Pharaoh – Negative Everything [US, Sludge] (2014)

A389 Recordings | 10-31-14

A389 Recordings | 10-31-14

There are two bands from the United States with the name Pharaoh and both of them are so different, they would be great together on a split or a double headlining show. One Pharaoh is a power metal band whose latest album broke through with crossover success. The other Pharaoh is a dirge ridden caravan of depression and misery. You can guess which one is going to be discussed.

Negative Everything is Pharaoh’s debut release following a healthy amount of splits and also a 2 year absence of releases. Negative Everything arrives with a decently sized track list and a running time which pits the listener against an insurmountable wall of desolation. The key to Negative Everything‘s success is subtle touches including well mixed vocals in blankets of distortion and agony. The band’s reliance on gigantic riffs is nothing but a healthy relationship which makes Negative Everything as entertaining as it is soaked in grief.

Sludge comes in many varieties. Whether or not it is atmospheric or traditional. Sometimes it is more influenced by its hardcore roots and other times it is married with other styles. Pharaoh maintains their independence from tradition while still incorporating the style’s core tenants of emotional catharsis. By later tracks like “Bartholomew,” Pharaoh stands on the shoulders of their predecessors as a formidable successor of hate and emotional ruin. It is not everyday one is given a release which is not only entertaining but feels like a house collapsing from the basement on up.