The Battle of Los Angeles

The Battle of Los Angeles

Unwilling to go out with a whimper, Rage Against the Machine treated their final album (Renegades is a posthumous collection of cover songs) like Custer's Last Stand — with guitars blazing instead of guns and a headstrong Zach de la Rocha leading the charge as if it might be his last, from the lawnmower lashings of "Testify" to the claustrophobic and caustic closer "War Within a Breath." In many ways it was, as the rap-metal pioneer retreated into the shadows to work on a secretive solo project that still hasn't come out. As for the rest of Rage, they managed to crank out three Audioslave albums with Chris Cornell before rejoining de la Rocha at Coachella and reminding more than 30,000 people just why they were once the most relevant (and to some degree, dangerous) band in modern rock. Oh, you weren't there? No matter; one listen to The Battle of Los Angeles will have the same 'wow, these guys were awesome!' effect. In fact, don't blame us if "Calm Like a Bomb" makes you spontaneously combust or "Sleep Now in the Fire" sparks a street sign-smashing spree. Just remember these five words: "Morello made me do it."

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