Pharaoh Overlord Announce Zero LP Due April 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

pharaoh overlord

As the old saying goes: There’s weird and then there’s Pharaoh Overlord. I’m not even going to pretend to know what’s going on with the space/psych/anything rockers’ new album, Zero, or how, say, the likes of Hydra Head got involved, which last I heard wasn’t even a label anymore. But hey, if anyone was going to travel to a mirror universe in which Hydra Head still put out records and make that deal happen, wouldn’t it be Pharaoh Overlord? Isn’t it just too perfect, somehow?

Whatever else you do today — and hey, I know you’re busy; we all are — take the time to stream “Maailmanlopun Ateriana” on the player at the bottom of this post. It’s six minutes long, but even broader in terms of mind expansion, and frankly, I think we could all use a little bit of that every now and again.

Zero hits April 27. The PR wire has this:
pharaoh overlord zero

PHARAOH OVERLORD set release date for new EKTRO / HYDRA HEAD album, reveal first track – features Demilich and Faust members

Today, Ektro Records – in cooperation with Hydra Head Records – sets April 27th as the international release date for Pharaoh Overlord’s highly anticipated new album, Zero.

Pharaoh Overlord steer an exceedingly singular course on Zero. Augmented by Antti Boman (Demilich) and Hans Joachim Irmler (Faust), the psychedelic supergroup (consisting of members from Circle) have taken their ouvre to a whole new psychiatric plateau on their ninth studio album.

Libido-driven arithmetics do not apply on these aberrant tracks. Zero provides an offbeat rock ‘n’ roll implosion, with its sonic realm contorting inwards like a sapient voice muffled by the gentle void of cyberspace. What the album has to offer is exposure to genuine ingenuity.

Tracklisting for Pharaoh Overlord’s Zero
Side A:
1. Revolution (8:43)
2. Maailmanlopun ateriana (6:14)
3. Meanwhile (6:02)

Side B:
1. Lalibela Cannot Spell Zero (9:00)
2. Satavuotiaiden Salaisuus (4:12)
3. I Drove All Night by My Solar Stomp (7:40)

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audiObelisk: Stream Pharaoh Overlord’s “Suntio” from Split LP with Grails

Posted in audiObelisk on November 6th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

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”!…

Pharaoh Overlord on Thee Facebooks

Grails’ website

Kemado Records

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Grails’ Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 5 to Arrive as Split LP with Pharaoh Overlord

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Nifty news for anyone who’s followed the always-intriguing progression of Portland’s Grails, in that the fifth installment in their ongoing Black Tar Prophecies series of releases will come in the form of a split with Finnish outfit Pharaoh Overlord. The last album from Grails proper was 2011’s Deep Politics (review here), and this will be the first Black Tar Prophecies to be a split since the very first in 2006 came out as part of a release with Red Sparowes.

The band may be instrumental, but the PR wire speaks the following:

GRAILS split w/ Pharaoh Overlord

Kemado Records announces its October 30 release of Grails’ new offering, Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 5, the latest in the band’s Black Tar Prophecies series.

From Portland, Oregon, Grails feature drummer Emil Amos, also of Om. Making music under the Grails name for a decade now, the instrumental band have released music on labels such as Temporary Residence, Neurot, and Robotic Empire. Pitchfork bestowed this review upon them: “From stoner sludge to swirling desert rock to meditative mood music, Grails run an impressively wide gamut… Grails’ constantly changing sound makes every moment arresting, not simply the big crescendos.”

Kemado will release Grails’ Black Tar Prophecies, Vol. 5 on October 30 as one side of a split LP, the other side belonging to Finland’s Pharaoh Overlord, featuring members of prolific Finnish band Circle.

BrooklynVegan is now streaming “Chariots”, the lead track off Grails’ side of the split.

Grails head to Australia in October:
Oct 13 – Melbourne, AU @ The Corner (w/ Tortoise)
Oct 14 – Perth, AU @ UWA (This Is Nowhere Festival w/ Tortoise)
Oct 17 – Brisbane, AU @ The Zoo
Oct 18 – Melbourne, AU @ Northcote Social Club
Oct 19 – Sydney, AU @ Oxford Art Factory

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audiObelisk: Third Batch of Roadburn 2011 Audio Streams Posted Online

Posted in audiObelisk on May 19th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

The third batch of audio streams from Roadburn 2011 might be the best one yet. I don’t think I’ve stopped raving about how good Ramesses (above) and Sungrazer were since I got back from the fest, and with the chance to hear some bands I missed over there — my head hangs in New Jerseyan shame for not catching The Atomic Bitchwax — it’s good to at least hear what I didn’t see. You know the drill by now — here are the links:

The Atomic Bitchwax

Carlton Melton

Pharaoh Overlord






As always, these streams were captured live at Roadburn at the 013 Popcentrum in Tilburg, Netherlands, by Marcel van de Vondervoort and his Spacejam Recording team. Special thanks to Walter and Roadburn for letting me host the links on this site.

