Review PHARAOH ‘The Powers That Be’

Fans of American metallers Pharaoh had to be patient for quite a while. They had to wait nine long years before the fifth album of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- based quartet finds a way into the record stores.

The guys premiered in 2003 with the ‘After the Fire’ album and went through a pretty consistent release plan. Three additional longplayers followed the debut, of which ‘Bury the Light’ was the so far latest delivery from the power metal outfit, released in 2012.

As many other bands too, also Pharaoh had to find ways to record their newest longplayer in a time of pandemic when traveling became an issue. Although Aymar’s vocal recording just finished before the lockdown kicked in, things went on a pause and it took a few month before Black, Kerns, Johnsen and Aymar could resume work on ‘The Powers That Be’.

The dominating aspect of this album is US metal, being the foundation for each of the nine songs on the album. A stronger progressive touch was added though, something that becomes very obvious while listening to the layered opener with its many twists. It is a complex beginning of an album that continues with ‘Will We Rise’. The latter has a more of a straight-forward metal hymn and is much easier approachable than the title track.

A song also to mention is ‘Lost in the Waves’. This more epic metal track combines the progressive passion with the powerful element of metal. This tune shines right away and has enough layers and twists to provide metallic joy for a longer time. One of the best songs on the album is the cinematic ‘Dying Sun’ which is a slower paced tune that reminds of musical storytelling in a positive way.

If you are not shocked too much by the complexity of the opener and will stay with this album, you will find a lot of cool heavy metal that follows a dedication for traditional heavy metal with elegantly musical turns, you might not have expected.

Rating: 7 out of 10.


  1. The Powers That Be
  2. Will We Rise
  3. Waiting in Drown
  4. Lost in the Waves
  5. Rise Us to Hell
  6. When the World Was Mine
  7. Freedom
  8. Dying Sun
  9. I Can Hear Them

Label: Cruz Del Sur

Genre: US Metal

Release Date EU: June 18th, 2021


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