other VIVO RECORDS releases______________________________________________________

Pharaoh Overlord
Live in Suomi Finland CD



Recorded 12.05.2006 at Kipsari , Helsinki, Finland. Personnel: Hans Joachim Irmler, Julius Jääskeläinen, Pekka Jääskeläinen,  Jussi Lehtisalo, Tomi Leppänen, Janne Westerlund. Remixed by Hans Joachim Irmler. Premastered at Fauststudio Scheer-Germany.
5 TRACKS.  TOTAL 50:40. Genre: STONER ROCK. Packaging : 3 fold-out digipack sleeve.



Bow down, people. Just bow down. If extended, repetitive, droned-out krauty stoner prog a la Circle is your thing, then this disc definitely for you, surprise surprise. Sheer hypnosis. Utterly mesmeric. Sounds sooooooooooooo gooooooooooood. It's hard to think of these guys as just a band, the music here seems produced by some organic force. It's a living thing really. A throbbing monster of an album.
Just like their sister band Circle, of which they're all members, Finnish psychsters Pharaoh Overlord have built a discography (they're up to six albums now, counting this one) that somehow maintains a core identity yet always does something different each time out. They started off with the stoner rock riff mantras of #1, then went to the mostly subdued noirishness of II, followed that with the live-and-raw Battle Of The Axehammer, then came back with the krautrockingly Circle-like diversions of #3, all before delving into the absurdly headbanging metallisms of #4 that even added vocals to their previously instrumental lineup. So, now what? What next? A second live album, this time called Live In Suomi Finland, recorded in Helsinki in May of 2006. On it the regular Pharaoh Overlord lineup of Jussi, Tomi and Janne is augmented by two more Finnish friends, and special guest Hans Joachim Irmler of legendary krautrockers Faust! His electric organ grind here adds an extra dose of distorted drone to the proceedings.
Of the two live PO discs this is definitely the best sounding. It's not as raw and blown-out as Battle Of The Axehammer, it's got better fidelity, but if anything it's even heavier!! Perhaps its the additional "remixing" credited to Irmler, whatever magic he worked in later in the Faust studio definitely makes this more than "just" a live album.
There's five tracks here, though it's a very continuously flowing disc... starting with the infectious riffery of "Black Horse" (which has appeared previously only in another live version on Battle Of The Axehammer), followed by two totally new tracks, "Tutankharmony" and "Zero Gravity" that relax the volume and mood a bit with a sense of smokey, improv mystery. Then they launch into "Skyline", the heaviest cut from II, before winding up / blowing out with a quarter-hour rendition #1's "Mangrove". An incredible 50+ minutes all told. Boy, we wish we'd been there! Too bad SF-Helsinki flights aren't quick or cheap...

BLACK HORSE  simple heavy guitar drums and bass!  Like Bloodrock or Lord Baltimore with no vocals.  A weird monster sound, I was expecting white guy jazz but this isn't that!  Same riff whole song so far with noisy keys and effects on top!  Okay, this is a Circle side project, sounds better the longer I listen!  TUTANKHARMONY  more of the same, almost same riff, but sounds great!  Can't let a song get in the way of a great riff!  These guys are probably badass live!  ZERO GRAVITY  goes straight from one song to the next!  Reminds me of Agitation Free but more simple rock music!  SKYLINE  heavy metal funk beat!  A little too Spinal Tap for me!?....starts to sound ok after 4 minutes of exact same riff!!  Cool, dude!  My wife says it sounds like a stuck record and she has a point!  Maybe now that I don't drink so much this kinda music can't make sense to me?!  On second listen this album is high and mighty, maybe a little awe inspiring?  At 9:15 the riff changes up a little!!  MANGROVE  a 14:22 new drum beat, it's completely different now!  Strange whirring noise, more heavy metal guitar!  I probably would've really dug this 15-20 years ago!  It would be somewhat fresh then!...7 minutes in starting to get into a deep space groove, sounds pretty freakin' great actually!!...finally it's over...see, I shouldn't have to say that!!?! http://terrascope.co.uk

