Sunday, September 24, 2017

Prophets of Rage - S/T (2017)

To most metal heads, the 90's was a strange, and even awful era for the music. Bands that killed it in the 80's were either made obsolete or shifted to weird places that really did not do them anything good. On top of this, two genres were rising to stardom, grunge and nu-metal, two genres that are quite controversial still to this day for most lovers of metal. With that said though, there were still some great inventive metal coming out of this era, pushing the boundaries of our beloved music style. Now some of these 90's pioneers have gone together for sort of a mini comeback, taking bits and pieces from famous groups to make the ultimate early nu-metal super group.

Prophets of Rage is most certainly the 90's lover's wet dream, with members from Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Public Enemy, and even Cypress Hill. It is an interesting super group, mostly because the style is almost dead and gone, which ultimately leaves me with the question "why now?". It is not like the band has had nothing to do all of these years, but it still feels strange that they would be trying to get back that rap-metal groove that was so successful in the 90's.

Well, after some touring in 2016 and 2017, the band has now unleashed their self titled debut record, and yes, it sounds just as you would expect. We get tons of rapping from Chuck D and B-Real, some record scratches from DJ Lord and his turntables, lyrics about taking down the establishment and so. It is so 90's that the album should really come with some baggy pants and a cap that is put on backwards. It is almost like the guys have been frozen in time, and not been defrosted until now, and they still seem pretty pissed (which I should probably have guessed knowing the band name).

So you are obviously wondering, is this even considered metal? Well, the only thing that makes Prophets of Rage metal is in the instrumental section, where we have the former Rage Against The Machine buddies Tim Commerford on bass, Brad Wilk on drums, and Tom Morello on guitar. Just like the rest of the band, these guys does not really anything different from what we could expect from them. They do offer some of the more impressive parts of this record, especially Morello's signature playing style that is so recognizable, but as said, it is nothing that I did not expect.

This ultimately leaves us with the question if this music still have a place in 2017, and it sort of does. The themes of this record are social problems that we still have today, and it is always nice to see someone step up and bring it up to our attention. Musically however, it is kind of dated, not really holding up against the rest of the competition. Some enjoyment can be found when the band goes full Hulk mode in "Unfuck The World", and we get some nice epic moments in "Strength In Numbers", but most of "Prophets of Rage" is just aged noise that is trying to be bold and tough, without any rock solid ground to stand on. It is definitely safe to say that most of us would rather just put on an old RATM record instead of this.

Prophets of Rage does not really impress with their debut record, and the only group of people I can really recommend this record to is for those who wants to feel nostalgic over a decade that most of us do not want to remember. Not to say that this album is bad, it is just a very safe effort that does not have enough power to make an impact. Could be some neat background music when you play an old "Tony Hawk pro skater" game, but other than that, I do not see any real use for this record in this day and age. So in conclusion, it is a nostalgic trip to the past that just does not match what the guys did in their previous bands. At least the rage is still alive and well.

Songs worthy of recognition: Unfuck The World, Strength In Numbers, Who Owns Who

Rating: 6/10 Shots Fired

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