Pharaoh - After the Fire 2003 Cruz Del Sur Music Reviewed by Agent of Steel
1. Unum 2. After the Fire 3. Flash of the Dark 4. Forever Free 5. Heart of the Enemy 6. Solar Flight 7. Now is the Time 8. Never, Not Again 9. Slaves
When I think of the term Heavy Metal, perseverance definitely comes to mind. Conquering the loss of original guitar player, searches for a proper vocalist up to the task, other commitments, little to no record company interest…Pharaoh persevere! Geting their early start preceding the colossal Power Metal boom, Pharaoh have finally graced the Metal world with a full-length recording. Thank the Metal Gods.
Filling out the “all-star” line-up are Tim Aymar (Control Denied/Silent Scream), Matt Johnsen (who’s name you might recognize from Metal Maniacs magazine), Chris “The Hammer” Black (Dawnbringer, Superchrist), and Chris Kerns (three out of four ain’t bad). “After the Fire” is nine tracks of original, well produced, Power Metal; reminding us of the glory days yet avoiding the dreaded “retro” label. Conjuring pipes of a slightly more diverse Blaze Bailey, and I mean that with the utmost respect (X Factor still rules!); Aymar goes beyond the call of duty with the vocal arrangements and melodies. Matt Johnsen’s skilled riff’s, harmonies, and lead work reminiscent of Iron Maiden, Kai-era Helloween, Running Wild, a touch of Manowar, and the like interact exceptionally well with Chris Kern’s solid, secure bass lines and the occasional fills when necessary. The Hammer’s drumming is a far cry from the demanding Dawnbringer recordings, but fits like a glove; um…try fits like an armored tank plowing through the latest Korn concert as the blood of wiggers flow like wine! That’s Metal enough, right?
“After the Fire” does more than enough to satisfy your taste for a good, Power Metal release. With cookie cutter clones running rampant and “Hollywood Metal” poisoning all that is really true, it becomes near impossible to contain the thoughts of writing off the entire sub-genre as far as new releases go.
Fortunately, there are bands like Pharaoh around to keep me satisfied and level headed.
--Agent of Steel 02.17.04
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details