his solo album, which was to include collaborations with hip-hop artists from renowned, including DJ Shadow and El-P of Company Flow.
December 2000 saw the release of de la Rocha's last studio effort with the band, the Renegades produced by Rick Rubin; it featured nearly a dozen covers of hip-hop, rock, and punk artists like EPMD, Bruce Springsteen, Devo, The Rolling Stones, MC5, and more.
In 2001, Morello, Wilk, and Commerford had formed Audioslave with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, and the band released an eponymous album in late 2002. With a solo Rocha album still not announced, Epic eventually released. concert album long-promised Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium on CD and DVD in time for Christmas 2003.
Rage Against the Machine: reunion rumors.
Over the following years, rumors of a Rage Against the Machine reunion always swirled but never came to fruition.
Two Audioslave albums followed in 2005 and 2006 before the band broke up, and then the following year Morello began releasing protest folk-punk as Nightwatchman.
This year also brought the long-awaited Rage Against the Machine reunion. First, the band performed on the closing day of the Coachella festival in 2007, then in 2008. several other concerts followed, usually coinciding with major festivals in Europe and the U.S. No new studio work from Rage Against the Machine materialized, but de la Rocha did collaborate with former Mars drummer Volta Jon Theodore in a group called One Day as a Lion, releasing an EP that year.
2009, the return of Rage Against the Machine!
Rage Against the Machine's next boom in business came in 2009 when there was an internet campaign to bring "Killing in the Name" to the top of the UK charts, all in hopes of stopping an X Factor winner. to take pole position.
The viral campaign worked and Rage Against the Machine gave a concert celebration at Finsbury Park in the summer of 2010.
Despite all of these gigs - including an appearance in the summer of 2011 at LA Rising, a festival hosted by the band - and word of a new album, no recordings have emerged.
In 2013 their debut album received a deluxe reissue and two years later the 2010 concert at Finsbury Park was released as a CD / DVD. The following year, Morello, Wilk and Commerford joined forces with Public Enemy "s Chuck D and Cypress Hill" s real B to form the Prophets of Rage Supergroups, releasing an eponymous album in 2017.
As 2019 drew to a close, Rage Against the Machine kicked off a new decade with more reports of a comeback. Coachella appearances were later confirmed, the start of a global trek that would pair the veteran group with like-minded rap duo (and frequent Rocha collaborators) Run the Jewels.
However, plans were halted in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced most live music to be canceled for 2020.
In June, as protests against police brutality erupted around the world following the death of George Floyd, Rage Against the Machine albums returned to Billboard.
Rage Against the Machine's debut album: an essential album
Probably the first album to successfully merge the seemingly disparate sounds of rap and heavy metal, Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut album was revolutionary enough when it was released in 1992, but many would argue that it has yet to be surpassed in terms of influence. and sheer shine - although countless bands have certainly tried.
This is probably due to the unique creative relationship between guitarist Tom Morello and literate rebel singer Zack de la Rocha.
While the roots of the first in the shredding of the 80s heavy metal gave rise to an unmistakable array of six-string acrobatics and rhythmic special effects (which few guitarists have succeeded in replicating), the latter delivered meaningful rhymes with an emotionally charged conviction that suburban white them boys from the nu-metal generation who followed could never hope to touch.
As a result, syncopated slabs of hard rock insurgency like "Bombtrack", "Take the Power Back" and "Know Your Enemy" were as instantly unforgettable as they were stunning.
Yet even they paled compared to real clinics in the art of slowly building the tension like "Settle for Nothing", "Bullet in the Head" and the particularly venomous "Wake Up" .'s "Kashmir" for its own needs ) - which eventually exploded with awesome power and fury.
And even listeners who were unable (or unwilling) to fully process the group's unique shock of muscle and intellect were taken into account, as RATM was able to convey their messages through stubborn repetition via the fundamental challenge of " Freedom ”and their signature track,“ Killing in the Name, ”which would become a rallying cry of denial of the right to vote, thanks to its relentlessly rebellious mantra of“ Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! "
Ultimately, if there's one disappointment to be had with this near-perfect album, it's that it still dominates later endeavors as the unequivocal climax of Rage Against the Machine.
