Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Pharaoh – “After The Fire”

I still remember those moments of joy, when I first got to listen to Chuck Schuldiner’s (R.I.P) ‘Control Denied’, I have been hoping for years to hear Chuck’s ‘Death’ riffs with a clean vocal singer, who’ll put a different spin on the band’s ingenious music – and there it was before me!
The second Tim Aymer belted out the first few lines – I felt as if in trance – the man is a force of nature!
As you all probably know by now, Chuck Schuldiner, one of metal’s greatest minds and innovators, died of cancer a few years ago, his last legacy, Control Denied’s second album, is currently tied up in legal complications born of a feud between Chuck’s family and his record label.
But until that gets solved, we’ve received a gourmet metal dinner in the form of ‘Pharaoh’, a true metallic delicacy.
The truth is, that Aymer, one of metal’s greatest vocalists, has a voice that could have made me listen to the Backstreet Boys, had he sang with ‘em.
As it happens, his current band is somewhat better than the boys, correction – they are bloody marvelous!
The album opens with an instrumental piece called ‘Unus’ (no, not Anus, you cheeky things, you) built upon a melodic tapping segment, which is a refreshing bit of intro, especially when compared to all those intestinal movements of Scandinavian sheep which usually serve as an intro right before some Norwegians, wearing heavy make up, start to shout on top of their lungs.
The intro is entwined with the first track – ‘After The Fire’,
Can anyone say – ‘The Trooper’? Yes, I can.
The track bears an uncanny resemblance to that eternal song, even though it’s quite faster and has loads of original charm of it’s own. Is that bad? No, definitely not.
The sound, by the way, is not the harsh, crystal clear sound we get a lot of lately, it’s got rather a mellow, warm sounding feel to it, which I really liked, and it’s immediately apparent that all of the group’s members are in full command of their respective instruments, they are quite a wonder to listen to.
If I thought the resemblance to Iron Maiden was a one tine thing, in bursts the second track – ‘Flash Of The (blade?) Dark” and erases any doubts.
The third track – ‘Forever Free’, introduces an opening riff that could have felt cozy in between tracks from Maiden’s 7th Son Of A 7th son.
I shall not continue to rave and drool, I shall just herby state that this album
Re-instated my belief in the utter superiority of heavy metal – go and purchase it, and you’ll agree!

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