RATM were a pretty unique band.
There really isn’t anyone else out there like them.
Obviously, that makes it hard to find other bands like Rage Against The Machine.
But not impossible.
There are a few groups out there with a similar sound, a similar style, or a similar vibe.
Keep reading for a list of other great artists that have something in common with the legendary RATM.
Table of Contents
Bands That Sound Like Rage Against The Machine
To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to find bands that sound like Rage Against the Machine. And even if you do, they won’t be all that similar. Or they actually feature most of the members of Rage Against the Machine.
It should be obvious that we’re opening this list with Audioslave. They band consisted of three-quarters of Rage Against the Machine, along with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell on vocals.
This supergroup initially worked between 2001 and 2007. They only regrouped once more in 2017, before Chris Cornell’s tragic passing.
While they’re usually defined as hard rock or just alternative metal, Audioslave have some significant similarities with Rage Against the Machine. But the music definitely has a bit of a different twist. There’s a lot of catchy stuff, fore example the songs Like a Stone and Cochise.
If you’re a fan of RATM and you still haven’t gotten the chance to hear Audioslave, we suggest that you do that as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.
Of course, it’s only expected that we’re bringing Soundgarden to this list as well. You might have heard their song Black Hole Sun, which brought them major success in the 1990s (we analyze the Black Hole Sun lyrics meaning here).
But this particular song is a bit softer than most of their catalog, despite having an overall dark vibe.
If you want something that’s heavier and groovier, more in the vein of RATM, then go check out Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger album. There’s also great stuff on the next one, 1991’s Superunknown, which includes the aforementioned Black Hole Sun.
Soundgarden have often been described as a mixture of grunge and heavy metal. They’re definitely one of the originators of the grunge movement. They laid foundations of the genre, while being inspired by old metal bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Their style has changed over the years, with some softer stuff on their later albums. The band officially ended in 2019, two years after Chris Cornell’s death.
System Of A Down
Okay, we know that it’s really hard to define RATM’s style. But a band like System of a Down is even more difficult to put within certain genre boundaries.
Both bands are unique, but you can feel that same energy within System of a Down’s work. Aside from the music, there’s also a strong political message, although it’s executed in a different manner than RATM.
SOAD is a quartet, featuring Serj Tankian on vocals, Daron Malakian on guitar, Shavo Odadjian on bass, and John Dolmayan on the drums. After releasing a few demo recordings with Andy Khachaturian on drums, they hired Dolmayan and finally released a full-length studio record in 1998.
While this self-titled record was definitely a ground-breaking album, it was still a few years ahead of its time.
The band’s second record Toxicity pushed them into the spotlight, and it’s what got people into their previous album. The mega hits Aerials and Chop Suey (lyrics and meaning here) are on that album.
While they got pinned with labels like nu metal and alternative metal, SOAD always sounded like SOAD. With highly energetic riffs and plenty of changes throughout the songs, there’s no way for them not to surprise you with each of their records.
Their last record came out in 2005 and they haven’t released anything since then, except for two songs in 2020. If you’re a fan of RATM, System of a Down will be really easy to get into, despite some obvious differences in styles.
One Day As A Lion
Once again, we need to go back to mentioning RATM’s unique style and bring up another band that features their members. Well, it’s actually one member: Zack de la Rocha.
Being a unique character, dedicated to fighting his causes, he was interested in making another project and doing something a bit different.
But obviously, you can still hear his unique voice and the overall rap rock style in this project named One Day as a Lion. Unfortunately, the group released only one self-titled EP.
The most popular tune was Wild International. And honestly, it sounds very similar to something that Rage Against the Machine would do.
But you can notice a more unconventional, and somewhat of a laidback, approach to rock music. Aside from Zack, the band featured drummer Jon Theodore and keyboardist Joey Karam. Instead of guitars and basses, they used keyboards. But you’ll definitely like them and notice parallels with RATM.
Faith No More
While the band went through some changes in the beginnings, officially having three singers from the early to the late 1980s, they’re best known for Mike Patton on vocals. His eccentric nature is as crazy as his diverse vocal styles and the band’s overall music.
While they’re also another band with a very unique style that’s really hard to describe, there are clear similarities with Rage Against the Machine. There’s a lot of funky stuff in there, combined with classic metal.
