ALBUM THE POWERS THAT BE
LABEL CRUZ DEL SUR
OUT June 18th, 2021
OUR RATING 80/100
US HM band PHARAOH is ready to unleash new album “The Powers That Be” out on June 18th, 2021 via CRUZ DEL SUR.
25 years ago, drummer Chris Black (mastermind of high spirits)conceived PHARAOH; the target of this project was to create a melodic metal band with many different ingredients.
Black and Johnsen landed the services of up-and-coming singer Tim Aymar (Control Denied, Psycho Scream) and bassist Chris Kerns, PHARAOH’s permanent lineup was born, embarking on a journey that has produced now five studio full-lenght.
“The Powers That Be” includes a guest guitar solo from longtime collaborator Jim Dofka on “Ride Us to Hell,” as well as a new face, Voivod’s Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain.
Mongrain was a last-minute addition to the platter — due to various scheduling conflicts, PHARAOH was approaching the eleventh hour to land a second guest soloist since the album was already tracked.
But, once the band made contact with Mongrain, the Canadian guitarist delivered a stunning solo in less than a week for the album’s title track.
The album’s lyrics were written during one of America’s most tumultuous periods in recent memory. The pandemic, coupled with a volatile political situation served as fodder for PHARAOH, who has been tackling matters of politics since 2006’s The Longest Night. Far from preachy, the lyrics on The Powers That Be are thoughtful and carry enough depth to where listeners can determine their own meaning. It correlates to the album title — The Powers That Be represents the forces that stifle creativity and decency, from the plague of white supremacy to the ravening predation of capitalism.
This album is opened by the title-track; after a structured intro, they provide a great blend of classic metal, supported by roaring bass lines and dynamic drums, and prog elements.
We appreciate following WILL WE RISE, when WAITING TO DROWN is a sort of interlude of over 2 minutes, consciously monocorde.
LOST IN THE WAVES is classic and majestic, with a great structure enriched by epic touches while RIDE US TO HELL is a pressing classic HM song, again enhanced by brilliant solo parts.
WHEN THE WORLD WAS MINE is opened by vocals and an arpeggio, growing with a strong riffing, while FREEDOM is more direct and roaring.
More epic with accelerations in the second slice DYING SUN, while I CAN HEAR THEM ends in the best way an album that we suggest without hesitation.
1. The Powers That Be
2. Will We Rise
3. Waiting to Drown
4. Lost in the Waves
5. Ride Us to Hell
6. When the World Was Mine
8. Dying Sun
9. I Can Hear Them
Chris Black DR
Matt Johnsen GT
Tim Aymar VC
Chris Kerns BG