(...) T
hank Satan that Pharaoh Overlord's Live in Suomi Finland (Vivo) has nothing to do with any of that. In fact, it's easily the group's most substantial, approachable effort yet. Taped in Helsinki in spring 2006, the set catches the core personnel of Lehtisalo, guitarist Janne Westerlund, and drummer Tomi Leppänen (all of whom double as members of Circle) on a scorching date, augmented by extra guitarists Pekka Jääskeläinen and Julius Jääskeläinen plus Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust on creaking, whooshing organ. The expanded lineup and crisp but cavernous production brighten Pharaoh Overlord's minimalist formula of simple, endlessly repeated, stoner-cum-Kraut riffs. The instrumental ensemble wisely omits material from the aforementioned #4 and instead revisits the choicest selections from its earliest studio albums. A pair of previously unreleased tracks are included, as is the definitive version of "Black Horse," a swaggering behemoth that initially appeared on Overlord's first concert document, 2004's enjoyable but lo-fi Battle of the Axehammer. On par with the best of Circle's canon, Live in Suomi Finland is the perfect elixir for discriminating palates who prefer to consume their stout, psychedelic sludge without frivolous cock-rock cream. (...) By Jordan N. Mamone / http://www.dustedmagazine.com

Jeden długi ciąg stonerrockowego transu

Założycielem zespołu jest Jussi Lehtisalo wcześniej znany z fińskiej grupy psychodelicznej Circle (kiedyś sam z przekorą nazwał ją "najnudniejszym zespołem rockandrollowym na świecie"). To już szósta płyta Pharaoh Overlord, pierwsza wydana przez polską wytwórnię Vivo. Na tym zarejestrowanym przed rokiem w Helsinkach koncercie gościnnie pojawił się sam Hans Joachim Irmler z niemieckiej grupy Faust, legendy kraut rocka (to on również wyprodukował ten album). Płyta trwa 50 minut i choć podzielona jest na pięć utworów, to tak naprawdę stanowi jeden długi ciąg stonerrockowego transu. Gitary są tak ciężkie, że niemal dotykają ziemi. Prosta, leniwie rozpędzająca się sekcja rytmiczna. Hipnotycznie zapętlone riffy. Orientalne motywy. Brudny, szorstki blues. Słyszalne wpływy hipisowskiej psychodelii połączone z amerykańską muzyką pustynną spod znaku Kuyss. Oszczędna okładka nie daje nam niemal żadnych informacji na temat zespołu, w internecie trzeba długo ich szukać. Pozostaje muzyka. Tylko tyle i aż tyle. MARCIN BABKO / GAZETA WYBORCZA

Prosto z egzotycznej Finlandii przybywa masyw mroźnego dźwięku przesterowanych gitar. Mówią, że stoner... mówią, że postrock... W sumie jest racja i tu i tu, bo z jednej strony mamy tutaj typowe ściany gitar jak u Queens Of The Stone Age, tyle, że odarte z piosenkowej formy. Forma jest raczej post. Zresztą wystarczy spojrzeć na listę utworów i porównać z czasem trwania. 5 kawałków w 50 minut to prawie jak Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Otwierający płytę, dziesięciominutowy utwór z jednym, powtarzającym się mantrowo riffem miażdży jak czołg. Jak The Melvins połączone z Neurosis. Surowo, chłodno, bez wokalu. I żeby było zabawniej - tak już jest do końca. 2 i 3 są jakby połączone w jedną, długą suitę, w której coś tam niby się dzieje, ale tak naprawdę niewiele. 4 to w tych okolicznościach zaskakujący riff w stylu Pantery, ale, ponieważ znów zapętlony w nieskończoność, przywodzi na myśl znów bardziej hipnotyzujące numery Melvinsów. Ostatni najciekawszy - ponad 14 minut, ale coś tam mieszają. Aby krótko podsumować: nie zdziwiłbym się, gdyby w USA dystrybucją zajął się Ipecac. Bo to jest bardzo patton`owska płyta. Czyli nie dla wszystkich. Ja osobiście mam ambiwalentne odczucia zwłaszcza co do faktu, że płyta jest koncertowa. Nie słychać w związku z tym zbyt dobrze barwy przesterów i ginie gdzieś w tym wszystkim perkusja, ale z drugiej strony z pewnością muzycy dali się trochę ponieść... Bartek Adamiak / http://muzyka.gery.pl/

tretching to five long unnamed tracks, Pharaoh Overlord's live
collaboration with Jochen Irmler of Faust is squarely in the
locked-groove style of their alter-ego Circle. Their take on stoner rock
is less one of Black Sabbath worship, more of extended riffs taken to
extremes, overwritten by Irmler's droning, occasionally snarling organ
work - and sometimes that sounds so reedy it's forgiveable to assume
that there's a deeply-placed saxophone honking away in the increasingly
dense mix.

