Ra
From One


4.0
excellent

Review

by The JoZ USER (19 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 148 replies | 15,775 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


4 of 5 thought this review was well written

I have been meaning to do this CD for a long time. Ra is undoubtedly, one of the best unsung bands in mainstream music today. Even then, I'm not sure they are quite as 'mainstream' as alot of other bands, because mentioning these guys does not always ellict a response of "Oh yeah, I know them..."

Ra is:
Sahaj Ticotin - Vocals, Guitars
Ben Carrol - Guitars
Sean Cocoran - Bass
Skoota Warner - Drums

The Tracks:

Do You Call My Name
A high energy opener, and their first single...the radio version gets butchered, because the real deal opens up with a very Egyptian sounding set of melodies, complete with tabla and sitar-like sounds. Main riff rips it wide open at :40 in...The dual guitars make it really huge sounding, I love it. Bassline is thick and audible. They keep true to a verse-prechorus-chorus structure, twice, until they go into a really cool bridge, which has a very nice bassline to go along with it...and flange. These guys love flange, as you will see. They rip back into their first riff, with a few modifications in the second guitar line. Repeat the chorus a few times to end this one, a very good number.

Rectifier
Opens with a nice clean melody, followed by distorted second guitar and the rest of the band coming in. First part of the verse is driven by bass and drums, and I love the bassline here, then guitars come back in...chorus sees the clean/flanged melody on top of the rest of the band, Sahaj's singing is quite powerful in the chorus. Repeat the cycle of verse/chorus, but the guitars get a little more to do in this verse. Chorus comes up, and it's much darker sounding than the rest of the song...sounds like an evelope filter is being used on the bass, which is odd to say the least, but it works nicely. Guitars come back in with the dark riffage before going into another prechorus/chorus...Sahaj has a habit of singing his choruses a little much before ending...serious flange on the last riff here before a single note tremolo and we end.

Fallen Rock Zone
One of their darkest songs, written about sick guys who prey on younger girls...one of their best...opens with police sirens and some clean dark melody on the low B string...main riff is full of distortion, it's got that slow pulse headbang feel to it. Main riff has alot of open B going on, but mixed in with some weird pan/phase effect or something, I'm not quite sure what it is...chorus involves a riff similar to the opening one, but mixed up with some not-quite bends...repeat verse/chorus, then we get a longer and interesting bridge, which sounds alot like the intro...Sahaj whispers in the background, encouraging people to stop guys who prey on women...then the bridge continues, heavy, with some second guitar work...sounds like it could be Whammy but I dunno...then we get a second bridge with a solo...it's not a shredfest by any means, it's not really that fast, but it's very cool sounding, I like it...Sahaj repeats his bad habit of singing too much chorus before ending.

Only
Opens with Sahaj singing before ripping into the main verse, it's heavy, but more upbeat than FRZ...go into clean melody with some flange...they are addicted to flange, I swear...second guitar comes in with some harmonics in the second part of the verse...chorus has the same intro riffage, but it fits very well with his singing...repeat verse/chorus...bridge comes up, and Skoota gets a bit of a workout...not a solo per se, but he's doing more than the guitars and bass are doing....too much chorus at the end, again...

On My Side
Very subdued here at first, clean melody (no flange!) and a nice bassline...verse sung in two parts, the melody changes up a bit with the second part, but it's still subdued...chorus brings in the distortion, but even then, it's still slow and subdued, but powerful at the same time....drums come in with some flange of their own...then another verse/chorus cycle, sounds like they added in some acoustic guitar on this verse...Bridge comes up, mixes acoustic guitar with distorted...this is a song where I think you can really see the Sting influence in Sahaj's singing, it's very powerful, and reminds me of Sting in "Roxanne" or something....another chorus, but with a new second guitar line over it all, it's effected, but I don't know what effect...flange again? More chorus, then everyone fades out except one clean guitar...very nice ending...

Violator
Much faster and darker than before...opens with fast drums and tabla, interspersed with distorted guitars, I love it. Artificial harmonic hit, then they break into the main riff, which, sadly, slows down a bit, but it's not bad at all. Clean guitar melody, with flange and a pan effect it sounds like...second guitar hits distorted chords along with the bass...full distortion comes back for the second part of the verse...chorus sees more of the tabla percussion being used...Sahaj does a hell of a job singing here, very strong, very powerful in his voice....repeat that all-too-familiar cycle, except the chorus is modified a bit in the guitars, and it seems extended, actually, but it might just be me...bridge comes up, with more of that effected guitar over the distortion...then everything cuts out and just Sahaj and acoustic guitar come in...then the tabla comes back in, followed by the rest of the band, for another powerful chorus, which turns into 3, followed by a fade out of the tabla percussion.

