Downset – Do We Speak A Dead Language?: #533 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Downset - Do We Speak A Dead Language

So why is Downset’s Do We Speak A Dead Language? on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

The “rap metal” genre of music, sometime referred to as “nu-metal,” often gets a bad, well, rap. And for good reason, often enough! Much of it is… what’s the word we’re looking for here? Bad. Not good.

But there’s a small cohort of bands – Rage Against the Machine and Downset chief among them – that are the strong exceptions that prove the rule.

And “Pocket Full of Fatcaps,” the best song on Do We Speak A Dead Language?, is a masterpiece, functioning wonderfully, beautifully, dizzyingly as both pure metal rush and exceptional rap number by way of front man Rey Oropeza.

“Empower” has much of the feeling of furious energy and passionate angst as Downset’s self-titled debut album, which (spoiler alert) I consider to be very high praise indeed.

Any song that starts with fast-paced, clean sounding, tamped down chords gets my attention, and “Eyes Shut Tight” does just that before segueing into a high octane, grinding rap metal number that culminates in each chorus with the song title: Eyes! Shut! Tight!

It’s important to note, too, that like fellow LA-based rap metal legends Rage Against the Machine, Downset’s lyrics are highly political and tend to focus on racial justice and challenges in marginalized communities.

Some stats & info about Downset – Do We Speak A Dead Language?

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Hardcore Punk, Rap Metal, Alternative Metal, Metal Music, SoCal Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
  • When was Do We Speak A Dead Language? released? 1996
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #533 out of 1,000

Downset’s Do We Speak A Dead Language? on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Downset’s Do We Speak A Dead Language? that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Graffin’ up in L.A. you can’t act stupid and play, striking up in the hood could mean your last day.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.