There is a neat variation of mood across the session, with a couple of
milder melodic sections intervening to provide soothing rest breaks.
Other tracks are not for the faint of patience, with time soon pummelled
into submission by single-minded drumming and the thick, enveloping fug
of distortion made increasingly intense, like doom metal sped up - but
without the need for muttering about Satan. Richard Fontenoy www.planbmag.com

It's been a while since we last listened to some stoner rock, but Pharaoh Overlord is a straight shot in the heart. This big band contains members of Plain Ride, Avviko and Hans Joachim Irmler from Faust. "Live In Suomi Finland" doesn't much information, other than that it was recorded in May last year in Helsinki. It's one blast of guitar noise. The cover doesn't give much information as to who plays what, but I imagine one plays drums, one bass, one keyboards, thus leaving three others to play guitars. Loud guitars, fed through distortion pedals, but always there to keep the solid concrete and above all thick wall as solid as possible. Despite the fact that there are five separate tracks to be found here, it's best to see this as one long session that has been cut for easy sake (?) into five smaller parts. Like good stoner rock there is seemingly no end to this journey, even when it lasts fifty minutes. At times it lacks all sort of refinement and things are on the edge of distortion, but that's of course part of this all freak out music. Certainly something to experience live, but also on CD it sucks out all the energy. A true blast. (FdW) www.vitalweekly.net

Oh yes, the indestructible Pharaoh Overlord are back, and they're ready to rock. This gorgeously packaged disc is a recording of a live show that the Circle side-project played in 2006 and it shows the ever-reliable band on top form, rocking the crowd into next year. This is classic metal as classic metal should sound - cheesy riffs, bad phasing effects, pounding percussion and occasional Eastern influences, and for that it deserves all the praise that is lavished upon it. You know the musicians are all great players, but this is where they can let their hair down and just rock out, and over the course of 50 minutes that's exactly what they do. Sludge, doom, classic rock, call it what you will - these Finnish chaps are re-animating what we all love about Sabbath and Zeppelin and making at least some of us (well, me) take notice. By the time the disc comes to a close you'll wonder why the hell you weren't at the gig, okay you might not be in Finland but that's hardly an excuse, there are cheap flights aren't there? What's that you say, carbon emissions. oh well, fair enough, we'll just have to wait until the Overlord manage to make their way to dear old Blighty then won't we. Loud, proud and lots of fun - who said Fins were quiet eh? Recommended. http://www.boomkat.com

Mocna rzecz! Minimal-noise-rock rodem z dość egzotycznej muzycznie Finlandii, objawiony w naszym rodzimym wydawnictwie Vivo pozostawia naprawdę znakomite wrażenie. Zarejestrowany w trakcie koncertu materiał imponuje bowiem nie tylko potęgą brzmienia i wrzącą ekspresją, ale także szlachetnym ascetyzmem, wyrażającym się w świadomym ograniczaniu środków wyrazu - sprowadzonych tu do absolutnego, rockowego minimum. Oszczędna, lecz nad wyraz transowa motoryka, zbudowana z repetycji bardzo prostych struktur rytmicznych oraz surowe, chropowate i szorstkie brzmienie instrumentów, ujawniają całą charyzmę prostych, niemal bluesowych riffów, przywodzących na myśl głównie rockowych minimalistów japońskiego undergroundu, Ohkami No Jikan, Musica Transonic czy Mainliner, eksplorujących od lat z powodzeniem zbliżone estetycznie regiony muzyczne. W najlepszych momentach Pharaoh Overload brzmi niemal tak, jakby na scenie, dość nieoczekiwanie jamowali wspólnie Faust z Fushitsushą (z czasów pierwszego Double Live). Nie powinna więc nas dziwić gościnna obecność Hansa Joachima Irmlera, wspomagającego Finów muzycznie i produkcyjnie! Weteran krautowego undergroundu bez większych problemów musiał wszak rozpoznać w muzyce Pharaoha idee rytmiczne i brzmieniowe, które przed niemal 40 laty krzewił jakże skutecznie Faust. Podsumowując, mamy tu wyśmienity koncertowy album, czerpiący wprost z rockowego idiomu, wolnego od stylistycznych i gatunkowych naleciałości. Zaskakująco świeża muzyka!
Dariusz Brzostek / GAZ-ETA