This Pharaoh Overlord stream is another one of those things that should’ve happened last Monday, but you know, blah blah blah, natural disaster, no power, refugee living, etc. I actually tried to make it happen toward the end of last week as well, but hotel wifi caps were too reminiscent of downloading music on dialup and I was starting to get short of breath each time it cut out uploading and I could feel my eyes rolling up into the back of my head, so yeah, here we are. Let’s frame it like this: the Grails and Pharaoh Overlord split came out one week ago on Kemado and we’re celebrating the anniversary with a track stream of “Suntio,” one of their two contributions to Palmu, their side of the full-length release.
Listeners familiar with the Finnish outfit will recognize their classic jam/improvisational style, but for anyone who might be unacquainted, Pharaoh Overlord began in 2000 as a spinoff from the band Circle. Their earlier releases were titled only by number — they went from 1 to 4 in that manner — and over time, they’ve developed a rich and evocative psychedelia fueled by the dynamic between players. Their latest and seventh LP is 2012′s Lunar Jetman and the tracks they contribute to this split with Portland, Oregon’s Grails – “Suntio” and “Palmu” — stand toe-to-toe atmospherically with their counterparts. Despite simpler arrangements, Pharaoh Overlord meet Grails head on — complementing, not competing — and while they’re by their very nature less lush sonically, the spirit remains emotionally resonant.
If that doesn’t make any sense, I’m fortunate enough to have Alex Hall and Emil Amos from Grails (the latter also plays in Om) on hand to provide insight and commentary on how the two acts came together for this release and why. You’ll find their words after the track, which is on the player below:
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
The Grails/Pharaoh Overlord, Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 5/Palmu split LP is available now on Kemado Records. Here’s what Hall and Amos of Grails had to say:
After hearing Pharaoh Overlord for the first time, a friend of ours drunkenly requested that P.O. be played every time he entered a room… vainly envisioning that he deserved the sort of fanfare a WWF wrestler might use to bask in illusions of superhuman power. Outside of the delusional inanity of his original proclamation, the man’s ultimate point still stands: that Pharaoh Overlord embody one of the more successful and tasteful feats of hybridization in underground music by fusing the exploratory and meditative aspects of motorik repetition with the dank sleaze and dread of early metal. There are at least two or three bands in the running for World’s Greatest Band at this moment… and P.O. have several advantages on them. If only they could backmask a message powerful enough that I might blow my head off and finally prove the true visceral nature of their aesthetic vision to the vermin-like web-crawling fleets of distracted critics. Without question, we are P.O.’s target audience. After pumping this courtesy track off the new Grails/P.O. split, treat yourself right to a viewing of “Dream Deceivers”!… http://www.youtube.com/watch?