As my grandparents lived in Egypt a long, long time ago, I have always had Egyptian souvenirs at home. Their passion for Egyptian history and culture continued to live through my obsessive reading and watching numerous documentaries since my fear of flying (read crashing down) didn’t let me visit this beautiful country.
So, when I saw we have got promo material from yet unknown band for me, Last Pharaoh, you guess… I had to take it. I was instantly hooked at first listening.
Since Last Pharaoh is young band, let’s talk about their history first. The band was formed in 2016 in Hudson Valley-Westchester region of New York. Although the band was recently formed, the band members are metal veterans. And that is pretty much all, since I have no attention to stalk people online, and they are still not recognized in our Bible, Encyclopaedia Metallum, for more details we’ll have to wait..
“The Mantle Of Spiders” brings us back to 80’s as far as we talk about production. The first song “Into The Darkness” is the one that will implant in your brain in the speed of light! The choir, shredding guitar, amazing clean vocal… Say no more. The next one, “The Headless Horseman” varies in vocal spectrum form hoarse, dirty, over clean, to King Diamond influenced style. Guitars solos are killing! Song by song, and somehow you realize Tommy Santangelo’s excellent vocals are standing out. The man sings like Warrel Dane and King Diamond joined forces and brought it to higher level. Besides vocals, Ron Toth with and his virtuosity can stay face to face (guitar to guitar) with Yngwee Malmsteen or any other neo-classical metal guitar guru. Unfortunately, bass and drum are left in the shadow of magnificent vocal and guitar skills.
First songs are more dynamic, energetic, powerful, melodic, aggressive. The other half of the album (at least for my ears), starting from “Machinic Non-Conscience” brings more peaceful, calm, slower songs. It seems the guys got tired or lost inspiration. But, this is debut album, and with the quality they have, in the future to come, Last Pharaoh might be one of the best bands in recent heavy metal history.
“Psychohouse” might trick you easily. No, King Diamond is not a special guest star, but Tommy Santangelo himself!
Besides excellent vocals and guitars, Last Pharaoh is lyrically strong band. If you ever liked 80’s metal, bands like King Diamond, Merciful Fate, Impellitteri, Sanctuary, than I warmly recommend Last Pharaoh. Enjoy!