Pharaoh Overlord: Live in Suomi Finland
(Vivo Records vvivo2007028CD)

From Aural Innovations #37 (Sep 2007)

Here’s the latest live album by Circle’s alter echo Pharaoh Overlord. The sound quality is a lot better than on their Battle of the Axehammer live, and as an extra feature this one has Faust’s Hans Joachim Irmler at least on synthesizer. The album was recorded in 12.5.2006 at Kipsari, Helsinki and is remixed by Irmler. There are five tracks on the CD and three of these have been released in different form on the previous albums. At first we got the familiar, mid-tempo riff monster “Black Horse” that goes into psychedelic chaos. The guitars are really heavy and Irmler plays the synth. More or less the whole track is just one, really blasting riff. The next track “Tutankharmony” begins with one guitar (Janne?) and the others slowly join in. This is a hypnotic, rather weird number that has guitars that sound pretty much like random noise. The end part is again more relaxed. The following track “Zero Gravity” continues directly from the previous one and is at first quite restful. This is a monotonic and not so inspired number.

Then it’s time again for a more familiar number when ”Skyline” boosts from the speakers with full blast! This is heavy shit and hits you like a baseball bat. The lethally monotonous riff works out great while Irmler conjures something out of his synth at first in just one key. Later on he adds some melody into his performance but the guitars and bass still hold on to that one riff. Then the track gets a bit more chaotic and we get to hear some other stuff as well, although the familiar riff keeps on pounding at the bottom. This works! After ten minutes the track gets more minimal just before the end. The album is finished with another previously known number “Mangrove” that we get a long version of beginning with drums. Again they go in numbing mid-tempo and this track also has some synth weirdness. Then the heavy riff kicks in and some sort of guitar soloing follows. After a while the track is just pure guitar orgy and I really like it! At around the 13-minute-marker the atmosphere cools down and the track soon ends. I had somehow missed this gig so it’s really nice to get to enjoy this instrumental, heavy hypno-metal at a later moment. This is naturally a must-have for all the Pharaoh Overlord fans and why not also a good starting point to get introduced to the band! PO rocks.

You can find more information and order the CD here:

Reviewed by Santtu Laakso


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