Finnish visionaries Pharaoh Overlord deliver a vibrant video for the new single “Path Eternal” from their sixth record, reimagining electronic music for the future. The album opener sets its stall out in style, marrying Moroder and Mayhem with a hint of the apocalypse manifesto of Skinny Puppy lurking in the middle distance – watch and listen below.
The rest of the album continues in a similar vein, richly coherent yet startling even for the unpredictable world of this band, arriving like a series of otherworldly epiphanies. 6 sees the band’s current duo of Tomi Leppänen and Jussi Lehtisalo joining forces with longtime collaborator and Sumac/Old Man Gloom seer Aaron Turner, who’s fierce and corrosive vocals stand atop these futuristic serenades not unlike the fevered delivery of a dystopian hellfire preacher.
Pharaoh Overlord explores a chilly and captivating electronic panorama, beholden to the melodies and textures of Kraftwerk yet also the cinematic austerity of EBM and the effervescent pulse of classic Italo-pop. Together, they are finding a way forward amidst the modern cataclysms that surround – channelling negative experience into a positive change.
Elsewhere on the album, ‘Arms Of The Butcher’ is a strident anthem for a modern pandemonium, ‘Blue Light Hum’ comes on like a robotic Neu! summoning end-credits euphoria. And most audaciously of all, ‘Without Song All Will Perish’ takes the urbane yet decadent sound of Voulez-Vous-era ABBA and reinvents it as a venomous disco Götterdämmerung.
REVISIT THE UTTERLY ADDICTIVE TRACK/VIDEO “WITHOUT SONG ALL WILL PERISH”
Aaron Turner was sent this material by Tomi and Jussi and initially ask to contribute to two or three songs to a sharp deadline, but the results soon revealed themselves to be so powerful that he ended up writing lyrics for the whole album, his vicious but uplifting vision taking inspiration from the melodic yet scabrous likes of Killing Joke, Leatherface and Kill The Thrill.
“I was also thinking of Drawing Down The Moon era Beherit where the music had gone almost entirely electronic and the only vestige of the metal aesthetic that remained was the vocal style” he notes “That rub of “artificial” music and organic/humanistic/off kilter vocals was intriguing for me.”
True to form, like a brightly underlit disco dance floor flashing out a warning of danger, the alchemical force of 6 is equal parts hedonistic rapture and dark revelation.
Let him who have understanding reckon the number of the beat, for it is a human number. Its number is 6.