Saturday, November 15, 2014

PHARAOH - Negative Everything

With a couple of killer records already, Pharaoh is ready to unleash their debut full-length Negative Everything. It's a heavy and doom filled affair with all the tracks clocking in past (Almost) four minutes. Within moments of the opening song "Recease" they build up an absolutely suffocating atmosphere. As "The Slasher" rumbles along, there's a vicious methodical energy and pacing - nothing is rushed and when they're ready to attack, watch out.

"Bartholomew" starting off slow with tortured vocals is one of my favorite moments on Negative Everything. While it retains all the same feeling as the slow and doomy tracks like "Recease", it's a bit more experimental. The distinctive drums, highly noticeable bass driving the opening half is what makes me really enjoy this album. It almost gets a little spacey at times as the song progresses. Then it goes into gnarly territory with the wailing guitar. The string of "Bartholomew", "Crying Mother" and "Drag" may very well be the best twenty minutes you'll hear all year.

The melancholic feel at the end of "Crying Mother" leads into the album's closer perfect. "Drag" is a violent roller coaster that feels like the band is taking any leftover energy and aggression from the first seven tracks and just exploding. Yet as they reach that moment of complete annihilation, they bring it back to a slow tortuous crawl and fade into silence.

The album picks a little from all different sources, there's that groovy touch a la EHG in "Degenerator" and the pissed off snarl of Cursed but Pharaoh keeps things interesting by throwing little surprises at the listener. It's not a patch work of various genres but a very cohesive journey.

Like label-mates Seven Sisters Of Sleep, Pharaoh knows how to sound absolutely immense. There isn't a wasted moment... No riff is muted or lost in the mix. Despite the forty plus minute length, it flies by. I enjoyed the first couple records but wasn't prepared for Negative Everything. With snow coating the streets and the sunlight fading, Pharaoh makes for perfect winter music.

Check out the album on A389's bandcamp page here.

11:15 AM