By Josh Tyrangiel
Updated September 06, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Amid the monstrous guitar murk, it’s hard to tell whether Josh Homme and Nick Olivieri are satanists, satirists, or both. It doesn’t really matter. With Dave Grohl, Mark Lanegan, and Dean Ween on the squad, QOTSA are the undisputed all-stars of aggression, and they’ve made the year’s best hard-rock album, Songs for the Deaf. The first seven songs rush by like a black hurricane; the rest, including standouts ”Gonna Leave You” and ”Go With the Flow,” are more melodic but no less intense. These…are… iron men!