I Believe
Opens up with Morello-Like guitar, tremolo effect going, and something else, I dunno...a second guitar clean melody over that, with subdued but effective bass and drums...fade in with distortion, and the chorus comes in, which is very dark sounding, but I love it...then again, the entire song is kind of meloncholy, which is great...bass and drums pick up in the second verse, getting a bit more to do...bridge comes up but it's really short, and doesn't add much to this song...another 2 or three choruses, and then they go back to the verse music for an outro...but modified, as they fade out.

Parole
Opens up a decidedly heavier note than the last song, with a second guitar line that is eerie sounding as they rip into the main riff...this reminds me of something Dream Theater might do...well, a little. Sahaj's singing actually takes a back seat to the instruments in the verse, something that's not been seen yet...chorus is really short, and kind of chopped up, but it's not bad...repeat of the cycle...bridge comes up...some weird effected sound in the background, I don't think it's guitar, but you never know...lots of sustained chords in this, then a second bridge goes on, short, before another chorus...then a lead line picks up in the last chorus...it's kind of hard to hear, but it's there...flange picks up, and bleeds right into...

High Sensitivity
Intro riff is quite heavy and powerful, but verse riff subdues itself alot...drums and a great bassline carry it with clean guitar behind it all, and the occasional distorted guitar B...prechorus brings the distortion back in full time, chorus is like the intro riff, and Sahaj's singing soars above it all, very nice...abrupt cutoff before going back into another verse...I love this bassline...it's not that hard, but it's great to hear the bass in the forefront, at least for me :D
...Another prechorus/chorus section, followed by a bridge w/ palm muted distortion, and a clean melody over it...second part of the bridge sees a return to that large, soaring feel, followed by a huge chorus...or three...the outro sees more of the main riff, with a second guitar line behind it, but an abrupt stop leads us to...

Skorn
Acoustic guitar melody, and cymbal rolls to start...bass comes in...ahh, she's reading a "Dear John" letter...kicks into the main part with low, clean, melody, which is quickly followed by kicking into the distortion...very heavy, for them at least...then the verse comes in, clean guitar takes over, but only briefly, as the distortion is kicked back in...very odd song structure, with a bunch of changes...shining moment is the sitar/simulated solo toward the end...very nice, very dark.

Walking and Thinking
Opens with just Sahaj and acoustic guitar...a second guitar comes in, I think it's acoustic too...this is essentially an acoustic track, there are no drums in it at all, and if there is any bass it's hard to hear...you only get a little distortion in the end, in a chord, and some harmonics which are very nice...very nice way to calm down after Skorn...

Sky
Opens with a palm muted riff I happen to like a bit, with just Sahaj singing at first, before drums (well, the ride cymbal) and bass come in, with a second, clean guitar melody behind it...acoustic guitar comes in behind that, with distorted chords...stop, then rip into a chorus, with the palm muted riff being unmuted...there is a really short, verse, almost a prechorus, before continuing on with chorus, but the acoustic guitar returns...bridge comes up, heavy...then Sahaj whispers "One in the same" before ripping into a solo...again, not a shredfest or anything, but it's very fitting, and very powerful...not quite a minute long too...more chorus (what'd you expect? :p) but then we get another guitar solo at about 4:20 or so...not as long as the first one, but still very good, and we fade out...

Overall:
Ok, I need to keep this brief, as I've shortened this damn thing 5 times to get it to fit. These guys have been overlooked and underrated by alot of people, and I recommend their CD to anyone looking to spice up their collection with something different...they sound nothing like any other mainstream rock/metal/numetal band out there that I have heard, so pick it up, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Final Rating: 7.5/10 (trying to get more people to use the 10 point scale..)



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user ratings (102)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (4.5)
a near perfect example of hard rock/nu metal....

Austin (4)
Ra's debut album is an overlooked gem that showed some of the most creative and effective song-writi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dark Hero
July 10th 2004



160 Comments


Good Review :thumb:
I'll check this one out.

The JoZ
July 15th 2004



345 Comments


Bumping...because

1) I'd like to see if DH ever checked them out, and what he's thought

2) See if anyone else has any other thoughts

3) I want to expose more people to Ra

4) I'm a big attention whore :p

Bartender
Emeritus
July 15th 2004



826 Comments


Yup, nothing like a good old shameless bump.

I've not heard anything by these guys, but that's a very well written review. Are they any similar to Memento?

The JoZ
July 15th 2004



345 Comments


In terms of their ability to be a hard-hitting, underrated band? Yes.

But in terms of sound...

Ra is somewhat more 'psychadelic' if you will...alot of their melodies/countermelodies and stuff are spacey sounding, plus the whole vibe with sitars and tabla percussion...add in heavy distortion, and a powerful singer, and they are a great band..

Memento is more metal in my opinion, but they too stray, with acoustic guitars, strings and such on certain tracks...personally I like Memento better...

Ra and Memento are both powerful bands, with great lead singers and great songs, but they reach their power in different ways...