As such, it remains absolutely essential.
Rage Against the Machine: DEVIL EMPIRE
Rage Against the Machine spent four years making their second album, Evil Empire.
As the title suggests, their rage and contempt for the “fascist” capitalist system in America had not abated in the half-decade they had left.
Their musical approach hasn't changed either. Lead singer Zack de la Rocha is caught halfway between the militant raps of Chuck D and the fanatic delusions of a street preacher, shouting his simplistic and libertarian slogans over the band's dense sonic assault.
As the group did not play much together after 1993, there is no collective advance in their musicality. Nevertheless, guitarist Tom Morello demonstrates an impressive sonic palette, creating new textures. in heavy metal, which is quite difficult.
Even with Morello's studied virtuosity, the group seems leaden, lacking the dexterity to fully perform their metal / hip-hop fusion - they do not fit into a groove; they just hammer.
But that corresponds to the hysterical delusions of de la Rocha. While his dedication to staunchly leftist politics is admirable, his arrhythmic phrasing and grating screams nullify any message he tries to make. And that means Evil Empire only succeeds at the level of a sonic assault.
Rage Against the Machine: Battle of Los Angeles
Rage Against the Machine isn't really the only metal band that matters, but their aggressive social and political activism is refreshing, especially in an era of blind (or usually self-directed) rage over bands like Limp Bizkit, Bush or Nine. .
Recorded in less than a month, The Battle of Los Angeles is the most focused album of the band's career, exploding out the door and rarely letting it go.
Like a few other famous bands, Rage Against the Machine has always been blessed with the fact that the band spews as much vitriol as its frontman. Any potential problems created here by Zack de la Rocha's performance of a note and extremist polemics are mitigated by songs and grooves that make it feel like the revolution is really here, from the single "Guerrilla Radio" to the highlights. albums like "Mic Check", "Calm Like a Bomb" and "Born of a Broken Man".
As on the two previous albums of Rage Against the Machine , Tom Morello's list of vicious guitar effects and riffs is almost overwhelming and has been as infectious as the band since their debut.
De la Rocha is best when he has specific goals (like the government or the case against Mumia Abu Jamal), but when trying to cover more general societal issues, he hesitates. An album that remains essential
Rage Against the Machien: Renegades
Released after the split in late 2000 between Zack de la Rocha and the rest of Rage Against the Machine, the cover album Renegades salutes the group's musical and philosophical roots, ranging from old-school Bronx to hard-rockin 'Motor City by the way. By As you might expect, the ensemble works best when the band focuses on material from their more recent ancestors: rappers and hardcore bands.
Indeed, Renegades begins with a pair of powerful hip-hop covers - "Microphone Fiend" by Eric B & Rakim and "Pistol Grip Pump" from Volume 10 - which highlight the immense strengths of Rage: The clean and heavy riffing. from Tom Morello and the finely tuned spray of vitriol from the singer de la Rocha, just that side of complacency.
Another hip-hop blast (and the one closest to us), “How I Could Just Kill a Man” by Cypress Hill, is even more devastating, an easy pick for the album's highlight. Listeners familiar with the originals, however, may have trouble with covers of Rage from EPMD's "I'm Housin '", The Stones' "Street Fighting Man" and Dylan's "Maggie's Farm", a trio of originals from The Stones. versions in which anger and emotion were conveyed more in the lyrics than in the performances.
Still, drummer Brad Wilk sets a frenzied hardcore tempo appropriate for Minor Threat's excellent version of “In My Eyes”, and de la Rocha stretches nicely over MC5's “Kick Out the Jams”.
With a few exceptions, Renegades performs well, in part because Rage Against the Machine is both smart enough to change very little and talented enough to make the songs their own.
Eric CANTO Photographer: Concert photos, portraits, album covers.