Pharaoh - After the Fire
Cruz Del Sur Music
Traditional Heavy Metal
9 songs ()
Release year: 2003
Pharaoh, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Ben

Pharaoh has come out of nowhere and if I hadn’t had their info in front of me I coulda sworn that these were some long lost Iron Maiden songs from the Piece of Mind, Powerslave days. Really, in this day and age when there’s many bands that could be mistaken for Helloween circa 1988, or other bands that partake in Judas Priest worship of the highest order, it is refreshing to say the least to hear someone that wears the flag of Iron Maiden so proudly on their sleeves. The only person that I knew about when I first picked this up was Tim Aymar on vocals from Control Denied. He gives a really strong performance, a good mid range voice that is quite powerful. He doesn’t go for the high stratospheric notes but that isn’t his forte to begin with. Their guitarist, yes that’s right, ONE MAN produces all the guitar coolness that is on here, anyways, their guitarist Matt Johnson is a phenomenal virtuoso of the six string. His leads and harmonies sweep you off your feet and his tight rhythm work require you to headbang along with him. I don’t know where they found this guy but I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a major player on the scene. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pharaoh itself didn’t become a new big name band in the Power Metal genre if they keep releasing albums with the same level of caliber as this one but they need to add a bit more originality to their mix.

Surprise, surprise, there’s the “obligatory intro track” on After the Fire as well, BUT, unlike most intro tracks that consist of whooshing sounds or orchestration, Unum is a sweet guitar solo that doesn’t get skipped and is worth listening to more than once. It is also a great way to show off Matt’s prowess on the guitar. The title track is next and all I can say is, wow. It’s like these guys have the desire to take over the throne that is Iron Maiden and they’re well on their way. Even the production sounds vintage, clear but vintage which adds to the charm of this album as well. After the Fire is an obvious hit for Pharaoh as this song contains all the best elements of the band in one five minute package. Deja-Vu strikes again and the listener is once again reminded of Maiden, this time the Killers era with the Steve Harris-esque bass intro to Flash of the Dark which then proceeds to go into some cool galloping riifs with a gruff performance by Tim. All the songs on After the Fire are killers in their own right. I could not say that any one track is weak nor could I say that any one track isn’t worthy of your attention. Slaves and Solar Flight kick as much ass as the title track as does Forever Free.

For a new band on a new label, Pharaoh definitely delivers the goods. Being from the US and from Philly Pharaoh is also giving a good name back to the US metal scene which is something that we desperately need. I recommend this to all fans of good old fashioned Iron Maiden inspired heavy metal or traditional metal in general.

Killing Songs :
After the Fire, Solar Flight, Flash of the Dark, and Slaves
Ben quoted 80 / 100
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Pharaoh that we have reviewed:
Pharaoh - Bury the Light reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
Pharaoh - Be Gone reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Pharaoh - The Longest Night reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
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