Pharaoh – Bury the Light

Today we have another release that I have been eagerly awaiting these last few months – the fourth Pharaoh album, “Bury the Light.” I first heard these guys after the release of their last album, 2008’s “Be Gone.” I was extremely impressed by that album, which led to purchasing the earlier albums too. Based on their sound I always figured they were European, but as it turns out, they are from jolly old Philadelphia, PA.

Part power metal and part prog metal, “Bury the Light” is yet another brilliant album from Pharaoh. The music is pretty fast in the power metal style but also slightly reserved and technical in prog fashion. The vocals of Tim Aymar are, to me anyway, power metal in the best possible way. They are strong and melodic and often carry a slight harsh edge which lends a little extra force. A little Wednesday morning bonus trivia for you: did you know that Tim was also the singer for Chuck Schuldiner’s Control Denied?

The production on “Bury the Light” is what I like to call “good enough.” You could listen to this album, and unless you specifically looked for problems, you probably would not pay much attention to the production. The album sounds pretty tasty, but I cannot help thinking the album could have a much cleaner and punchier sound. This is just nitpicking though; I think the album sounds terrific. I just also think it could be even better than it already is with a little boost on the production end. Maybe they had that option and specifically wanted this more old-school sound.

“Bury the Light” is not “just another” power/prog album. I’ve only listened to it a few times so far, and I’m still picking out the intricacies and nuances that make this such a fantastic album. I’m sure I will continue to pick things up with further listening. Some bands that you would call power metal are a lot of melody and speed and they are enjoyable for what they are, but they are also just so much fluff. You would be gravely mistaken to think this is that type of album. Honestly, I want to label this album just straight-up heavy metal for fear people will get the wrong impression when I say power metal. Call it what you will, just go give it a listen. It is well worth your time and money.