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Pharaoh Overlord - The Battle of The Axehammer CD (album) cover


Pharaoh Overlord

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Your sound system's worst nightmare

The Battle Of Axehammer... I still remember the first time I heard the album and the impression it left on me as well. My only previous encounter with Pharaoh Overlord before listening to this album was their debut and while it left a positive impression on me it wasn't going to be an album that I was going to play it constantly. I've been quite skeptical about live recordings, but I was curious as to how this kind of music will translate on a live setting and that curiosity really paid off.

Have you ever witnessed a band improving their sound only because of a bad quality recording?

Yes, it's a weird thought and it's something that's very hard to imagine, but in Pharaoh Overlord's case it's true! The enjoyment of this music owes a lot of debt to the actual sound quality. The music sounds dirtier, rawer, more aggressive, noisier and larger than life! Every note sounds so massive and real that one feels like the band is playing right in front of you. This is how Stoner Rock suppose to sound like. There's no need to polish the sound if you're going to try and sound as dirty as possible, right?

Pharaoh Overlord's Stoner Rock is centered on repetition until their hearts content, this gives out their Krautrock influences (all the members are part of the band Circle, after all). The huge bass sound start most of the songs giving them groove and melody right from the start. The earthquake-like drumming is slow, but it complements the bass' groove and vice versa. The massive guitar riffs will keep you head banging all the way through those 8-12 minute songs without any mercy. There are some slight psychedelic effects, but they're not the main attraction on this album, you'll need to listen to their 2007 live album for that. The downer of this album is that it isn't intended to be played thoroughly. The album can get a bit tiresome after a couple of listen so it's best to keep this band for special occasions or when in the need to head bang your head out of your body.

The Battle Of Axehammer is NOT recommended for everyone. The repetition of the songs will put many people off and the horrible sound quality will make things even worse if not prepared. People who want to get into Pharaoh Overlord's music should check out their debut first, but be sure to listen to this album before throwing them aside. If you're a stoner rock fan and enjoy this raw, groovy and unrelenting type of music then don't miss out on Pharaoh Overlord's The Battle Of Axehammer

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Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Review Permalink

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