Review Summary: "Emerging through the sands of time, the sun-inspired Ra is back with a vengeance."
Emerging through the sands of time, the sun-inspired Ra is back with a vengeance. Kicking off the album with the heavy metal ‘Broken-Hearted Soul’, (and a Latin guitar intro) it’s obvious that Ra hasn’t lost their decibel levels. After hearing the second track, however, you might wish you had plugged your ears. Bashing repetitive chord after repetitive chord, ‘Faulty Information’ is flawed. And when I say flawed, I mean fatally flawed, like an underwater superhighway made out of glass and wired with explosives, with the explosives being attached to enormous claws which sweep back and forth across the road. It’s just not practical, you see. The first two tracks are blatant mainstream sell-outs, and are the lowest points in the album.
Forgetting the first two songs, the rest of the album is like when an ice cream truck drives up to your porch and the driver tells you that today is “You’re-Awesome-So-You-Get-Free-Ice-Cream-Day” (This just happened to me yesterday, and I’m telling you, I ate the crap out of that food). Anyway, after two crap songs, ‘The First Step’s’ celestial tendencies are a refresher. Throughout the verses, the guitars bleed mood with their simple staccato notes, all the while containing an astral atmosphere in the background. A notable aspect of the song begins when Sahaj Ticotin hits an insane note that you wouldn’t believe could be sung by anyone, let anyone by an alternative metal singer. Pulling away from the pack, the next song, ‘Push’, gradually fades in with a tabla, giving a much-needed break in the album. Don’t let the verses deceive you, though, because the punchy chorus and memorable bridge should wake you up. ‘Push’ is generally a good song, but with the long, anti-climactic ending you might forget why you liked it.
Next in line is ‘Don’t Turn Away’. The song is a bit poppy, has some progressive elements, and solid drums; the song is captivating, and should reign as a favorite to some. Fading into the next song, ‘Lost Along The Way’ starts off with a cool Egyptian intro and then proceeds to punch you in the gut with its aggressive guitars. Being the catchiest (and most aggressive) song off the album, it’s well placed in the middle of the album. If ‘Lost Along The Way’ was too much for you, the next song cools it down a bit. With an atmospheric background, ‘I Believe Again’ jumps in with a melodic effort similar to something from their album ‘Duality’. Lyrical references to ‘I Believe’ off their first album are welcome, and despite the song’s mainstream tendencies, crunching guitars can still be heard.
Following in the footsteps of ‘Skorn’ off their debut album, ‘Waste of Space’ stands out in the way a princess would look in a group of hideous witches. Classical, dramatic, bombastic, epic - all can be found in this story-telling artwork. This song is also their most emotional, and Sahaj Ticotin has the vocal pipes to do just that. Continuing the emotions, ‘Genocide’ is an angst-ridden Nu-metal song that would usually be considered a piece of crap. Ra takes this Terminator inspired song, and chugs away with excellent flat notes giving the song a creepy feel which suits it perfectly. Both songs include powerful, yet relatively simple guitar solos that beef up both songs.
Finally, we come to the concluding songs. Both ‘A Poet’s Dream’ and ‘Easier Than This’ are majestic and the best songs off the album. The only thing regrettable about these songs is the fact that they are pushed back to the end of the album. ‘A Poet’s Dream’ stands out with its exuberant happiness and commanding chorus, but ‘Easier Than This’ gains the upper hand with it’s progression and imagination. Nothing in the song comes off cheesy or out of touch, and most importantly, you will want to listen to the end.
Overall, the album is a great buy if you can look over a few points. This isn’t their heaviest album, and it might come cross as wishy-washy metal to some. The drumming is passable, but to actual drummers it could get quite annoying. This is intensely melodic metal, and if you must have screaming or sketchy singing in your metal, you won’t like this. Most songs in the album can sound similar. This can be remedied by skipping certain tracks and playing them at different times.