Alt metal band Ra has sold half a million albums in North America and built up a rabid fan base thanks to big radio hits like "Fallen Angels," "Don't Turn Away" and "Do You Call My Name." Despite their considerable achievements Ra has sort of bubbled-under with the masses, never quite reaching the height of popularity they truly deserve. That situation should be put to bed with the release of Critical Mass.
The album's first single, an unstoppable burst of kinetic energy called "SuperMegaDubstep" features all the classic Ra hallmarks; melodic guitars, a heavy low end and a hook-filled chorus delivered by singer Sahaj Ticotin. The "Mega" in the song title is an homage to Megadeth and fans of that band will definitely notice some Mustaine-like thunder, especially mid-song.
"Brutiful," appropriately enough, is one of the album's darker moments, lyrically full of doubt and musically ominous while "Ecstacy" is just the opposite; with acoustic guitar and a bouncy rhythm the song showcases the lighter side of Ra and like everything else here, is built for big time radio exposure.
"A Hollow Glow" is a dreamy, two-minute prog-metal instrumental, "Tragic Empire" is a likely candidate to follow "SuperMegaDubstep" onto the charts and "It's All Over Now" floats on a magic carpet of exotic Middle Eastern melody (and some crazy scat singing from Ticotin.)
Sahaj is at his vocal best on this album and the band, now with drummer Skoota Warner back in the fold, is inspired throughout. Everything needed to push Ra into the heavy rock upper echelon is right here in Critical Mass.
Preview and purchase Critical Mass here
Ra - Critical Mass
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