Monday, 4 June 2012

Review: Pharaoh - This House is Doomed 7"

This House is Doomed

Track Listing:
1. This House is Doomed
2. Waste

Prior to six months ago I had never heard New Jersey’s Pharaoh.  Unfortunately, the sheer volume of music that gets put out every year means that certain bands simply fall through the cracks.  Luckily, A389 put up a deal a couple months ago where the buyer got five 7” records for some bizarrely low price (I think it might’ve been $10), but the catch was that, in true ‘grab bag’ style, there was no choice of what music was purchased.  With such a low price I decided it would be foolish not to pick up a few mystery records, and lucky Pharaoh’s self-titled 7” was among them.

As on their self-titled 7”, This House is Doomed provides 2 tracks of distorted, doom-laden hardcore that never really lets up.  Not fans of the ‘all songs should be under 3 minutes’ mantra, Pharaoh begins off this offering with the title track, a seven minute ode to misery and despair that employs the mid-tempo riffs and anguished screams that have come to mark the Pharaoh sound.  Waste finishes off the 7” with more crunchy riffs and lyrics that are both poetic and incredibly depressing (“I’m going to die as an unknown/no day in my life spent alive”). 

One of the things I really love about Pharaoh is that although their songs regularly run in the 5-7 minute range, their music never seems drawn out, indulgent, or boring.  As a lover of all things fast/frenzied in music, I’m usually hyper-aware of song lengths and can quickly lose interest in anything that I feel drags on.  Fortunately, everything Pharaoh does on this release keeps the listener engaged and wanting more.  So if you like doomy, apocalyptic, purposeful music, then This House is Doomed is a must have, and is hopefully a tease for a full-length release in the near future.

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