The power metal revival movement has been a predominantly European phenomenon; in the 1990s and 2000s, countless power metal bands were formed in Sweden, Germany, Norway, and other European countries. But predominantly European doesn't mean exclusively European, and one of the American power metal revival bands that emerged in the late '90s (although their first album didn't come out until 2003) was Pharaoh. Be Gone, which is Pharaoh's third album, won't be accused of being groundbreaking; this is a 2008 release that, stylistically, could have been recorded in 1982 or 1983. Melodic but hard-driving tracks such as "Buried at Sea," "Dark New Life," "Rats and Rope," and "Cover Your Eyes and Pray" get their inspiration from old-school headbangers who emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, and lead singer Tim Aymar favors a gruff vocal style that owes a lot to Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. Maiden, in fact, is the most prominent power metal influence on Be Gone, although Judas Priest and Ronnie James Dio are obvious influences as well. This 47-minute CD is defiantly oblivious to post-'80s developments in metal, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is a place for retro artists as long as they are good at what they do — and while Be Gone isn't remarkable, it is decent and well executed. There is never any doubt that guitarist Matt Johnsen, bassist Chris Kerns, and drummer Chris Black can play their instruments well — they aren't lacking in the chops department — and Be Gone is a likable, if derivative, reminder of the fact that headbangers don't have to be from Europe to contribute to the power metal revival movement.
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