"Rage Against The Machine's" second album "Evil Empire" is an uncontrollable explosion of the "Rage Quartet". Let's open with a quote from the poet of rage Zack De La Rocha:
"I think one of the important things about Rage is that … we can seduce some people in with the music who are then exposed to a different political message."
In the first album, the "Quartet of Rage" shared their rage to our ears for the first time, they talked about police violence, family issues, a broken education system, and domestic violence. Four years later...
Let's pause here for a minute.
It was very difficult to release this album, with many disagreements, and many different directions that each member of the band took. It took a long time to release this album and there were even rumors of a breakup, but that's only because until each of the quartets believed in the song and agreed to it, they did not advance to the next one.
So where were we? Yes...
After four years in which Rage put out harsh criticism, which they have caused the American audience to rebel or perhaps mostly served as an excuse to drop out of school or take drugs, comes an album with more mature and more international messages.
A War Declaration Album!
Just holding the album cover you can see the declaration itself, which bears the nickname "Evil Empire", which President Ronald Reagan gave to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. If that's not enough then even before we press play, we open the booklet and discover a long list of philosophical and political books that deal with sensitive issues, which not ashamed to criticize. Zack said that no book from the list appeared in the university library where he studied, and that's part of it.
(Photo: Tom Morello On Twitter)
This time Zack takes the rage and directs it to other places outside the U.S. as well. He is involved in the rebellion of the "Zapatistas" - A group of Mexican farmers who are trying to unchain themselves from the abuse of the high class which cruelly abuse them. There are three songs that deal with this subject: "Year of the Boomerang", "People of the Sun" and the bold one "Without a Face".
He of course does not spare the U.S. on which he has a full stomach, criticizing the U.S. military in "Bulls On Parade", the leaders who use the military to achieve their own interests and trample like an ox everything in their path.
Criticism of the American Dream which is a false hallucination that makes people live in a violent illusion in "Tire Me".
A critique that Zack always conveys about the far right in the US, with the entertainment programs that cause brainwashing for the ordinary citizen in "Vietnow".
Criticism of the social inequality between the rich and the poor, between women and men between the culture of abundance and the needy in "Revolver", "Snakecharmer", "Down Rodeo", "Without a Face", "Wind Below" and "Roll Right".
Zack arrives as a hybrid between Robin Hood and the Terminator on a deadly mission as he mercilessly rips off evil and bestows on the minority and the weak.
After we reviewed the messages let's talk a bit about the music and especially about Tom Morello's guitar.
Morello makes more extensive use of his guitar's dynamics here than in the previous album. Amazing use of all the parts of his guitar, from the neck, the pickups, the bridge, the cable itself, and the pedals. Morello uses all parts of the guitar to produce sounds beyond angry and greedy riffs, sounds like drills, machine guns, and even faxes.
"Bulls On Parade" combines a funky sound with a wow-wow and a blown-away tempo that reaches new heights. "Wind Below" is driven by a heavy, metallic riff reminiscent of "Led Zepplin's" "Black Dog"
And "Revolver" begins with a guitar echo that sounds like it emanates from the depths of the ocean and is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's work before moving into a psychedelic and dull state.
As far as we try, it is impossible to describe in words what Tom Morello does with his guitar, it will be ridiculous so we will stop here and you will listen.
The Rage quartet not only puts you in a rough or rhythmic groove, it just hits you mercilessly, and beats you non-stop, both physically through the sounds and also mentally through the lyrics.
On this album, the quartet establishes its formidable position in the world of music, with first place on the Billboard charts and several Grammy nominations and wins.