Review TOM MORELLO ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’

Tom Morello, this name is closely connected with bands like Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave and Prophets Of Rage. What all these bands have in common, besides Morello’s exquisite guitar performance, is a musical diversity and a message in terms of lyrics. Morello was and is always willing to tear down boundaries – musically as well as a fighter for social justice. Morello’s new solo album ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ fits perfectly into this context.

‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ would not have been possible without the internet. Written and produced during Lockdown and Pandemic, Morello has managed not only to complete a very diverse album, but also to work with a larger number of guests. While it was the guitarist who was in charge, it is among others icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Grandson, Mike Posner and Eddie Vedder who supported Morello with guest appearances. Musical competence is what characterizes the album, as experts in their field are at work here and the different musical roots make ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ a very versatile album. And it is exactly this diversity that demands focus and attention from the listener.

Alternative, rock and EDM are the basics of this album and if you know one song, you certainly don’t know all the other songs on this release. There is so much happening on this release that it’s easy to lose track along the way. In this context, ‘Charmed I’m Sure’ is worth mentioning, which showcases the typical Morello guitar sound but also dives deep into the electro universe. This is one of several challenges that are waiting for listeners.

More straightforward is ‘Highway to Hell’. Morello, Springsteen and Vedder took on the AC/DC classic and it was this song that was released as the first single. The cover version is certainly not a bad one since the protagonists know what they are doing with their decades of experience. But what is also evident is the brilliance of the AC/DC songs because even if the three legends give all the effort, this interpretation does not reach the original. Nevertheless, a well-done effort to give the classic a slightly new touch.

I already mentioned diversity and ‘Let’s Get the Party Started’ is another twist on ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’. Morello worked together with Bring Me The Horizon which gives the song a wild and ferocious expression. Fans of atmospheric songs are offered a track called ‘Driving to Texas’ while ‘The War Inside’ feat. Chris Stapleton builds on calmer acoustic sounds with a singer/songwriter appeal.

‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ is an ode to diversity in music. Artists with different backgrounds and musical imprint come together to do what their passion is about – music. This also means that almost everyone will find a couple songs on the album that will be pleasing. At the same time, other spots on the tracklist are challenging. If you’re up for this, ‘The Atlas Underground Fire’ is for you.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Harlem Hellfighter 
  2. Highway to Hell (featuring Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder)
  3. Let’s Get The Party Started (featuring Bring Me The Horizon)
  4. Driving to Texas (featuring Phantogram)
  5. The War Inside (featuring Chris Stapleton)
  6. Hold The Line (featuring grandson)
  7. Naraka (featuring Mike Posner)
  8. The Achilles List (featuring Damian Marley)
  9. Night Witch (featuring phem)
  10. Charmed I’m Sure (featuring Protohype)
  11. Save Our Souls (featuring Dennis Lyxzén of Refused)
  12. On The Shore Of Eternity (featuring Sama’ Abdulhadi) 

Label: Mom + Pop Music

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: October 15th, 2021

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