Pharaoh
Be Gone

If you heard Pharaoh’s last effort, The Longest Night, you probably won’t be very surprised by what you hear on this record.

Be Gone is a continuation of what the band has always done, an Americanized power metal that pays heavy tribute to both Iron Maiden and Iced Earth. The record opens with a slight surprise with the electronic sounds of “Speak To Me,” but soon settles into a mid-paced Iced Earth feel.

From there, we take a trip to Maidenville with the next two tunes, “Dark New Life” and “No Remains.” That’s not to say that it’s a Maiden rip-off. There are obvious nods to the band in the melodies and rhythms, but Pharaoh blends in a bit more power metal influence. In the case of “Dark New Life,” one of the stronger numbers here, vocalist Tim Aymar delivers a high-pitched vocal that even causes me to think of Mercyful Fate.

There’s really not a lot else to say about the songs on Be Gone. All are very solid, very good examples of what they are – straight up heavy metal with a strong foundation in the originals. There are occasional flashes that stick out, like the spacy guitar licks before the lead verse of “Buried at Sea,” the 1970s feel of the verse of “Red Honor,” the nice clean guitar work that opens “Cover Your Eyes and Pray.” While none of that will turn your view of the genre upside down, it should more than please fans of old school traditional metal.

As for the musicianship, it’s just as solid as the songs. Everything here is well-crafted and well-performed, but nothing jumps out as particularly inspiring. The exception is the vocals of Aymar, who should be considered a rising star in the genre. He’s got an incredibly versatile voice that can pull off the more melodic European-style vocals as well as the more aggressive American-style bits. I’d really love to hear Aymar unleashed on a more aggressive and diverse record next time around.

Pharaoh has the chops and the potential to be a rising force, but they could stand to mix it up a little more and not be afraid to throw something new at fans. They’re very good at what they do, and this record is as solid as they come, but they’ll likely have to do just a little more to break out of the traditional pigeonhole.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
July 20th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: ceno

    Been a fan of these guys since their decent debut After The Fire, which showed some signs of brilliance but suffered from a pretty average production job. The Longest Night was way more mature in this sense. Actually, due to its nearly impeccable production, spectacular guitar and vocal work and excellent songwriting, it made my top 2 in 2006. Be Gone is a worthy continuation to what was launched by the guys on the previous one, yet it somewhat lacks the catchiness of TLN. If it were not for Tim Aymar, who is one of the most recognizable singers in the current traditional scene, and Matt’s inventive guitar work, Be Gone would hardly be able to stand out among lots of other releases in the genre. Btw, I don’t think these guys have much to do with Maiden any more. Even their guitar harmonies have grown into something very distinctive on the last two albums.


  2. Commented by: Behnam

    Amazing album; a truly hidden gem !!!
    this band is really underrated.


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