The Silent Man
(All Album Reviews by The Silent Man)
This is an album which I confidently expected to be giving a highly positive review of, since the samples I'd heard sounded very promising. Unfortunately, this is a case where the whole is definitely less than the sum of those parts.
To set the scene, Pharaoh are a power-metal band, firmly in the Iron Maiden mould, and indeed the instrumental work on here from guitarist Matt Johnsen and the rhythm section of Chris Kerns and Chris Black is pretty good. There are however two distinct areas that let the band down to my ears - the vocals and the songwriting.
Tim Aymar puts power and attitude into his vocal duties, but sadly he never ever soars. When there are moments that cry out for a Dickinson, he just can't find another gear, to really take the music over. As a result, would-be anthemic choruses and melodies are just left flat.
Songwriting-wise, the deficiencies are laid bare with tracks like “Red Honor” and “Cover Your Eyes And Pray”, where very promising openings, with an epic gallop reminiscent of stuff like “Run To The Hills”, simply never develops, and by the time the chorus comes along the song's power is blunted and the effect lost.
I really wanted to like this, and indeed I never like giving a negative review, but I just can't get behind this one sadly. It is a frustrating listen, as you find yourself willing the bright moments to become real diamonds, but it all too seldom happens.