There’s much to expect from the third long player by US Metal tyrants PHARAOH. I thought 2006’s ‘’The Longest Night’’ was one of the finest Power Metal issues of that year and I was in good company as many a Metal scribe agreed placing PHARAOH in the one to look out for folder.
Well two years on and PHARAOH return with a brisk, swash buckling, anthemic Power Metal album that will certainly succeed in cementing them as a major player on the US Power Metal scene.
‘’Be Gone’’ lifts off seamlessly from where ‘’The Longest night’’ left us. The tempo might overall be slightly less but the propensity for jet fuelled solos and riffs are hardly diminished. This is nothing short of simply excellent Heavy Metal.
Kicking off with the somewhat Progressive ‘’Speak To Me’’, vocalist Tim Aymar opens his wind pipe and bellows out and thus a new legend is born. So many Metal bands have ordinary singers, PHARAOH do not and in Aymar they have a brooding, charismatic and commanding front man who will open more doors than see close. ‘’Dark New Life’’ echoes MEGADETH at their feral best, however with Aymar stalking around the comparison is hardly kudos to Mustaine and co. ‘’Red Honor’’ is sheer class with main axe slinger Matt Johnsen pulling off riff and solo with deft aplomb. ‘’Buried At Sea’’ oozes showmanship and a maturity and is contender for top track on the album. Again Aymar reigns supreme however not to be left standing as all band members chip in culminating in as robust a performance as the band has ever produced.
With PHARAOH already possessing a unique MAIDEN/ PRIEST/ JAG PANZER Metal influenced sound, the commanding yet charismatic pipes of Tim Aymar propels the band into another league. Add in the sterling guitar playing of Johnsen and the rock steady barrage of drummer Chris Black and bassist Chris Kerns and in PHARAOH you have a band waiting in the wings for Metal greatness.
(Online April 20, 2008)