Review Summary: One of Ra’s best, and a masterpiece in the hard rock genre.
Duality is a hard rock/alt-metal album with an Arabic twist. From Arabic vocal lines, to instruments straight from the Sahara desert, Ra certainly live up to their name. It’s an interesting ploy that not only sounds great, but makes them easily stand out amongst their peers. This style isn’t the main focus of the album per say, but it bares its teeth enough times to gather much interest. I have yet to hear a band in similar style that combines Arabic tones in their music better. Although this isn’t their heaviest album (which is a trademark of this band), this is the definitive Ra experience. There is the possibility to consider this corny, but honestly you’ll be having too much fun to care.
If you’re expecting a super heavy experience you will be disappointed. Duality changes its tone at a drop of a hat, switching between soft and hard songs. Overall you get an album full of different vibes and genre switches, and it all works due to satisfying melodies and an impressive vocal performance. There’s alt rock, pop rock, hard rock, alt metal, nu-metal, some prog styles - you name it, it’s in here. Even the generic songs in here are captivating, I can’t honestly explain it. If you’re big on the idea that hard rock albums aren’t allowed some so-called “average” songs, this album will not be for you, but if you just like some pretty melodies this will resonate. This is a great hard rock album from start to finish. The only negative thing here are the spoken word intros which make an already long album quite bloated.
The instrumentation of this album is deceptively complex. They manage to make impressive riffs and drums sound like it’s nothing, almost making you forget how tight it is. The highlight of the album is Sahaj’s singing. Sahaj hits high note after high note, effortlessly. I have never heard a better voice in hard rock, so if you’re looking for a wow factor, this is it. As a singer myself, I know a great singer when I hear one. Whereas others struggle to sound good even on a basic range (most hard rock bands honestly) this guy sounds so good it’s hard to believe. The beginning of ‘I Lost Everything Today’ is a great indication of their talent as they execute a pounding drum solo that immediately transitions to a perfectly sung high/long note with no delay at all. Seriously, his voice locks on that note like a jet fighter hitting its target.
Those that say the album loses its speed as it goes along miss the point entirely. Ra are in no rush, they’re doing their thing, and they create compelling melodies and catchy tunes the entire way. Each unique turning point adds an extra layer of unexpected depth and emotional integrity, and it’s practically hypnotizing. This is one of the best hard rock albums I’ve heard, to me this is a timeless classic that will always have something to say. Most hard rock albums you will hear are so samey, with the same old tired drivel that we have come to expect. Why not do something different, and check out Duality.