Pharaoh ‎- The Powers That Be LP (Black vinyl)


American power metal quartet Pharaoh had some notable success in the underground scene about a decade ago and released a series of decent albums. What followed then was an odd break of more than nine years between the predecessor and this release that was already supposed to see the light of day three years ago. However, the long wait is quickly forgotten since the band delivers the goods as if it had never been away.

The record opens with strong title track ''The Powers That Be'' that convinces with excellent vocals finding the perfect balance between grit and melody, powerful yet melodic riffs, playful and at times nearly progressive bass guitar tones and drum patterns and a catchy chorus that grows with every spin.

The band shows different facets in form of sorrowful, haunting and gloomy ''Waiting to Drown'' with atmospheric acoustic guitar passages, rhythmic percussive elements and melodic vocals that unfold in a storytelling manner.

The quartet manages to surprise its listeners on a few occasions without straying too far away from its trademarks. ''Freedom'' might be the best song of the bunch and could be a classic heavy metal tune from the early eighties with galloping rhythm sections, aggressive but melodic guitar riffs and powerful lead vocals supported by fierce backing shouts.

The only elements one could criticize regarding this album are that it rarely uncovers new territories and is missing a truly outstanding song that could become a contemporary classic.

However, Pharaoh's The Powers That Be is an inspired return after a long period of silence. The nine new tunes are balanced, creative and energetic as they should please heavy and power metal fans alike. Let's hope the band resumes touring around the globe once the ongoing pandemic is finally going to be over.