REWIND: Rage Against The Machine's Battle of Los Angeles is just as powerful 20 years on
We pick the top five tracks from an absolute classic.
Hey, you heard about the good news?
Rage Against The Machine are reuniting.
So far we only have a handful of confirmed dates - none of them in Europe, sadly - but between that shock announcement and the disbanding of spin-off Prophets of Rage, we're crossing everything that we get another RATM appearance in Ireland.
And hey, another album would be great, too, lads. Not like there's any shortage of inspiration to anger up the blood in the world these days.
What a force they were, back in their prime. Speaking of, The Battle of Los Angeles has just turned 20 years young.
Released on 2 November, 1999, Rage's third album likely loses out to the self-titled in the 'best of the lot' pub debate but it's honestly a contender for their greatest work.
In any event, we won't get into that here. Instead, we will celebrate a classic that still hits ferociously hard today by picking our five favourite tracks...
#5 | 'War Within a Breath'
Look, it's extremely hard not to just pick the first five tracks on this record. They're that good.
So in the interest of showing some love to the back half, we'll opt for fiery closer 'War Within a Breath', proof positive that RATM don't like to let up and fade away quietly.
#4 | 'Guerrilla Radio'
THAT INTRO THO.
#3 | 'Mic Check'
An ice cold showcase for Zack de la Rocha's dexterity, versatility and command.
Not like he needed one, but we're always glad to hear it.
#2 | 'Testify'
Clip via RATMVEVO
An exceptional way to begin an album, unleashing a wave of momentum that cannot, will not be stopped. Try not to air-drum along to the breakdown.
#1 | 'Calm Like a Bomb'
Clip via RATMVEVO
If you're upset that 'Sleep Now in the Fire' didn't make it, fair enough. That song is wonderful, but we have to make the hard decisions here, and that's why 'Sleep' takes the unofficial #6 spot overall.
Look, nothing gets past 'Calm Like a Bomb', nor should it.
This is Rage Against The Machine distilled perfectly to just under five minutes. It's a maze of a tune, a call to arms in which a riot is the rhyme of the unheard, the sound of empires collapsing, worlds changing.
Aside from all of that? It's just a perfect song from a masterpiece of an album.
Welcome back, gentlemen.