Arms of Ra
Arms of Ra


4.5
superb

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
February 27th, 2011 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A little known French band combines a vast slew of influences to create one of the most promising metal debuts of 2009.

It isn't often that one finds a band that actually succeeds in creating a totally original sound. More often than not, they will either sounds much too similar to their peers to be considered truly unique or their sound will be nothing more than a poorly thought out jumble of influences. Fortunately, Arms of Ra, an obscure French metal/hardcore act, and their self-titled debut fall into neither of these categories, making for one of 2009's most interesting debuts. In three tracks spanning 25 minutes they take the listener on a sonic odyssey through everything from the hardcore-influenced sludge of Black Ships to the polyrhythmic chugging of Meshuggah to the dark sludge of Amenra and everything in between. Even with the long average length of the tracks (7-10 minutes), Arms of Ra somehow manage to keep things interesting throughout: a feat that countless new bands can only hope to accomplish. The listener will get bored exceedingly rarely, with a new sludgy riff or a frantically barked hardcore-esque vocal line always keeping him on the edge of his seat.

Opener Taxidermie, the shortest of the EP's three tracks, sets the tone for all that is to come perfectly. The vocals, combining rough hardcore influences with a very Zao-esque shriek, keeps things intense while occasional post-metally instrumental breaks give the listener a refreshing break from Arms of Ra's aural assault. Displaying another common characteristic of hardcore, the bassist, instead of being pushed into the background, can always be heard above the guitars, drums, and vocals, and he contributed some impressive, if not extremely technical, grooves and lines. Pyramids, the EP's second track, sees Arms of Ra descending into some strangely Meshuggah-esque polyrhythms fused with a few almost groovable sludge passages. The 10-minute album closer The Colour of My Name combines dark post-metal comparable to that of Amenra with a scattering of the aforementioned Meshuggah worship and a long, monotonous, and percussion-free sludgy passage (see Overmars) with a massive ending of an almost danceable rhythm to become the EP's obvious highlight. At not even 25 minutes, Arms of Ra is, in all honesty, much too short. One can only hope that this little French band intended it to be this way and that this brilliant little 3-track portmanteau of hardcore, sludge, post-rock, and numerous other aspects is only a taste of what the band plans to put out in the future.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
February 27th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

glad i finally got around to reviewing this, and sorry if it's a bit short. this will probably be my last for around a week, leaving for a dive trip and won't have internet access for a few days

Tyrael
February 27th 2011


20930 Comments


Sounds interesting, good review.

pizzamachine
February 27th 2011


12571 Comments


Was going to check this out, nice reminder. Pos.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2011


7313 Comments


Solid, tight review. Pos.

ButcheredChildren
February 27th 2011


5591 Comments


cool review, I probably won't check this out though

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2011


8371 Comments


Sounds pretty cool, will try and check this out.

relativeworld
February 28th 2011


289 Comments


Sounds interesting !

sexpoi
March 1st 2011


599 Comments


i'll give it a go. good review



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