The Mantle Of Spiders
Pure Steel Records
September 21, 2018
User Review( votes)
The Mantle Of Spiders is the solid debut release from America’s Last Pharaoh. Hailing from the Hudson Valley region of New York, and not to be confused with Philadelphia’s Pharaoh, whose stellar 2003 debut After The Fire is getting an August vinyl alternative mix release, the four members of Last Pharaoh deliver a nine song slab faithful to the elders of old school Heavy Metal. With elements of Judas Priest and the Scorpions, and at times sounding like early Iron Maiden if Iron Maiden had grown up in Westchester county instead of East London, the subject matter of the songs rarely strays from suitably Maidenesque themes: killers in “Slave To The Kill (Son of Sam), literary horrors such as “Jekyll And Hyde” and “The Headless Horseman”, nightmares and nightmarish situations as in “Deadly Dreams” and the appropriate lead-off track “Into The Darkness”, and madness with “Psychohouse”.
A quartet rather than the classic five-piece, Last Pharaoh must get by with only one guitarist, but axman Ron Toth gets along just fine on his own, shredding it up on showcase instrumental “Desert Dreams” and delivering blistering solos on nearly every track. The guitars, and Tommy Santangelo’s excellent vocals which occasionally soar into air-raid pitches, are layered on the album to help round the sound out. The title track sees the elements blend beautifully, anchored by the rock-solid rhythm section of Ed Shelinsky on drums and Michael James on bass. The Mantle Of Spiders is certain to please headbanging fans of throwback Heavy Metal.
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