Ra
Black Sun


1.0
awful

Review

by Kyle Banick USER (30 Reviews)
September 28th, 2008 | 79 replies | 17,381 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: an ode to the Egyptian sun god, or: a watered down nu-metal album ten years too late

Ra’s music is Pop made to sound like hard rock. Sound familiar? It ought to. Sometime around the mid-90s Pop figured out how to masquerade as heavy, crunchy hard rock and the little bastard just couldn’t get enough of it, waving his arms and carrying on to get the attention of the six or so bourgeois gentlemen who decide what 85% of the population will hear, see and buy for any given year. And, what do you know, the little guy was right: he had a winner on his hands. Nu-metal exploded and the record companies swarmed to milk their new goldmine dry, repacking, reprinting, and re-selling the same sound with a million new outfits to wear.

Enter Ra, the hard rock group with a cosmic bent. Ra’s music exudes a different aura, one separate from Korn’s diluted nightmare shock imagery or Staind’s melodrama. This is a group with an exploratory vibe, looking to the cosmos and channeling the spirituality they find there. I mean, look, they’re named after the Egyptian god of the sun for chrissake and that artwork! Surely their unique celestial preoccupations give the music an exciting, fresh twist and result in an album layered with astral possibilities and unheard musical bliss!!!

Well, no, not even close. The album starts off promisingly with a nice little Latin-tinged acoustic arrangement. But, then, out of nowhere, the real Ra surfaces, and all thoughts of the 30 second little ditty with that nice foreign flair are completely forgotten in place of melodies lifted from almost any given alternative rock song played on the radio in 1998. Crunchy guitars play a nauseatingly simple groove. Vocals sing hook after hook, each melody more obvious and played-out than the last. Drums never insinuate any command over the groove, content to play unobtrusively in the background, lacking any punch (did they record these with a MIDI keyboard or something?), ingenuity, or excitement. Quite literally, any bit of musical variety on the album serves only as a 30-second distraction to usher in the same old onslaught of groove-crunch guitars and painfully mundane vocals.

Still, good ol’ Ra isn’t devoted to the Egyptian sun god for no reason, surely? Their lyrics must be something to really dig your teeth into, right? With gems such as “I can’t believe I’ve fallen down to my knees/ you got me beggin’ you please / can there still be another way? / Why won’t you talk to me? / When did I want to be lonely? / When did I want to be cold? / I can’t believe that it’s over / The beating of my / Broken-hearted soul”, Ra manages to separate themselves from the pack in…no way at all.

Any thought or care put towards the album’s flow seems to have been quickly forgotten by the sixth or seventh song, after which it feels as if track after monotonous track is tacked on ad nauseam just because the band decided to do that familiar old dance of filling up a compact disc with material. Sure, there’s a certain unifying coherency to the whole affair, but that’s just because the band’s sound is so one-dimensional and homogeneous that their pool of available tones and atmospheres runs dry pretty quick.

This is the embodiment of a society content to allow its musical artists to survive on the superficial. The music serves the image, not the other way around. Ra may be rejecting the music industry that so callously chewed them up and spit them out like all the other clones, but they are still, ironically more than ever, a dismal part of that grinding industrial machine. Do yourself a favor and avoid this release at all costs.



Recent reviews by this author
ProjeKct X Heaven and EarthAndrew Hill Compulsion!!!!!
The Nels Cline Singers Draw BreathQueen Elephantine Yatra
John Coltrane Live in JapanJack Rose I Do Play Rock and Roll
user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Austin (2.5)
Ra's disappointing third studio album is a mediocre hard rock album that loses the charm of the band...

pizzamachine (3.5)
"Emerging through the sands of time, the sun-inspired Ra is back with a vengeance."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2008



2590 Comments


SWERVE!

bastard
September 28th 2008



3435 Comments


Good review, but the first sentences of the first paragraph are full of crap.This Message Edited On 09.28.08

Altmer
September 28th 2008



5652 Comments


no they are quite hilarious

Kage
September 28th 2008



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

what are you talking about, most of my reviews are positive man!

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2008



15690 Comments


well we wont be hearing from these guys again

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

TheDistantFuture
September 28th 2008



200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree that Broken Hearted Soul is atrocious and there are definitely a few other duds here, but I would say that this is at least 3: Tracks 3-5 and 8-11 are all good to very good. These guys can be generic at times but, generally speaking they're better than most of the generic crap on the radio.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2008



2590 Comments


It was funnier when John did this for So the Story Goes.

brandtweathers
September 28th 2008



2009 Comments


love your summaries. nice work

cbmartinez
September 28th 2008



2525 Comments


i hope you didnt spend any money on this

jrowa001
September 28th 2008



8749 Comments


From One was one of my fav albums when it came out. boy has my music taste changed. i doubt ill check this one out. i remember their singer being very very weird looking

Captain North
September 28th 2008



6743 Comments


All these guys have done have stopped a genuinely good name using the name and imagery found on this album. I'm not going to bother checking this guys, but the packaging deserves a better band.

AtavanHalen
September 28th 2008



17927 Comments


Fantastic review. I wish I could write so well negatively.

PanasonicYouth
September 28th 2008



7410 Comments


I heard a song of theirs like 3 years ago...
I think it was Fallen Angels. It was okay. I heard promise in this band. But yeah. That's gone now, apparently.

marksellsuswallets
September 28th 2008



4848 Comments


I think I remember actually nodding off while listening to one of their albums...safe to say I won't be getting this...

botb
September 29th 2008



9274 Comments


i will be listening to this anyway as you hate stuff that i like and i liked their other two albums. so i'll be checking this out regardless of what you may think =]

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

poweroftheweez
September 29th 2008



1289 Comments


I haven't heard from them in a while. I liked older stuff. Disappointing to see the negative reaction...

botb
September 29th 2008



9274 Comments


to be honest i never trust when kage gives stuff negative ratings as he hates most all of my favorite music.

Cesar
September 29th 2008



2732 Comments


The cover art work is pretty cool tbqh.

Doppelganger
September 29th 2008



3124 Comments


I remember hearing "Do You Call My Name" years ago and thinking it was completely hilarious. It was like if Breaking Benjamin stopped being boring and sucking and just amped the sucking.This Message Edited On 09.29.08

P13
September 29th 2008



1327 Comments


Worst Album of the Year Contender ?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy