Pharaoh - Be Gone

9 songs
47:11 minutes
***** ***
Cruz Del Sur


I remember fondly a time when a band that claimed to play power metal was a guarantee for muscular rock music that was on a mission to blow away lightweight wannabe metal fans. Lately, more and more melodic metal bands call see themselves in the progressive power metal genre, which has deteriorated to meaningless fluff. It’s fortunate therefore that there are still companies who don’t need to dupe their customers. The Italian label Cruz Del Sur has a sure hand to pick excellent metal bands that are often rooted in Eighties US metal, and underground heroes Pharaoh make no exception. Taking their origins more than ten years ago, it took them some time to get started, as their vocalist Tim Aymar recorded an album with Control Denied, a promising band that quit after the tragic demise of Chuck Schuldiner, godfather of death metal.

Pharaoh, now back with their third CD Be Gone, are less progressive than that. Their adrenaline fuelled sound might as well have come from two decades ago, when bands like Omen and Riot, whose guitarists Mark Reale and Mike Flyntz play some solos on this record, were at their biggest. Pharaoh are not what you would call an original band, but Be Gone combines the masterful vocals of Tim Aymar with Matt Johnsen’s dense guitar work, and the rhythm section adds the necessary push. The songwriting is quite complex, slightly progressive and manages to combine melodic efficacy with metallic heftiness. The contemporary production makes sure that this is much more than just nostalgic daydreaming.

Be Gone is a stylistic masterpiece of Eighties sounding US metal that should appeal to every friend of non-compromising heavy metal music in the vein of Metal Church and Vicious Rumours. If Pharaoh learn to come up with sometimes catchier and more memorable moments, they may very well have a future classic up their sleeves. This is a band you should be on the lookout for.

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