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Pharaoh: Ten Years

June 28, 2011

Heavy Metal Blogs: Pharaoh Logo

Pharaoh is billed as American power metal, but I tend to put them more in the traditional/NWOBHM bracket. Whatever you want to call them, the bare bones of the situation is the guys can bring the metal in a way that has been missing for about a decade. Having formed in 1997 they have become very well known for their metal that is rooted in the past, but adding a very technical flair to the instrumentals that shows the numerous abilities of the band.

Their official website www.solarflight.net gives you the picture of a band that has looked to the past and decided this music should continue to be made and adored by the fans that created metal. If Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio and others are timeless why are we not continuing to make the music we all enjoy and grew up on? Bands like Twisted Tower Dire take this same philosophy so it appears we have a resurgence of sorts and the fans appear to finally get “it.” Pharaoh brings the past to life with their new EP “Ten Years” and I’m certainly glad we were able to get our hands on a copy.

The EP consists of 6 tracks of varying timelines in the bands career. 2 tracks are left over from the recording session of the critically acclaimed “Be Gone.” 2 other tracks were only released on a bonus 7” that many fans have not been able to get their hands on, and we have two covers: New Model Army’s – “White Light” and Slayer’s “Tormentor.”

Full review after the warp:

Heavy Metal News: Pharaoh Ten Years Album CoverThe opening title track “Ten Years” displays the classic traditional sound right off the bat, but Pharaoh is very good at keeping the tracks relevant to the modern with layered guitars that create amazing depth in their work. Near the middle of the song we are treated to the first of many solos on the album. This guitar work isn’t the wash away solo work of some glam bands, it’s hard hitting and cohesive to the song.

“When We Fly” is extremely Maiden like. The vocals are very strong and show some excellent range, but the song is stolen once again by the guitar work and some incredible drumming that shows the power a drummer has over steering the ship. Great song to get you energized.

The cover of “New Model Army’s White Light” starts at a much slower pace and different vocal pattern than the two previous songs. The song is different than the original, but the band does a great rendition of it and put their own stamp on it. I can easily picture this song live.

“Reflection and the Inevitable Future” is one of those epic tracks that take you on a journey. A great song to sit back and rock along to while you are taken to land where metal dominates. The pacing is slower than most of the album and this different side of Pharaoh made me realize how talented they are.

A massive vocal range dominates “Nothing I Can Say.” The song displays some solid harmonies and is a really good song for the entire band to jam along to and show their skill. Each member has a chance to show off and then blend everything together to make a true metal song.

For the cover of “Slayer’s Tormentor” just think of Slayer, but slower. Pharaoh does a great job of capturing the evil and displaying their technical talent at a lesser speed. Many fans will enjoy this version with the reduction in pace.

Overall this EP was an experience in the roots of metal. Pharaoh has incredible depth in the band and displays all members’ strengths on numerous songs. The band and sound is much bigger than any individual. “Ten Years” with its big vocals and monumental guitar solos shows that the future of metal appears to belong in the past.


Show me your horns,


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