PHARAOH - Alchemical Heaviness Blended Traditionally To Perfection! Page 3
by Martin Popoff

Asked for a "rock critic-type" description of this confounding band's sound, he jests, "You want me to be thrown out of the band, don't you? OK. I'll try. If Pharaoh were an animal it would have the power of ten thousand camels, the speed of a cheetah, the agility of a gazelle and a voice as subtle and sweet as a Bengal tiger attacked by a chainsaw (and all this without the smell). The stellar guitar work is not your typical recycled, regurgitated music theory, full of sweep arpeggios and string-skipping exercises, nor is it the one finger dropped down to C slide tuning crap so many bands overuse these days, but it is a truly exhilarating and refreshing take on a tried and true traditional style of music. The vocals are masculine and melodic in a Dio-esque fashion with economical but extremely effective use of harmony. The rhythm section is massive. The solos are gifts from the gods. Flying in the face of the pre-cursor semantics that separates the fans from the music in these times, Pharaoh's design is simply heavy metal. The arrangements are always interesting and often progressive, borrowing elements of Celtic, and classical genres as well as the sounds of earlier rock, progressive and neo-classical styles of metal, owing to a full arsenal of influences. The expert headbanger will be immediately familiarized by their classic NWOBHM sound. Those not familiar with the term NWOBHM will like it simply because it's real music. Fans of Jag Panzer, Kamelot, Iced Earth, Helloween or Symphony X will feel right at home listening to Pharaoh, but be forewarned - don't expect them to sound like anything but themselves."

Our chat turns to the now legendary Control Denied, prog metal project of deceased Death master Chuck Schuldiner. "It was supposed to be the last band Chuck and I would ever be in," muses Tim. "It was the coolest experience in my entire career thus far, also the most tragic. My band mates are all excellent people, and there was a very strong bond between us. We all loved working together and hanging out together. It's always going to be hard to not compare any band experience to Control Denied."

"A brother to all who knew him, whether they liked it or not," is Tim's assessment of Chuck. "He loved his friends and his family, and he showed it every chance he had. He knew wrong from right, and was willing to fight for what he believed in. He had a work ethic like mine; never stopping until the mission is accomplished. When he said he was going to do something, he did it."

PHARAOH - Alchemical Heaviness Blended Traditionally To Perfection! Page 4