Ra takes the dual 7 string guitar approach, which, that may sound nu-metalish, but these guys actually USE the 7 strings to their full advantage. I honestly think they use 7 strings the best, next to Dream Theater. Sure, they hit plenty of low B and whatnot, but there isn't one song on their album I can think of where there aren't two different guitar parts going on...

Side note: I saw both Ra and Memento last year at our big summer concert...very great sets from both of them, I'd love to see them again

Congrats on 5K posts too [/offtopic] :chug:

Bartender
Emeritus
July 15th 2004



826 Comments


Heh, thanks. I noticed after I posted that I'd hit 5,000, and just sat there for a second and thought "What a crappy 5000th post.."

Anyway, I'll add these guys to my list of bands to check out, which doesn't guarantee anything, but does mean the possibility of a free bump sometime in the future.

Theo
July 15th 2004



84 Comments


Hey, I've heard that first single 'do you call my name'. The intro with the Egyptian stuff is cool (although not unexpected coming from a band called RA), but after that the song seemed to drag on forever. They should write shorter songs for my attention span. Progressive stuff is just too long and boring.

The JoZ
July 15th 2004



345 Comments


I think he did a few too many choruses at the end, but otherwise, it's not too long at all...

Theo
July 15th 2004



84 Comments


[QUOTE=The JoZ]I think he did a few too many choruses at the end, but otherwise, it's not too long at all...[/QUOTE]

Yo I just listened to it again. Its kickass. The chorus reminds me of the Excalibur theme, if you know what I mean. The choir thingy. Pretty cool though. Would you recommend any other songs other than the single?

The JoZ
July 15th 2004



345 Comments


The first four tracks are awesome...

Violator has a very cool chorus, and I love the Tabla part...

Skorn and Sky are also favorites of mine

:thumb:

ZEROthirtythree
July 15th 2004



234 Comments


Excellent review.

Theo
July 15th 2004



84 Comments


[QUOTE=The JoZ]The first four tracks are awesome...

Violator has a very cool chorus, and I love the Tabla part...

Skorn and Sky are also favorites of mine

:thumb:[/QUOTE]

Thnx, I'll check 'em out.

The JoZ
July 15th 2004



345 Comments


[QUOTE=ZEROthirtythree]Excellent review.[/QUOTE]

Thank ya kindly :cool:

Thnx, I'll check 'em out.


Indeed, I hope you do. It's a shame to me that more people don't know these guys

Theo
July 15th 2004



84 Comments


Awesome, awesome stuff. I love the chorus to violator. I'm definitely getting the CD if I find it at Best Buy. This band has so much energy, it's a rare thing for a new band. They somehow remind me of SOAD, the middle-eastern folk motives, I luv it(maybe cuz I'm from Eastern Europe, hehe). :thumb:

BillyBass0789
July 16th 2004



2 Comments


i have a couple of bootlegged songs from the album...... do you call my name, parole, violator and they all kick ***. as soon as i make a few bucks ill buy the whole thing.:thumb:

The JoZ
July 16th 2004



345 Comments


Good job both of you

There is no bad song on this album. It's powerful the whole way through, except Walking and Thinking...

Tomorrow, I'll review another underrated band...Shinedown...whoo. Alot of people have called them boring, but they are far from that...

...[/offtopic]

Theo
July 17th 2004



84 Comments


I just got the CD. It's hard rock almost all the way through, which is great. I think it'd be cool if they had more songs like Violator, where the mix of hard rock and middle-eastern vocals works well. Sort of ethno-rock, like Ill Nino(they mix Latin music with nu-metal, its awesome).
Oh yeah, it'd be cool if they had some female vocals on a track, it would add so much to their originality.

Bartender
Emeritus
July 20th 2004



826 Comments


After downloading a few of the tracks, I'm kinda disappointed. It's not bad, but nothing I heard made me really interested or excited either. Solid, though.

lost_profits
October 1st 2004



59 Comments


love these guys. on my side is my fav

MattyP
June 30th 2005



6 Comments


From One is a great album, great review. I am surprised Ra doesn't get more play or become more popular, they are a really great band.

Anyway, JoZ have you picked up their new album Duality? It came out last tuesday(6.22.05) or something that.

I'd give their first album a 7/10 or maybe 7.5/10. They showed potential but I don't think they used it all, I think a few songs they showed how they could really play but they didn't really go into it much.

MattyP
June 30th 2005



6 Comments


I think Duality really uses their full potential, but I'd say it has a lot of stuff that sounds very similar to the first album.

Its got some great songs, playing, vocals, everything about it is good. They actually have full out solos on this album too, which I think is great...wish some were a tad longer though.

Ironically to your comment about Sahaj having vocals that remind you of Sting, they do a cover of the song 'Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic' and I they did a great job.

Recommended songs so far that I really like: Superman, The Only One, Fallen Angels, I Lost Everything Today, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Say You Will and Far Enough. All good songs.

Its a great album, and anyone who liked the first I'd definately recommend you check it out, if not go straight out and buy it.



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