Ra
From One


4.5
superb

Review

by pizzamachine USER (219 Reviews)
December 31st, 2011 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a near perfect example of hard rock/nu metal.

Hard rock and nu metal albums can be simple to get into, with accessible melodies, heavy riffs, and a catchiness that ensures songs stick in the mind. Ra’s From One is not easy to get into, though, despite sticking to this formula and utilizing it better than their contemporaries. Ra have always been strange, separating themselves from other bands with their heavily inspired, and thus unique sound. Sahaj Ticotin (the lead singer) is the heart of the band, a Buddhist who guides Ra through the cosmos, channeling the sun’s energy. Ra’s musical style is hard rock/nu metal with a Middle Eastern twist, often subtlety employed in the 7-string guitar’s melodic riffs, but also employed in uncommon Egyptian instruments (see ‘Violator’, with its pounding tabla timed perfectly with double bass pedals). Such a twist makes all the difference in the world, for From One has a spiritual, and mystical grandness that is difficult to compete with. It’s also difficult to keep balance as the sheer power of their music whisks the listener into the heavens. Paired with larger than life choruses, every gleaming second is breathtaking, and the lyrics are benefited accordingly:

“The sky will tell me
I'm not the only one
And the sky will tell me
I must believe the sun”.

I have already mentioned the uniqueness of Ra’s musical style, but there is another piece of the puzzle that merits attention. In comparison to the many, many hard rock vocalists around the time of the album’s release, Sahaj Ticotin can actually sing. Such is obvious from ‘Violator’, which showcases one of his best performances, as he sings all over the Arabic scale effortlessly. However, it is in the uplifting songs where his voice truly shines, hitting high notes and creating amazing energy. If any other singer had sung ‘Sky’, ‘Rectifier’, or ‘On My Side’, the songs would have been decidedly less powerful. That is not to say that the music is not powerful (quite the contrary), but rather that Sahaj’s vocal performance in this album is amazing, and brings an emotional depth to the album which would otherwise be less potent.

Although one could go on and on about the meritorious qualities of this music, the album certainly isn’t perfect. The lyrics are the biggest issue, for although they are often poetic and well thought out, they just as easily slip into angst and depression at the tip of a hat; with more aggressive, or more nu-metal styled songs, thoughtful lyrics are thrown out the window. Take ‘Skorn’ for example (the subject being a bitter man wishing revenge on his ex), with lyrics like “You were the one who raped my soul”, and “Touching your ass, I scratch the skin. Holding your neck, I tie the rope”. Such awkward lyrics make the album seem less thoughtful than it actually is.

Complaints aside (and I cannot think of many) this is an entirely solid album. In fact, it is a superior example of hard rock/nu metal, proving that the tight stylistic boundaries of both genres can easily be sculpted into truly extraordinary music when given enough thought and brilliant execution. Highly recommended.



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user ratings (138)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
tiesthatbind (4)
Ra's debut album is an overlooked gem that showed some of the most creative and effective song-writi...

The JoZ (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
December 31st 2011


13863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just in time for New Years, here's my favorite album! : )

Crysis
Emeritus
December 31st 2011


17351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Used to dig this way back in the day

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
December 31st 2011


19975 Comments


is this like slipknot cause if so count me FUCKING IN

Crysis
Emeritus
December 31st 2011


17351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
December 31st 2011


19975 Comments


wel shit i was excited

pizzamachine
December 31st 2011


13863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pff it's still da bomb

Ovrot
December 31st 2011


13296 Comments


Ra is a cool band name

KjSwantko
December 31st 2011


10774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thought this album was so sick back in the day

botb
December 31st 2011


11860 Comments


is this really your favorite album ever? first song still rules, so throwback.

Jash
January 1st 2012


4249 Comments


It's nice to see a review of yours where you're writing about something you really enjoy, you write better in this situation. This stuff isn't really my thing but you made me want to give it a try so good on ya, pos

pizzamachine
January 1st 2012


13863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ bringonthebreakdown: Well it's definitely one of my super favorites, I've never been good with choices.



@ Jash: Thanks a lot Jash, and I totally agree. I need to review more albums that I truly care about.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2012


56114 Comments


Bjork is your favorite

Digging: Brockhampton - Iridescence

pizzamachine
January 1st 2012


13863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

She holds a special place in my heart.

Tyrannic
January 1st 2012


3295 Comments


pos

Tyrael
January 1st 2012


21112 Comments


This review is way too long

neg

Wizard
January 1st 2012


20194 Comments


Great review, can't say I've heard anything from this band considering I used to love this sub-genre to death back in the day.

Metalstyles
Emeritus
January 1st 2012


8573 Comments


Really nice review pizza and I agree with Jash, it's good to see you writing about something you truly like/care about.

Can't say I've heard much from this band tbh but you definitely made me want to give this a go.

pizzamachine
January 1st 2012


13863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys! You better watch yourself Metals, I heard Wizard is around here somewhere!

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 1st 2012


27719 Comments


Best review you've had in a while - pos'd

Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]

pizzamachine
January 1st 2012


13863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Aww thanks very much!



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