Ground-zero, catalog number “Cruz01” and the album that started it all for Cruz Del Sur Music, PHARAOH’s 2003 “After The Fire” debut provided an early glimpse of the label’s unflinching commitment to releasing high-quality, true heavy metal. The album also positioned PHARAOH as one of the most promising and classy melodic metal bands in recent memory, earning the band much-deserved praise both on domestic and international shores.
Now, 15 years after the fact, Cruz Del Sur is releasing “After The Fire” on vinyl on Aug 31, with a different, alternative mixing, new mastering, and fresh, updated liner notes by Matt Johnsen!
“PHARAOH and Cruz Del Sur are still doing what we do, in our stubborn ways!” says drummer Chris Black. “How little has changed in this regard. I guess our producer/engineer Matt Crooks wasn’t yet on board, but otherwise with ‘After the Fire’, we have already included all of the same people and roles as we do today. I’m talking about the musicians/songwriters but also Enrico Leccese of Cruz Del Sur and JP Fournier, who has painted all of our album covers.”
PHARAOH, rounded out by vocalist Tim Aymar, guitarist Matt Johnsen and bassist Chris Kerns, was originally formed to play, according to Johnsen, “the kind of melodic heavy metal that was highly unfashionable when we first met.”
“Chris had SAXON and IRON MAIDEN in mind, while I was thinking about RAGE and ANGRA,” he says. “And although none of us have the same tastes, exactly, I guess they’re close enough where it counts! “Since ‘After the Fire’, we’ve all grown immensely as players and writers, but the basic templates we established for ourselves on that record have held up surprisingly well. Our newer songs are much harder to play, but they’re clearly cut from the same cloth as the ones on our debut.”
PHARAOH has released three studio albums since “After The Fire” and are hard at work at their next full-length, tentatively titled “The Powers That Be”. But, the memories associated with “After The Fire” hold lasting impact, making the vinyl release all the more important.
“Finally having ‘After The Fire’ on vinyl will be great for our fans who cherish this format,” says Black. “It’s understandable that it didn’t happen in 2003, but as the years have passed and all of the other albums have been pressed on vinyl, it has become way overdue. But as it happens now, it’s a great way to say happy 15th birthday to the album and to Cruz Del Sur as well. A just reward for our continuity!”