Rage Against the Machine
The Battle of Los Angeles


3.5
great

Review

by Eeyah USER (9 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2012 | 25 replies | 2,482 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Good album, but starts to sound the same after a while

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Before you tear me a new one, let me point out that this is indeed a good album. In the context of Rage's career, this album deserves a four or four point five. Coming off of "Evil Empire" (with hit single "Bull's on Parade"), the band members began to tire of each other, and took a break. So you have to give the band credit for being able to stay together long enough in a studio to record what many consider their finest album. So why do I not like it as much as the next guy? Read on.

Before you guys get riled up about my rating, let me explain that the first six songs on this album are probably one of the best potential EP's out there. "Testify", "Guerrilla Radio" and "Calm Like A Bomb" is a trilogy of all-four-on-the-floor visceral punches to the gut that never loses tension, even during their quiet moments. Tom Morello comes off as thrash-metal version of Jimmy Page, while Zack De La Rocha shows us that everyone can complain about the government, but he's the one who can be the voice of a movement. The rhythm section is equally peerless in its approach. Tim Commerford, who described his bass-playing on the earlier albums as "third rate Flea knock-off" (his words not mine, so put your guns away), has really came into his own as a bass-player. Also, I think we can all agree Brad Wilk is a great drummer.

The album slows down for three minutes on "Mic Check", and shows the band at their most playfully funky. The only problem I have with this song is that Tom Morello's guitar sounds like a fart (pardon my juvenile language). The song also showcases Zack's rapping in a more hip-hoppy form then the other songs (in the earlier songs, his rapping comes off more as measured snarl instead of a rhythmic device). After this we get the album's most catchy songs "Sleep Now in the Fire". This song has the honor of being the only song that I can play on both drums and guitar (I've only been playing guitar for a month so leave me alone). After this, we get "Born of A Broken Man" which is one of the albums more heavy tracks. It also features some touching guitar during the chorus.

The album kind of falls apart after the first six songs; okay maybe "falls apart" isn't right, "gets stuck in the mud" is a better phrase. In all honesty there is nothing wrong with the last six tracks, the album just starts to sound the same. Especially during "Maria" and "Born as Ghosts", where Morello sounds like he's trying to turn his instrument into the guitar equivalent of John Lydon's bleating. The rhythm remains heavy and tight though. The problem is that Morello and De La Rocha, easily the most recognizable aspects of RATM, never really seem to change their approach to the song. The album regains some of its impact on "Voice of the Voiceless" and "New Millennium Homes", but Morello starts to self-indulgently noodle away on his guitar by the time the last to song come on.

All in all though, the album stands the test of time. For metalheads and funk-fans, the album is a must-have. Some of you guys may like the whole more than me, but hey it’s my opinion and I hope the Sputnik community can accept that. What RATM needed was an album that kept the core sound intact, yet also expanded it. They attempted this with "Renegades", but that's a tale for another day...



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user ratings (2423)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicShane
March 3rd 2012



1585 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review dude. Havent listened to these guys in forever.

Digging: For The Fallen Dreams - Heavy Hearts

FearThyEvil9
March 3rd 2012



11356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awful review that basically just reads like a track-by-track and each statement is backed up by "I don't like it so leave me alone".

iambandersnatch
March 3rd 2012



1451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like me some Rage but (for me, anyway) they've always been a band that can never make a song that is great from beginning to end. They make tons of catchy verses but most of their choruses are terrible. And the few songs that have good choruses are inconsistent elsewhere. Still, the catchy parts and the "fuck the man" lyrics are always good for a listen every so often.

LifeAsAChipmunk
March 3rd 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with FearThyEvil, the review isn't too good.

Eeyah
March 3rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know, If any of you guys can tell what made this review bad then I will fix that in my later reviews. I mean, it doesn't really help if all you say "You Suck, Your Review sucks, end of story".

iambandersnatch
March 3rd 2012



1451 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

People probably negged it because you defend yourself unnecessarily a number of times (it's not like you 1'd it).

Eeyah
March 3rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I seen how guys on this website tear apart people who gave "American Idiot" a good review, so I was pretty sure they would kill me if I gave a much-loved album a less then superb rating. So yes, I did defend myself too much. Besides that, is there anything else I need to fix?

LifeAsAChipmunk
March 3rd 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've never listened to this album, I'm just going by the review. Also, American Idiot has a 3.2 average, that's hardly loved, although I do like that album.

LifeAsAChipmunk
March 3rd 2012



4854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's also a bit like a track-by-track review. I don't really mind those but a lot of people do.

Tyrannic
March 3rd 2012



3224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Before you tear me a new one, let me point out that this is indeed a good album."

remove every sentence that sounds like this, and you might have a halfway decent review in there...

somewhere...

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2012



4339 Comments


Someone once told me this, in regards to writing:
"It doesn't matter if it's finished, it can always be better."
- You make a strong case, and i'm very impressed because i've only heard people praise this album and your reasons are valid.
but in a review, you dont want to be too opinionated, be more factual.
but hey, i'm no expert, just a guy throwing in his 2 cents. It's a good start, keep writing.

Eeyah
March 3rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not trying to undermine you or anything, but isn't writing a review about getting your opinion across and giving reasons for that opinion? If I just wrote "The lyrics speak of injustice, and the song climaxes into a guitar solo" instead of "De La Rocha has a very keen eye for detail, never sparing us of his thoughts on a variety of topics. The song steadily builds up to a cathartic solo that may be one of Morello's best" then I wouldn't be able to get my thoughts across.

xfearbefore
March 3rd 2012



1196 Comments


Solid review. Great album that I haven't listened to in full in waaaaaay too long.

Digging: Placebo - Sleeping With Ghosts

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2012



4339 Comments


Well what I meant was that in a review you want to get in the middle of opinion and fact. for example:
"So why do I not like it as much as the next guy? Read on."
you could have gone without that. there's too much of "you" in this review, we want to know about the band and the music. but I am in no way saying your review was bad, you make some very good points, and your very confident in what you say. all good qualities.

Eeyah
March 3rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh okay, your first comment just was worded wierdly so I thought you meant "you need to present facts instead of opinion"

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2012



4339 Comments


@ Eeyah
sorry, it's tough to communicate via internet. but yeah, youve got good solid stuff here. to be honest, in the RATM discography this one is my least favorite as well, but it does contain it's solid moments. i 100% agree with your 3.5.

SCREAMorphine
March 3rd 2012



1704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'hey it’s my opinion and I hope the Sputnik community can accept that'

Shouldn't have said that man

sixdegrees
March 3rd 2012



15770 Comments


don't get all defensive. It's like blood in the water on this site.

Digging: Tam Tam - Polarize

guitarnater
March 4th 2012



917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Truthfully, I can't listen to Testify anymore. The only thing that I hear on that track now is the incessant crash hit. It just doesn't stop.

Inveigh
March 4th 2012



24192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Born as Ghosts is my favorite song here

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis



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