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audiObelisk: Second Batch of Roadburn 2011 Streams Posted Online

Posted in audiObelisk on May 13th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Unfortunately, you can’t actually hear the moment when the mythical beast Sasquatch joined psychedelic rockers Dead Meadow on stage, but rest assured, their set was nonetheless a highlight of this year’s Roadburn festival. Along with performances by Corrosion of Conformity, Weedeater, Count Raven, Today is the Day and others, it’s just been posted in the second batch (first is here in case you missed it) of audio streams. You’ll find the links to the listening pages below. Please enjoy:

Corrosion of Conformity

Circle with Pharaoh Overlord

Count Raven

Dead Meadow

Lonely Kamel


The Secret

Today is the Day



Special thanks as always to Walter and Roadburn for being generally awesome and allowing me to host the stream links. These sets and all live audio from the fest were recorded by Marcel Van de Vondervoort (of Astrosoniq) and his team at Spacejam Recording.

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Roadburn 2011 Adventure Pt. 5: Program the Brain and the Heartbeat

Posted in Features on April 15th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

5:45PM — Friday — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

Well, there was some sleep to be had, but not much. I got to bed at around three and gave up trying at nine this morning, after nodding off and waking up, putting on headphones to try that, pillow over the head and the rest. I’m notoriously a light sleeper anyway, and Tilburg is short neither on hustle nor bustle. I slept for about 90 minutes solid this afternoon, and that in combination with the 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there, has been enough. I’m not at just this moment, but if I wanted to, I could still be standing.

Place of Skulls started their set with my favorite song of theirs: “Silver Chord Breaks” from With Vision. That felt good to hear. In a little while, Winter will be on in the main stage area, and I want to be there for that, so I don’t know if I’ll post this now or later on in the night like yesterday, but we’ll see how it goes. After missing them in Brooklyn, it’s definitely something I want to catch this time around.

Beyond that, the night has SunnO))) and Voivod on offer, along with Earth, who switched places with Circle with Pharaoh Overlord owing reportedly to a flat tire on the way in, putting the latter on the main stage now and the former in the Midi Theatre at 8:30PM. I’d like to catch some of that.

Funny story: I was headed the photo pit to shoot Circle with Pharaoh Overlord, and security stopped me and told me I needed a photo pass. I said I didn’t think that was the case, since I had a “working” wristband (the same thing happened to me at Metalliance at Irving Plaza a couple weeks ago). Security disagreed, and I said, “Really? You’re going to make me leave and get a photo pass and come back?” and he said, “Really.”

So I went back around to where I first checked in and asked for a photo pass. Walter, who runs this show literally and figuratively, was there, but it wasn’t something I wanted to bother him with, so I asked the girl behind the counter could I please have a photo pass, and she asked me how big was my camera. I took it out, and she scrutinized its size, and said okay. I felt like I was having my junk measured. Glad to have passed muster.

I’d also like a sit-down meal, though, which is something I haven’t had in a couple days. Probably I could hit up any number of the pubs in what I’ve come to (lovingly) refer to as Weirdo Canyon — stay tuned for more on that — but time, etc. Scheduling is an issue in more ways that just trying to see bands. I haven’t talked to The Patient Mrs. since Wednesday morning Jersey time, and I miss her.

Today is SunnO)))‘s curated day, and though I’m still disappointed they didn’t take my suggestion and call it SunnO)))burn, it’s been pretty good. I got to see the one-man drone/noise oddity of Keiji Haino — easy to see the influence he’s had on the day’s curators as he played through three full Marshall stacks and an Ampeg bass rig — and a couple minutes of Year of No Light‘s live soundtrack to the film Yampyr, which was cool in its way. You know how sometimes when you sing along to a song you don’t know that well, the words remind you of the different parts of the song as you go? You finish the line, and so forth? They were kind of finishing the line of the silent movie. Cool to watch, and it synched up to varying degrees, but a bunch of skinny French dudes droning out has its own appeal, at least judging by the crowd it drew.

I didn’t get to see Mamiffer or Trap Them, and I tried to catch a couple minutes of Aluk Todolo, but as usual, the Green Room was impenetrable. Hopefully I’ll have better luck and/or timing when Beaver starts up at 7:15.

Interesting mix so far. Right now it’s more allergy meds for me and then back over for Winter. More to come later.

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