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Review: Pharaoh - Be Gone
Be Gone

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2008
Duration: 47:00
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: March 19, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Be Gone

Rated 4.34/5 (86.79%) (53 Votes)

Pharaoh have been making waves for a long time, ever since their debut After The Fire. Their sophomore effort The Longest Night ended up on a lot of 'Best Of' lists a few years back, and this was one of the albums I was anticipating very highly this year. I expected Be Gone to be a masterpiece, and it is. Building on the foundation of their previous releases, Pharaoh have made an overwhelming album.

It's not often that you spin an album, then read the pants-wetting promo copy and find yourself nodding along, saying 'yes, yes, that's absolutely right.' One word Cruz Del Sur used, which I agree with completely, is erudite. Pharaoh know their tradition, and they draw deeply and expertly upon the built-up vocabulary of Heavy Metal to create a sound even more individually their own. Matt Johnsen's guitar work is nothing short of jaw-dropping: heavy, sharp, insightful and surprising. From the very first riff of "Speak To Me" the music captivates, made even greater by the tight rhythmic syncopation and Tim Aymar's hungry, powerful vocals. This is far less accessible and catchy than The Longest Night, instead presenting us with intricate melodic constructions like "Dark New Life", "Red Honor", "Telepath", and the showstopping "Buried At Sea". Far from operating in a sterile Prog realm, Pharaoh make every line and note both visceral and immediate. This band is passionate about their music, and you can hear that in every song.

Long after past greats like Queensryche and Fates Warning have faded into worthlessness, Pharaoh prove you don't have to play 50,000 notes or sound like Dream Theater to make intelligent metal. Those devoted to the immediate gratification of bands like HammerFall or Gamma Ray may find this too dense and involved, but those with an appreciation for depth and richness in their music will find this album powerfully rewarding. Highly Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: After The Fire (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: After The Fire (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Be Gone (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Bury the Light (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Bury the Light (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Ten Years (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Ten Years (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Longest Night (reviewed by Ivan the Bludgeon)
Review: The Longest Night (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Powers That Be (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Powers That Be (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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