"Bury The Light"

By Dr. Abner Mality

"All Pharaoh does is make memorable, brilliantly composed albums of first rate American heavy metal..." So begins the promotional blitz for the new Pharaoh album and for once, I can do nothing but agree in every respect. In fact, the relative obscurity that Pharaoh seems to be doomed to causes me to weep bitter tears of frustration, because they are as consistently excellent as any American metal band in existence today. When contemplating the success of Avenged Sevenfold and Trivium, I feel a sense of shame and incomprehension.

Never has Pharaoh released a bad album and "Bury The Light" sees them reaching a peak I thought impossible. The album fairly jumps with energy, with speed and power present in every tune, and yet the melodic composition of each track is exquisitely rendered. I would compare it to the best of Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate and elder Judas Priest with no hesitation...the guitar wizardry of Prof. Black and Matt Johnson is dazzling. The tunes are intricate yet not overcomplex. And what of Tim Aylmar, the voice behind this project? A great vocalist with a husky rawness to his melodic voice that gives it get extra urgency. Not a clone of the master singers of yore,  but instead a man who is fully rated to stand equal to them in his own right. Add a fantastic rhythm section, a top notch production and even a mysterious cover and we have a near flawless traditional metal album.

Album highlights: the racing speed of "The Wolves", the multilayered epic "Year of the Blizzard", the power metal ecstasy of "Burn With Me". But, to use a phrase I usually despise, "it's all good". Buy or die!