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Pharao - Road To Nowhere

Pharao
Road To Nowhere
by Erika Wallberg at 11 November 2010, 5:11 PM

It was a few years ago at Wacken Open Air, I wasn’t planning on seeing PHARAO play at all, they were in my list but as usual on WOA there’s always clashes in the schedule. But for some reason, don’t remember if it was raining or if I just was sick of people but I stayed in the WET-stage-tent and that was the best decision of the Festival. Now, releasing a new album “Road To Nowhere” it was time to get swept of my feet again.

Old School Heavy Metal can be anything really and PHARAO is perhaps not the most known nor one of the most “musical” ones or the top on anyone’s list of favorite bands if you ask the general Metal Head. But PHARAO have something so many other bands lack nowadays, a unique was of expressing them selves and their own identity. They also explore the territories outside the else very strict box, still without loosing the thread or travel too far out of style. At first I too was a little disappointed with the performance of the band on the album which is a little floppy but in the end, when the songs has settled is what makes the music unique. The production is simple, pure Heavy Metal but the sound is good. I myself is quite tired of all thick and bombastic productions so this record really came as a relief, a fresh breeze despite it’s nothing new about it. At the first spin the only influence I could pinpoint was SAXON, then reading about “The Road To Nowhere” it’s not very strange since both Biff Byford, Paul Quinn, Nibbs Carter and Nigel Glocker does guest appearances on the album among others. Most things on the album fits quite well in the same mould, it’s only “Why Not!” that stands out, the mellow verses are amazing but the chorus is something picked from any IN FLAMES wanna-be modern Death-Aggro Metal band. It sure makes you wake up but I think it’s a little unfortunate first because even it it’s ok in the song it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the material and it’s doubtless the weakest part of the album. Almost the same concept is used in “Before The Storm” which featuring Tom Angelripper from SODOM, in that song it works so much better. The rest of the album is plain Heavy Metal. I can not say what I find so special about PHARAO because it is very basic but they’ve managed to keep the vibe alive and mixed it with a bunch of catchy songs. Jacky Lee Man’s quite nasal voice was a little distracting at the first few spins but when getting used to it, it’s actually hard to imagine someone else on these songs. Perhaps he doesn’t have the same force as Biff but there are a lot of similarities between the two.

I think this is a very good album straight through, it felt very interesting from the start and it was a pleasure to dig in to the songs and just wait for it to grow. It did and a lot more than I ever could expect. I really hope that people give PHARAO a chance and really dig into “Road To Nowhere” because this is as true as it gets nowadays. No rip-off’s, just straight from the heart. Great one really!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. On The Attack (feat. Biff Byford - SAXON)
  2. Mother Earth
  3. Why Not! (feat Mario Le Mole, MIND - ODYSSEY)
  4. Road To Nowhere
  5. The Other Site
  6. Like A Phoenix (You Will Rise)
  7. We Are (feat Nigel Glockler, Nibbs Carter, Paul Quinn - SAXON)
  8. Seven Seas (feat Paul Quinn - SAXON)
  9. I Believe
  10. Seconds To Minutes
  11. Before The Storm (feat Tom Angelripper - SODOM)
  12. You Ain´t Seen Nothing Yet (BTO-cover)
Lineup:
Jacky Lee Man - Vocals
T.R. Yorg - Guitar
Steven Floyd - Bass
Lars Thomas - Drums
Record Label: SAOL/H'art/Zebralution
     


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