‘Again’ from ‘Seize the Day’ featured on the cover disk, with the following review of the track:
Uplifting, pure and surprisingly simple, this release from Ra Rising, (formerly known as the Ra Band) is a delightfully melodic and peaceful track that highlights the talents of the five band members. There are hints of rock, indie and prog interwoven throughout this unusual piece.
by Peter Swanson, Issue 2015-25
Ra Rising is a band that came about as a result of Rob Andrew’s third solo album. He had been working on the music since 2003(!!) and he finally came to the conclusion that help was needed. At first Andrew was accompanied by David Groves (guitars, occasional keyboards) but due to other commitments he later became unavailable and was replaced by Brian Jones. Alongside Andrew (bass) and Jones (guitar) the other musicians in the band are Steve Hillman (keyboards), Dai Rees (drums) and Richard Benjamin (vocals).
The band members all have different musical backgrounds and certainly not all prog-related! The songs on this album all contain a touch of melancholy and sadness. The subdued singing voice of Richard Benjamin is exactly right for this type of music and lyrical introspection. The music on Seize The Day is a mixture of prog and bluesy, jazzy and folky elements, quite a diversity with the band playing the music they like regardless of style. The advantage of this is that It makes the album very varied and full of surprises. The opening track Between These Walls reminded me of Strangefish largely because of the song construction. Holy Man(one of the best tracks) reminded me of Kansas but there’s also contains some great organ work - in the style of Jon Lord - and an excellent guitar solo. Great stuff! Carpe Diem has a part that sounds a bit like The Who’s Baba O’Riley while on Two Bit Hero there is a guitar sound reminiscent of ZZ Top with another brilliant organ solo, that, once again, has shades of Jon Lord. The closing track, Kids On The Sand treats us to another fine guitar solo.
The album is a pleasure to listen to primarily because there is so much variation and a multitude of different styles on offer. Each song contains elements that you think you’ve heard something like before but can’t quite recall who it was. It’s a feast of recognition to try and identify what bands different sections of the songs are reminiscent of, and not only prog bands!
Maybe not very original but as it’s done in such a tasteful manner, who cares! Give it a try!
Peter Swanson: 7.5 out of 10
by Rinco Ennema, Progpraat! 13th January 2015
Translated from the original Dutch by Mike Boissevain
And then suddenly a surprise pops up. A band that was unknown until today. Ra Rising from the UK, with a release of their own, and, you know… Not bad at all!!
This band’s music has a bit of the style of Camel and Genesis, mainly ‘sweet songs’. Songs that have a flow of nostalgia and sorrow. Piano, Guitar, drums, organ, synth, every now and then a harpsichord or a mellotron and it’s all is arranged in a strikingly good way. The withheld voice of Richard Benjamin is perfect for this kind of lyrics and music.
The performers of this album are, alongside Richard Benjamin, guitarist Brian Jones, Steve Hillman on the keys, Dai Rees on drums and Rob Andrews on the bass guitar and keys.
The helping troops, also five, are Peter Bamber, Dan Cassidy, Martyn Jones, Eleanor Rees and Neil Saunders.
If there’s a shadow there must be a light,
If you see colour then there’s black and white,
The cloud you want it has a silver line,
Clock watching for a job’s a waste of time,
My mind’s making appointments that my body can’t keep,
Got so much I want to do ain’t got no time to sleep,
You got to do it now ‘cos time won’t wait,
You put it off too long it’ll be too late,
Live for today now it’s the only way,
I spend my life keeping up with yesterday,
The rocking horse is busy but it does not progress,
Activity or value? That’s the question that tests,
If I compare a rut and comfort zone,
I see the difference is the depth alone,
The lists I make don’t really mean a thing,
I want to read more books but books don’t ring,
I don’t have the time to be in a hurry,
Vital not urgent for a life without worry.
This song certainly doesn’t represent the whole album, there is a great quantity of diversity on this CD, but I mentioned the main element above, Richard Benjamin’s voice.
In the first three lines of the first song you think ‘you have a strange duck in the Pen’ as an old Dutch proverb says, but after that his sound belongs to the music. In the song “Two Bit Hero” you every now and then hear Peter Gabriel with a voice that is not his, if you understand what I mean. That also applies for ‘Indigo Mountain’ and surprisingly, in other songs that is not the case. ‘Flying High’ for example has a riff and a melody-line that sounds a bit ‘old-Marillionesk’ (Grendel) and there also the voice gets another weight.
This album is a very pleasant gift and I am happy to know Ra Rising now. I hope for the band this album is the beginning of a new sequence of successes. The modest style and knowledgeable elements in the music means the band, in my opinion, deserve all the rewards possible.
by Ms. Jacqueline Robinson on 5 Nov. 2014
A wonderful album reminiscent of Camel and Genesis (and early german prog rock, Eloy,) alternately thoughtful and passionate. Good to know that music like this is still alive and rocking :)
by River Man on 15 Nov. 2014
This is music at its very best. It has heart and soul, and will take your own and wrap and delight them within its sheer ambient beauty, shake them with its gritty rock depths, and move them within its ethereal progressive vibes. Ra Rising certainly deserves a spot at the top amongst the likes of Genesis, Pink Floyd and Steve Hackett for producing one of the best albums of is kind.
by JEFF on 10 Feb. 2015
Great CD and seller experience!