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Ra's Dawn - Scales Of Judgement (CD)

Ra's Dawn
Scales Of Judgement
by Grigoris Chronis at 07 October 2006, 10:38 AM

Progressive Metal - if such a term can exist, other than to save time on describe a band's songwriting - is a pain in the ass. OK, the performance and band 'chemistry' outta be kick-ass while this does not always apply to the songs themselves. Leave apart the faster-than-the-speed-of-light technical abilities. Progression is (or should in a way be related to) all about thinking while placing notes in a row. Normal rows, nope…
Ra's Dawn released the Solar Force and Unveiling The Grotesque demos in 2002 and 2004 in respect. Germany is now the center of the Metal world, hence no reason for such an impressive work to find good response would stand up. Metal Heaven - the label's ass is certainly on fire with such a series of releases in a rather short time span - grabbed the band and here it is: Scales Of Judgement is recorded at Area 51 Studio in Celle and produced by Tommy Newton (Victory's axeman, producer - among others - for Helloween, Conception and lately U.F.O.). So far so good…so what?
The cover artwork could be more impressive; still it can partially put you in the picture. The lack of information lays on the fact that the track listing is more 'harsh' than initially assumed via the album's cover. However, song titles like Anubis, Scarlet Dawn and The Masque Of The Red Death create scenes of mystic fantasy, while a tracklist of only eight tunes implies 'extended' instrumentation that certainly drives the conclusion to the boring 'prog' field. If you - in contrast - let the music play…
…the band will surely will you on first sight. Ra's Dawn has found the formula to intelligently walk on the thin Metal-meets-Prog line. The time you hear some 'typical Metal' riff/singing, the same time some enhanced instrumentation/groove/harmonic attitude takes place and you think it's some other band now playing. In return, as you feel a little bit tired from the endless tempo/chords exchange, then some 'classic' Powrslave frenzy, Crimson Glory's epic singing or tranquility playing will restore the love for Metal music. Ra's Dawn is - certainly - metalheads with a progressive thinking, no doubt. If you're looking for bands that are eager to deny their (once) Heavy Metal background in order to avoid any 'retro' comparisons, then Ra's Dawn spit it out. Heavy Metal music with various tempos, an epic/folk felling at times, non-usual Euro Power Metal 'paths' here and there and some heroic/mystic approach in bridges and Iron Maiden-isque soloing. The majestic playing of Tore Ostby (ex-Conception/Ark) is welcome in Anubis, marking - among others - the tendency of Ra's Dawn to 'attach' themselves to the personality of the Stratovarius/Conception/Elegy holy trio of the mid-90s. You don't have to be like Dream Theater to push music to the limits, you know…
Scenes Of Judgement shows great tunes in 'average' total duration. Listening again to the album's final track - Exodus - I can verify the personality of this band, in an era with countless non-original Euro Power Metal outfits. It will be more than cheerful to see Ra's Dawn reaching greater audiences; they are not eager - anyway - to deny their Metal origin, in contrast to some others worshiped by brainless followers.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Forever
Anubis
In Oceans Of Lies
Scarlet Dawn
The Masque Of The Red Death
Flame Of War
Terrified
Exodus
Lineup:
Olaf Reimann - Vocals
John Schmitz - Guitars
Marek Schoppa - Guitars
Martin Balthes - Bass
Marco Freimuth - Drums
Philipp Nortersheuser - Keys
Record Label: Metal Heaven
     


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