RA’S DAWN – Scales Of Judgement

RA'S DAWN - Scales Of Judgement
  • 7.5/10
    RA'S DAWN - Scales Of Judgement - 7.5/10


Metal Heaven / Point Music
Release date: August 25, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Finally, after a couple of years in the underground, German Insider’s tip Ra’s Dawn got signed. Before going into detail, here’s the recap of what they did up to this point: They released a reasonable self-produced album called Solar Force in 2002, which drew attention with a great opus of 24 minutes called “The Dawn Of Ra,” and a very good second CD called Unveiling The Grotesque in 2004. They opened local gigs for Dead Soul Tribe, Rebellion, and Threshold. Common opinion was that it would be only a matter of time until they would sign a record deal, but it’s still good to see that it finally happened.

Now their first official album is out and it is entitled Scales Of Judgement. To those familiar with their style, it will be reassuring that they did not change much, instead just fine-tuning their compositions. The general mixture of Progressive and Power Metal is still there, and the difference between Unveiling The Grotesque and Scales Of Judgement is not that big. Maybe that impression is also due to the fact that Ra’s Dawn, much to the underground fan’s disappointment, re-recorded two songs. The first is “Masque Of The Red Death,” a mid-tempo song with a Fates Warning-like guitar beginning, which sometimes sounds a bit, uh, dumpy. However, it captures attention via the most Progressive pace changes on the album — and that fits Olaf Reimann’s voice like no other on Scales Of Judgement. The second is “Terrified,” one of the harder tracks on the album. This is quite the opposite, as it requires the singer to stretch his voice to the limit of his abilities. It’s still good, and the new version beats the old one by far, only it’s not one that really needed a re-recording.

But, that’s enough criticism, because the rest is pure fun somewhere on the cusp from underground to the established act: “Forever” is a song at the intersection where Helloween would meet Royal Hunt, and is a perfect fast-paced opener. Next is the slow and heavy “Anubis,” which can boast to have a solo of Tore Østby of Ark and Conception fame. A fine composition, especially for the rarely used keyboard parts, which sound definitely oriental. Well done, guys.

Already third is the highlight of the album, “In Oceans Of Lies.” If you want to characterize it, you would need at least half a dozen well-known names to try to define this song. Fast, melodic, progressive, true – this is a gem!

They also have something to say. “Flame Of War” has a straightforward message, which makes it nonetheless applicable. The theme about the Irish struggle has been implemented into their songwriting, and although the chorus is quite kitschy and overall fails to transport the Irish Folk feeling to the final stage, the Violin part is nice. This song will soon become one of their encores live …

Finally, “Exodus” rounds off the album, and they saved their second best track for last. At over eight minutes, this is the epic song the fans were waiting to hear. It is neither the 24-minute opus nor the over 10-minute “The Fall Of House Usher” monumental known from their two demo CDs, but being shorter it actually is much better -– straight to the point and intensely satisfying. Imagine if Fates Warning, Payne’s Gray, and Threshold would meet in a studio -– this may be the result, except for the fact that the production would probably lack the refreshing rawness of this album.

If there is criticizm to be voiced, it is that the CD plays only for 41 minutes and also has two re-recorded songs. But, that derives only from the desire for more, and since for most this will be the first time they hear about Ra’s Dawn, let them be excused. They managed to get an album published that is fitting for Power Metal fans, underground lovers, Proggy nodders, and epic old schoolers as well.

They offer their demo CDs on their Web page. Right now, only the second one is still available for a mere 5 Euros, so if the style is to your taste, first buy Scales Of Judgement, and then make sure you get one of the last copies of Unveiling The Grotesque.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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