Overall Score: 6/10 Lyrics: 6/10 Riffs : 6/10 Originality: 5/10 Pros: There are genuine moments of magic that show a spark Cons: There is an overwhelming sense of apathy and treading water
Sometimes when new bands form from the ashes of others, there is the fear that one of two things will happen, that either they will coast by on former glories or they will boil down to being nothing more than the some of their parts rather than being an innovative whole.
This is where Prophets of Rage come in and sadly they are guilty of both of these things. When they turned up at Download this past June they admittedly stole the weekend, but that was because they played a crowd pleasing set of classics from yesteryear. The cold hard truth is that their own material just isn’t as interesting as it could or should be.
If it’s to be believed that the majority of the album was reworked from parts written for a potential new Rage Against The Machine album, then it certainly shows. There are moments on the album where things Click, such as on ‘Unfuck the World’ which manages to get its point across in a rather unsubtle way, and ‘Strength in Numbers’ is another high energy track that will be sure to please crowds.
The problem is that the rest of the album is a little bit lifeless and lacking in anything really to say, which is perhaps its biggest sin given who makes up the band. You would think that with the state of the world today that there would be some fire and dare I say it some rage behind these tracks, but no we get songs about weed, shooting and other tired tropes, wrapped around riffs that now seem forced in places and repetitive in others.
The dual vocals of Chuck D and B Real are fine and they work well together. Chuck D works a lot better as he genuinely tries to put a little more thought into his lyrics and has a more aggressive delivery in his vocals than B Real who at times comes across as a little one note and is by far the weakest element in the group with nothing really of note to say. Maybe there is a muddling in the message, but it seems like from one minute to the next that they are two rappers spitting lyrics that have very little do with an overall united message. I can’t help but feel like one strong dynamic vocalist would have worked better than two conflicting ones.
On paper Prophets of Rage seems like such a good idea and live when they have the classic material of their collective pasts to lean on they can beat anyone on any given day. It’s such a shame then that they can’t harness that energy into an album worthy of their legacies. For those of you expecting something akin to a new Rage Against the Machine album, you might want to look elsewhere. They say the revolution will be televised, but don’t expect to hear Prophets of Rage on the soundtrack.
Prophets Of Rage is out now on Fantasy Records / Caroline International.