NecronomicoN

Pharaoh of Gods

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AllMusic Review by

By the time it was given an international release in 2002, NecronomicoN's Pharaoh of Gods was nearly three years past its original Canadian version. But given the album's obsessions with all things ancient Egyptian, it's not like these three extra years were going to date the 3,000 year-old subject matter. Interestingly, despite band leader Rob the Witch's obviously epic aspirations for this work, opener "Revelation" is almost disappointingly direct and straightforward, and its actually second track "The Guardian," with its eerie intro synth effects which comes across as the better introduction for the ambitious set that follows. Quickly expanding upon the initial sonic palette, bassist Kate contributes operatic vocals to adventures tracks like "The Silver Key," and the album's conceptual feel really gets going with the impressive trio of "Egypt, the Red Earth," "Initiation" and the title track. Now nearing the disc's conclusion, the trio really goes for bust on the nine-minute "Becoming the Hands that Carry the Spirit" -- a dazzling experiment in exotic percussion as applied to death metal, the likes of which hasn't been heard since Sepultura's glory days. All in all, Pharaoh of Gods will greatly interest fans of challenging, unorthodox extreme metal by providing hours of discovery over repeated listens.

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