Former Rage Against the Machine and current Prophets of Rage guitarist Tom Morello has released a solo album titled 'The Atlas Underground' via Sony Music Australia.
The album, which marks the guitar legend's first solo album outside his Nightwatchman project (his solo acoustic venture), is Morello’s attempt to “forge this sonic conspiracy of these artists from wide-ranging genres who are like-minded, and then curate it into this powerful and cohesive whole,” as he told Rolling Stone.
'The Atlas Underground' boasts a string of collaborations from some heavy-hitting names across multiple genres including the likes of Knife Party, Marcus Mumford, Knife Party, Big Boi, Killer Mike, K. Flay, Portugal. The Man, Vic Mensa, RZA and many, many more.
Of course, Morello is no stranger to big profile collabs — he's previously worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Steve Vai and Johnny Cash — but the many genres from which the collaborators come makes 'The Atlas Underground' a versatile album that has a finger on the pulse of the modern musical landscape.
Always one to intertwine his music with a political statement, Morello's critical anti-establishment views continue to make up the thematic backbone of his solo project as well, with themes of police brutality, depression, unequal wealth distribution being some of the many socially conscious themes tackled in the album. Any album with an excessive number of collaborations risks being bloated, but Morello keeps the fat trimmed through most of the record.
Although there are moments when his inimitable signature guitars hug all of the spotlight, most of the album sees an equal focus on the featuring artists as well, be it the slick production of Steve Aoki and Knife Party, the crisp bars from Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and GZA, or the sugary pop vocals of K. Flay. This prevents the album from being a one-off guitar God show-off effort and makes it a well rounded, powerful album to let your hair down and rock out.
Apple Music and Spotify users can listen to the full album below.