Metal Review – Pharaoh – Ten Years (2011)

Pharaoh - Ten YearsPharaoh is one of the best of the new retro wave of traditional heavy metal (NRWOTHM) bands out there. Think of bands like Jag Panzer and Twisted Tower Dire and mix in some classic Iced Earth and classic Iron Maiden and you have the sound that Pharaoh is going for. Melodic at times, technical at others, Pharaoh pretty much is rocking for the majority of the time. My main concern with Pharaoh’s Ten Years is how much relistenability it has. Ten Years is Pharaoh’s latest EP designed to tide us over until the next full length set to be released in the fall. This EP contains some oddities and rarities from the band.

Musically, they are more than solid with tight riffs and some great melodies. The main weakness of Pharaoh is still the vocals. While not horrible, the vocals are just not solid enough to keep up with the musicianship of the rest of the band. The high point of the album is the title track, Ten Years, but aside from that, the album feel like rehashed material from bands that do it better than Pharaoh. That is not to say that it is entirely bad. I have gotten a few decent listens out of the album, so it has something there.

PHARAOH was formed in 1997, quickly gaining an amazing success in virtue of their genuine love for classic heavy metal but also for the outstanding technical ability of their members. Featuring the vocal skills of former vocalist Tim Aymar (Control Denied), drummer Chris Black (Dawnbringer, Superchrist, High Spirits, ex-Nachtmystium), bassist Chris Kerns, and guitarist Matt Johnsen (Fool’s Game, Dawnbringer), PHARAOH continue to confirm their status of a well-oiled American heavy metal force!