Pharaoh: Bury the Light (Cruz Del Sur) 

Believe it not, killer power metal doesn't begin and end with Iced Earth and DragonForce. There's a less-widely known yet musically superior band out there that will blow the top of your (metal)head off if you give them a chance.

I'm talking, of course, about the mighty Pharaoh, featuring singer Tim Aymar, the guy whose pipes powered Control Denied's The Fragile Art of Existence, and six-string shredder Matt Johnsen, who is so good that he probably works for NASA.

Melodic and technical to a fault, Pharaoh's fifth album rides a fine line between heavy-metal radio-friendliness and advanced prog-metal ecstasy. Just when Aymar starts to massage your brain with an insistent vocal line, along comes Johnsen with a dazzling solo to launch your imagination into the stratosphere. Every song is dreamy and defiant, from the ferociously thrashed-up riff frenzy of "The Wolves," to the nuclear-physics-grade time signatures of "Graveyard of Empires." The Iron Maiden worship that Pharaoh once wore like a badge of honor is now completely rubbed away, save for a few galloping rhythms—as found on "Castles in the Sky," for instance.

In sum, the band has achieved a perfect balance of intellectual precision and aggressive tact. Also, Aymar's lyrics have never sounded more poetic (and less cheesy) than in the savage "Burn With Me," a song of kinship and fealty like no other.

More by Jarret Keene

  • Death on Two Rails

    Salvadoran journalist rides the deadly migrant trail
    • Jan 16, 2014
  • Daft Punk and Beyond

    Some of our critics' favorite albums of the year, part one
    • Dec 26, 2013
  • Thighs Like Us

    Ron Terpening's Cloud Cover reveals a sexy supporting character
    • Dec 19, 2013
  • More »


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

The Range

Boris Blows Your Mind (and the Rest of Your Body) Away

Laughing Stock: Odd as Ever; Ever Laughable

The Weekly List: 24 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl

    Frozen Sun “Got to Get Away”/ “Jamm Part 1” Capt. Zoomar Records, FC6902, 1969
    • Oct 12, 2017
  • Know Your Product!

    Stars Pick Their Top 5! This week: Trackstar the DJ
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation