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Pharaoh: The Powers That Be
Pharaoh - The Powers That Be Album Art

Pharaoh: The Powers That Be

Heavy/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Where have they been? Or nine years in the making? We last heard from Pharaoh, created by High Spirits and Professor Black drummer Chris Black, 12 years ago with Bury The Light. Looking at his recent discography, Black's been busy, but then there's that little pandemic thing which halted recording of a new album. Yet, here arrives The Powers That Be wherein Pharaoh reflects upon current American political and pandemic times while exploring more progressive metal.

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Pharaoh

Pharaoh strays little from their roots in American and European heavy power metal. Most arrangements are fast and heavy, yet with subtle prog musical nuances for the listener to listen for like looking for hidden treasure. For example, Will We Rise and When The World Was Mine offer some strong bass breakdowns before erupting into guitar solos. But the bass lines are definitive throughout this album. Dying Sun, one of two songs over six minutes, integrates light acoustic guitar into the fast and heavy power metal. This is quite notable after the half where the acoustic guitar merges with the bass and a guitar solo rises.

Quite the odd man out is Waiting To Drown, as softer tune driven mostly by voice and acoustic guitar over a gentle rhythm and groove. Speaking of groove, Freedom is another fast, generally heavy, song which has rock groove set firmly by the bass and drums. Then there's Ride Us To Hell which is basically heavy speed metal: raging and fast with a wicked guitar solo from friend of the band Jim Dofka (Dofka). Across the album vocalist Tim Aymar (also Angband) makes his baritone sound from melodic and smooth, from raw to raging. Something of an acquired taste. All said, The Powers That Be finds the returning Pharaoh in fine metal form, taking their traditional heavy power metal and dropping in some prog metal nuggets. Recommended.




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The Take Away

All said, The Powers That Be finds the returning Pharaoh in fine metal form, taking their traditional heavy power metal and dropping in some prog metal nuggets. Recommended.

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