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Review: Pharao - Road to Nowhere
Road to Nowhere

Label: SAOL
Year released: 2010
Duration: 47:23
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: January 9, 2011
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Readers Rating
Road to Nowhere

Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

Germany's Pharao are celebrating their 25th year of existence, yet when you look back over their career, you realize they haven't done that much. Certainly the twists and turns they've encountered have jammed their plans. Anyone who has their own band can sympathize with the troubles regarding releasing albums and appreciate why nine years have passed since the Pharao's last album.

Road to Nowhere is a title that is somewhat misleading as this album represents more a new starting point for Pharao. They have wandered a bit from the 80s style of their past and feature more groovy passages this time around. These are quite good and fit the band's material, which still contains riffs from the past and the wacky solos of guitarist T. R. Yorg.

There is one thing that Pharao need to bear in mind and that is the production. The band's wonderful vocalist Reinhard Lehmann, a.k.a. Jackie Lee Man, handled the producer's role, including mastering and mixing. I don't know if he's this in the past, either for Pharao or another band, but he didn't do so well. The general sound of Road to Nowhere is good, especially the guitar and bass. However, I couldn't ignore the mastering problems throughout the album, along with several other technical aberrations. (Such as? – Ed.)

Other than the mastering problems, Pharao did a nice job staying within the margins of the 80s with cool tracks "Like a Phoenix," "We Are" (joined by Saxon's chiliboys Nigel Gockner, Paul Quinn and Nibbs Carter) and "Seconds to Minutes." They also did a nice job with the more modern tracks like "On the Attack" (with a small part by Saxon's Biff Byford), the sweet, loving, environmental "Mother Earth" and the catchy "Road to Nowhere." The other songs were OK, but didn't make much of an impression. Even the collaboration with Sodom's Tom Angelripper, "Before the Storm," didn't wow me.

Frankly, I liked Road to Nowhere and I hope it is a start of a fully active career for Pharao.

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