Written By: Filip Teovanovic
Originality: (2.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (3.0 / 5) Lyrics: (3.0 / 5) Production: (3.0 / 5) Average: (2.8 / 5)
All sounds made by guitars, bass, drums, vocals…and turntables.
Over the past couple of months, I have read people’s comments about Prophets Of Rage. They went something like: “washed out copies” and “cover band”. I have also read “it’s not the same without Zack”, “fake dilettantes” and “old fame, fast cash”. But then I have heard “Hail To The Chief“, a piece that smashes all the negative comments like Brad Wilk would smash with “Whac-a-mole”.
Prophets of Rage grew on several roots. Besides instrumental trio from Rage Against The Machine, there are also members of Public Enemy and Cyprus Hill – Chuck D, B-Real and DJ Lord. Every single one of them contributes in their own way, and even though everything can sporadically sound familiar and humdrum, it still generates invigorating and angsty affection as one would expect from rap-rock.
Bi-vocal dynamic is interesting, but I must admit that If there was no B-Real, I wouldn’t miss him. Chuck D lures my ears with his deep, pure and enticing voice, while B-Real confronts with his violent, street-style approach to interpretation. Lyrics are straightforward and political, although more vapid than thrilling. Narrative is more soft-core than revolutionary. With that being said, maybe the lyrics don’t make you contemplate, but they definitely aim to make you react. It is the voice of the people, especially on peculiar track “Legalize Me”. Choruses reiterate, and I believe it would all be a massive fiasco If the music wasn’t lusty. This album stands as an evidence that the message and vibrations are more fruitful than words. The sum ended up being bigger than it’s individual parts.
The sound is pumped, although I expected it to be more hardcore. Solos are omnipresent, but I wanted more with deeper meaning. If we leave my audio greed behind, Morello manages to impress with his impeccable guitar play and extraordinary riffs, while Brad keeps the rhythm alive with drums. Timmy C brings the house down with his bassline. This trio creates a combo that is both a disease and panacea for the listener. It takes over your heart, your brain and every muscle in your body. It spreads like a virus just so that it could cure your pain. Lord’s audio effects are also a welcomed addition. He got his 5 minutes (or should I say 30 seconds) in strangely sequenced “The Counteroffensive”. In my humble opinion, this track should have been a part of some other song.
First half of the record is much more cohesive and diverse, while the second part suffers from similarity and repetition. Singles “Radical Eyes”, “Living on The 110”, and “Unfuck The World” were chosen as singles for a reason. I would also choose “Take Me Higher”, a funky experimental standout that talks about spies and drones.
The memory of the 90s is still fresh. Turning my computer on, waiting for XP to start off, and then playing Bulls On Parade video on Windows Media Player. Prophets of Rage have brought that memory back to life. They are not Rage Against The Machine, but they are loud and angry. And that’s more than enough for me.