Pharaoh - Pharaoh [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)


Pharaoh [7-inch] (2010)


Pharaoh plays dirty, doom-laden hardcore with just enough melodic Middle Eastern (and I hate that term, but you know what it means...) tendencies to warrant its moniker. With this debut 7", the band shows that it fits in well with the A389 label, who are near solidifying a label "sound": thick, sludgy guitars; strong heavy vocals; and next-to-no studio trickery or shine.

Side A track, "I, Murderer, I" starts with a slow, chugging riff capped off with a Sabbath-styled lead guitar fill. The riff is bashed out for an extended intro before an apocalyptic half-time verse with atmospheric octave chords and pounding drums. Its overall effect reminds me of Caulfield's self-titled release from last year, also on A389. The lyrics are minimalist and don't offer a strong indication of the true subject matter, but fit the music all the same. From the lyrics: "Blood black, still gushes. Blood cold, still rushes. Teething through your skin, they're coming."

Side B contains "Two Thousand Seasons", another slow burn that features some cool chordal textures in the guitars that slip in and out of minor and major tonalities, giving the band shades of depth not typically found in this style. For future releases, I hope to see this band explore this style more. The bridge hits with a syncopated chugging groove that evolves into what could be considered a breakdown if it was more conventional. Superfans of Mountain Goats might notice that this songs shares a title with one of that band's early songs and, interestingly enough, Pharaoh actually borrows the lyrics from that track for this song, making for an interesting collaboration of ideas.

Overall, this debut release shows the promise of a unique approach and makes for another nice addition to the A389 catalog.