Dead Pharisees - Mummified Priest

Monday 1st June 1998
Dead Pharisees - Mummified Priest

STYLE: Hard Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Alex Figgis

Dead Pharisees is an independent American band comprised of two sets of brothers - Mark Burcell (guitars), Sean Kovacs (bass), Luke Burcell (vocals) and David Kovacs (drums) - who like to play loud, fast, extreme music with a message to match. Take, for example, both album cover and title song, which were inspired by MC Escher's display of mummified priests in a church in Gangi, Italy, where they remain as a macabre salute to their supposed eternal "holiness". 'Mummified Priest' is an impressively well produced album that brings out the best in each player, giving them free reign to explore their instrument in each piece. Instead of the same tone throughout, Mark, Sean, Luke and David seem able to effortlessly chop and change both tempo and mood within a song resulting in maintaining the listener's attention. This album also boasts some very witty writing and arrangements. Remember the punk rock cover of the kids' song "Nelly The Elephant" in the early '8Os? Well, the Pharisees have given a similar treatment to the classic chorus "Lord Of The Dance" which works surprisingly well. The only downfall is that on certain tracks Luke's delivery is so fast that it gets lost in the mix. In spite of this slight niggle, Dead Pharisees' 'Mummified Priest' is very good indeed.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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