Pharaoh

Be Gone

Cruz Del Sur Records 2008

America's Pharaoh has to have produced what to me is the best power metal album in a really long time with their third full length, Be Gone.  Rather than get bogged down in pointless guitar noodling and needlessly complex drumming, on Be Gone, tradition is the name of the game.  While some might find this boring I find this empowering.  Dark New Life calls to mind Gamma Ray at their classiest though this is far from any cloned material.  The melodies flow with ease and confidence on No Remains while the song is full of light and punchy riffs.  Whereas Buried at Sea is more of an exercise in power with a commanding chorus.  Telepath exhibits echoes of Manilla Road and Iron Maiden, as do a lot of the songs on Be Gone.  The title track is a down tempo composition with more emotion and guitar tricks than most of the rest of the album, but it still maintains a sense of integrity and sincerity.  Tim Aymar's (ex-Control Denied) vocals soar like an eagle yet have a hint of harshness to them.  Matt Johnsen's guitar solos illustrate that the man is a guitar virtuoso.  For proof check out the brilliant guitar solo at the end of No Remains.  The compositions on Be Gone are epic yet compact, catchy yet complex.  The album steers clear of undue cheesiness and the excesses of the prog style that has invaded the power scene as of late.  In short This everything a power metal album should strive to be.  There will always be a place for Pharaoh in my music collection.