Rockzone

 
Battle Of Los Angeles - 5 of 5
                                                    by Samuel Barker
                                                       January 18, 2000

     When I got a copy of "The Battle of Los Angeles", I was amazed at the power of this album. From the first track, "Testify", to "War Within A Breath", this album was absolutely brilliant. After Evil Empire, I didn't think the band would even be able to recreate the power of their self titled album, but I was happily proven wrong. This album is the best thing Rage has released to date. 
     Zach De La Rocha's lyrics are a step above the other albums on this record. He's not as precise, and leaves some statements up to interpretation. Then, he comes right back with an in your face power track. "Born Of A Broken Man" to me is the true shining point for Zach. From the pained lyrics, to the primal screams of the chorus. This is where De La Rocha shines. 
     The guitar playing of Tom Morrello is brilliant on this album. Some of the sounds he pulls from his guitar are astounding. From his solo in "Guerilla Radio" to the entire song "Voice Of The Voiceless", this is the strongest he's played on album yet. This is the first album, where you get the emotion of a live show in you home or car. This is the album that allows you to bring the revolution, the ideas, and the truths with you. 
     And as always, the driving force of the music, Brad Wilk and Tim Bob, keep the steadiest base you could ask for. They get tighter, and more precise with each album Rage Against The Machine releases. On this album Wilk and Tim Bob provide a constantly strong, hard hitting feeling from the opening of the album to the last note/beat you hear. On "Maria" this pair are the song, the constants. That was their shinning moment. 
     This album was perfect. This band is perfect. People have claimed that Rage has sold out signing with a major label, but this album, their message, and the music would be done no justice getting out to 50,000 people on a indie label. It takes people to force change, and reaching 5 million people can aid change dramatically. As long as you own your music, and stay in control, you are staying true to the art, but if you don't, you betray the world. To quote Chuck D, "If you don't own the master, then the Master owns you." 
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.