Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage Review

Label: Fantasy Records / Caroline

Genre: Crossover

Release Date: September 15th, 2017

 

Line-up:

Tom Morello

Tim Commerford

Brad Wilk

DJ Lord

Chuck D.

B-Real

 

Tracklist:

Counter Offensive

Fired a Shot

Hail to the Chief

Hands Up

Legalize Me

Living on the 110

Radical Eyes

Smash It

Strength in Numbers

Take me Higher

Unfuck the World

Who Owns Who

 

Prophets Of Rage belongs to the group of bands that was already talk of the town even before they released songs on an EP or album. Basically it was the announcement of a collaboration of Rage Against The Machine members and rappers from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill which created some excitement and curiosity. Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, DJ Lord, Chuck D. and B-Real played their first show in January last year, followed by a North America tour during summer. Prophets Of Rage acted as a counterpart to the election campaign in the US, being a strong voice for social problems, freedom, anti-corruption and justice.

In parallel the band released a first EP entitled “The Party’s Over” which featured five songs, incl. a terrific version of the Beastie Boys classic “No Sleep till Brooklyn” which was renamed into “No Sleep Till Cleveland”.

A year later Prophets Of Rage publishes the debut album, featuring twelve new songs. The self-titled debut is a bit of a curveball. On the one hand there is no doubt about capabilities and passion of the involved musicians and also the tracks that are on “Prophets Of Rage” stand for a powerful crossover sound that brings together the best of RATM, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill. But what’s the strength of Prophets Of Rage has also a flipside. “Prophets of Rage”, with all the good songs, feels partly like an album that contains slightly adjusted songs from the involved motherships. Listening to this album whet my appetite for listening to the originals. If this is good or bad, I don’t know. It just happened.

Things kick-off with “Counter Offensive” which is a short intro, followed “Fired a Shot”. This song has a focus on rap while the next song, “Hail to the Chief” brings back the RATM vibe, basically due to Morello’s guitar and a hard working rhythm section. An enormous groove benefits “Legalize Me” before “Living on the 110” addresses the serious topic of homelessness in a typical Prophets Of Rage fashion and with a chorus that reminded me of Faith No More. A well-crafted crossover anthem is “Strength of Numbers” before “Take Me Higher” adds some funk to the totality

“Prophets Of Rage” is a very cool album, no doubt. But looking on the list of involved icons in music led to higher expectation compared with what the album delivers. I guess that seeing Prophets Of Rage live on stage is a more intensive experience, than listening to the songs on the album. This doesn’t mean that the debut is not worth to be listened to. Crossover enthusiasts and fans of the earlier mentioned bands will like this album and it can be a great warm-up experience on the way to a live show of this super group. And besides all the mentioned, the message that this six-piece band has, is more than important these days. These guys are a strong voice for freedom, liberty and social values.

 

Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann

Rating:  8/10

 

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