Aside from Patton’s insanely versatile vocals, you’ll hear Mike Bordin’s and Billy Gould’s awesome musicianship, easily one of the tightest rhythm sections of all time.
Similar to RATM, Faith No More haven’t released that many albums over the years. Their discography features only seven records, but it’s obvious that they focused on quality rather than quantity.
Speaking of bands that don’t put out a lot of new albums…. Some would probably say that putting Tool on this list is a bit of a stretch.
While Tool are more of a progressive metal band, you can notice some similarities, especially with heavy guitar riffs and some groovy parts.
If you are fond of RATM, you’ll definitely get into Tool’s earlier stuff much easier. The band’s EP Opiate could be interesting, as well as the debut full-length album Undertow.
The next one, 1996’s Ænima, is already a serious venture into some progressive territories, while 2001’s Lateralus is a full-blown prog record.
RATM and Tool fanbases include a lot of the same people. Tom Morello and Tool guitarist Adam Jones were even in the same band together back in the day. If you haven’t given Tool a listen yet, there’s a high chance that you’ll love them.
Coming from California, Kyuss are often described as the band that started the whole stoner rock movement. While they didn’t last for that long, their work is still praised to this day and presents sort of a blueprint for this subgenre.
There’s a lot of groove-driven stuff in there, as well as a lot of heavy pentatonic-based riffs. While they’re probably not as energetic as a band like RATM, they’ll be really easy to get into.
There are plenty of great songs on their four full-length studio albums. Green Machine would probably be the easiest to get into. But then we also have stoner masterpieces like Gardenia, Demon Cleaner, and even Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop.
Queens Of The Stone Age
After the disbandment of Kyuss, a young and ambitious guitarist started his own band called Queens of the Stone Age. If you’re into rock music, there’s a high chance you heard the name.
Of course, the band originally featured Kyuss bassist Nick Olivieri. Throughout the years, the lineup saw a lot of interesting names, including Foo Fighters’ and Nirvana’s Dave Grohl on the drums.
While they originally worked as a stoner rock band, the style has shifted towards some softer alternative rock and even pop rock.
Nonetheless, you can always recognize their stoner origins, as well as a lot of groove-driven elements in there. If you want something highly energized, you’ll probably like “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire.”
Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures is one of the most exciting projects in the world of rock music. This supergroup lasted for a brief period and features Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, and the legendary Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.
Well, you can only imagine how incredible their music is, with such an unusual combination of creative masterminds.
Sure, there’s only one record, the self-titled one released in 2009. Officially, they’re on hiatus, so there’s a chance that they’ll do something again in the future. Until then, we’d highly advise you to check out their album.
Prophets Of Rage
Of course, the obligatory mention: Prophets of Rage. They were a short-running project featuring RATM’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford, along with Public Enemy and Cypress Hill members.
As you might assume, both their music and lyrical themes are very similar to what Rage Against the Machine did on their albums. Needless to say, they also played some of the RATM stuff during their live shows.
There’s one self-titled full-length album, released in 2017. There’s a total of 12 new tracks on it. And you’ll like every single one of them if you’re into RATM’s overall rap rock style. They’re even an easier pick for RATM fans than Audioslave or One Day as a Lion.
Bands Like Rage Against The Machine: Final Thoughts
As mentioned above, it is not easy finding bands like Rage Against The Machine. Their sound is simply too unique, with Tom Morello’s guitar and Zach De La Rocha’s voice both being one of a kind. Then when you combine the two….
But we did our best and found some great artists that all have something in common with RATM. If you like Rage, we’re sure you’ll also enjoy most, if not all, of the bands featured above.
Do you agree with our choices? Or do you feel any of them simply don’t belong? Or that we missed a group that definitely should have made the list? Please let us know in the comments below.
Take a listen to this ->
Chris Villiers says
Pantera is the most similar. Anyone who plays guitar will heat this, Morello must have been influenced by Dimebag/Pantera.
no. Not at all. This completely missed the mark.
Currently I have suggested a few songs by The Halluci Nation and Sault to a friend
Snotty Nose Rez Kids and many other are more revolt and rise up style music and there has to be a lot more. Your list is just some radio rock top chart bands that have little to nothing to do with what Rage was capturing at all
I hear what you’re saying about capturing the same spirit, but you do realize that Audioslave and Prophets of Rage basically are RATM, right?
Gary H. says
I believe Living Colour would fit onto this list too.