Together we stand on the edge of chaos, as people everywhere wake up to the reality that our leaders have failed. Those entrusted to bring light to the world instead have draped it in horror. Now, they are turning the common man against himself, attacking the defenseless, and declaring it just. It is a dramatic moment in human history and in human lives everywhere. Yet in the shadows of our planet, ordinary men and women are summoning extraordinary courage, bonding together against the sickly glow of false goodness.
The new album from American metal group PHARAOH is an affirming cry to those who know that things are not what they seem. Entitled Bury the Light, the album centers musically on the darker undertones of the band's previous output, emphasizing as always the elegant and vigorous guitar work of Matt Johnsen and the unmatched power of vocalist Tim Aymar. These elements combine to invoke compelling, radiant melodies, which in turn lure the listener to experience the album's deeper dynamics and complex corners.
Bury the Light may require some patience from a listener more attuned to PHARAOH's tradition of rousing, brilliant heavy metal, as found on its 2003 debut, After the Fire, and on the 2006 follow-up The Longest Night. Nevertheless, the new album's musical and lyrical threads have clear ties to fan favorite Be Gone. Released in 2008, Be Gone found the bandmates experimenting with different song forms, collaborating as different combinations of songwriters, and together with longtime producer/engineer Matt Crooks, adapting recording techniques that would best suit the band's unique geographic circumstances and work style.
Knowing that Be Gone was a success, and that the writing and recording phases had both been optimized in the process, the band members were free to concentrate faithfully on the songwriting for Bury the Light. As composers, the members of PHARAOH combined in still more different ways to create several songs, yet they still retained their individual and perhaps now-recognizable authorship in the case of others. The result is an album with a familiar core but with unexpected pathways to new moments in the PHARAOH sound. As always, the album features lyrical contributions from all four band members. Their protagonists confront a host of villains both real and imagined. Some come away victorious, and others must accept defeat.
As tensions escalate and infrastructures around the world begin to deteriorate, the impassioned and ingenious among us will rise to rebuild, reinvent, and recast all of our lives in truth. The entire human race will soon discover that the light shining on us has been draining away our goodness, and that we must now rush to protect our sacred spaces, and together create new ones while there is still time. Bury the Light is a call to PHARAOH fans and to heavy metal fans everywhere to accept this challenge, raise your voices, and stride into action. A new light glimmers in the distance, but it will not shine on us before we pass through the salvation of darkness.