RA - From One
by Keavin Wiggins
Five Star: A look at albums
that are so good that they impress even the most cynical of critics. Very
few albums are superior enough to obtain a five star rating but occasionally
a band slips through the river of mediocrity that is the modern music industry
and they produce an album that restore our faith in the future of rock!
This series is a look at such albums.
If more nu metal bands approached their
music in the same way as RA then we wouldnít hear all of the bickering
and sneering about how much nu metal sucks.
RA has similar elements to the most notable
nu metal bands but where most nu metal bands seemed to have stopped somewhere
early in their musical development, RA sounds like they kept on going and
growing as musicians. The music goes far beyond the simplistic nu metal
variety we have heard over the past few years and they have more in common
with Faith No More than with Korn. At times they seem to bridge the gap
between Kings-X and Tool. Not to say they are derivative of either group.
RA is far more progressive than the nu metal pack but also have a keen
ear for writing hooks that are undeniably addictive.
Taking their name from the Egyptian Sun
God, RA sprinkles some Middle Eastern influences into their music, especially
with the intro to their first single ďDo You call My NameĒ and at various
other moments on the disc. They donít go overboard with it and because
of that it really adds a nice touch to a few songs and further differentiates
RA from most of the current heavy rock bands.
Iíd just about given up all hope for what
the major labels are releasing under the metal banner, always expecting
a cookie cutter band that should be named Korn Jr. (Ok there are a couple
of exceptions like Flaw and Nonpoint but for the most part major label
nu-metal bands of the past few years have followed the same boring formula.)
RA goes a long way to restore my hope for metal in the future. Itís
not the metal I grew up with but RA does seem like the natural evolution
of the genre when you take Alternative rockís influence into account. So
in other words they seem to take some of the best elements of metal, prog
and modern rock and create their own sound that showcases some great riffing,
some amazing musicianship and arrangementswith some of the strongest lead
vocals heard since before Cornel was raging against the machine.
Although this CD was released late last
year, I didnít get my hands on to until a couple weeks ago. But Iíll go
as far to say this is one of the best CDís Iíve heard in the recent past
and a really nice departure from what we have been hearing from mainstream
heavy rock over the past couple of years. If I had heard this disc a couple
of weeks earlier, It would have definitely been high on my list of the
best releases of 2002. I guess weíll have to wait until next year for that
but it would be hard to top this CD.
RA have really outdone themselves with
this debut album and itís hard to imagine them topping this effort. Hopefully
this CD will enjoy the success it deserves and will raise the quality bar
in 2003 for hard rock. God knows that needs to be done!
So if you are a fan of heavy music with
progressive flavors than RA is definitely the band to check out right now!
for yourself. Republic has put together an online album listening party,
so you can hear the entire CD before you buy it.
RA - From
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