Pharaoh Overlord circa 2019.
|Also known as||Pharaoh Overlörd|
|Genres||Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock, Space Rock, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Experimental|
|Years active||2001 - Present|
|Labels||Ektro, No Quarter, Riot Season, Full Contact|
Pharaoh Overlord are an experimental band from Finland, featuring members of Circle. Active since 2001 the band's sounds take up a wide-range from stoner rock in their early years to space rock to Kraftwerk-inspired synth rock to even speed metal with 2011's Out of Darkness. Notably the band's lineup constantly shifts players to reflect the ever-changing sound from an initial trio to a quintet or sextet to their 2019 incarnation being a synth-driven duo.
To date Pharaoh Overlord have released ten studio albums and have performed shows all around Europe despite rarely touring.
Pharaoh Overlord started as a side project in 2001 as a side-project from members of Circle, with Tomi Leppänen, Jussi Lehtisalo and Janne Westerlund. The band's earliest known show was on 28 September 2001 at Stella Star in Helsinki (Later released as the 2004 live album The Battle of The Axehammer.). The band's debut album, #1, saw release the same year via Ektro Records, performing a mix of psychedelic and stoner rock. A follow up in II dropped two years later via No Quarter and saw positive reception, notably from Pitchfork whom awarded it a 7.0/10. #3 would be released in 2005 via Riot Season and a follow-up in #4 would see release via Ektro the next year as the band performed live with a consistently changing lineup. The next year would see the band performing at Roadburn Festival and Supersonic Festival among other occasional gigs.
Following a string of occasional shows alongside the likes of Om, Graveyard, Witchcraft and Sunn O))) Pharaoh Overlord would release Siluurikaudella on 29 June 2010, performing a style of free jazz and improvisational rock. As sort of a 180 in tonal shift the band's follow-up would be Out of Darkness on 13 April 2011, which notably had an 80s speed metal/hard rock sound. Pharaoh Overlord, along with Circle, would serve as the artist-in-residence at the 2011 edition of Roadburn Festival. A follow-up in Lunar Jetman (Released 7 February 2012 via Ektro) would see the band returning to an instrumental psychdelic/stoner rock style. That same year the band would notably appear at Duna Jam and share the stage with Sleep.
Pharaoh Overlord's next studio album would be 2015's Circle, a complimentary album to Circle's 2015 album Pharaoh Overlord, further tying the links between the two bands. The next studio album would come in 2018 with Zero, released 27 April 2018 and focused on more of a psychedelic rock sound with hints of electronic and synth-driven music. This synth-driven style would continue as the band would evolve into a duo for 5, released on 30 September 2019 and mixing krautrock, synthwave and even death metal. This duo lineup would notably tour with Sleep in the fall of 2019 which included an appearance at Desertfest Belgium along with a tour with Om the next year in the summer.
- #1 (2001, Ektro)
- II (2003, No Quarter)
- #3 (2005, Riot Season)
- #4 (2006, Ektro)
- Siluurikaudella (2010, Ektro)
- Out Of Darkness (2011, Ektro)
- Lunar Jetman (2012, Ektro)
- Circle (2015, Ektro)
- Zero (2018, Ektro)
- 5 (2019, Ektro)
- The Battle Of The Axehammer (2004, Last Visible Dog)
- Live In Suomi Finland (2007, Vivo)
- Horn (2011, Svart; Full Contact)
- 6000 km/h (2014, Full Contact)
- Överhörn (2014, Ruton Music)
- Chewing Gum Live (2018, Full Contact)
- Black Tar Prophecies Vol 5 / Palmu (Split with Grails) (2012, Kemado)
- Jussi Lehtisalo - Guitar, Synthesizer, Bass, Vocals (2001 - Present)
- Tomi Leppänen - Drums, Synthesizer (2001 - Present)
- Janne Westerlund - Guitar, Vocals (2001 - 2018)
- Jyrki Laiho - Live Performer (2001)
- Pekka Pirttikangas - Live Performer (2001)
- Aki Peltonen - Guitar (2005)
- Jussi Kangas - Guitar, Vocals (2005 - 2006, 2010 - 2011)
- Hans Joachim Irmler - Live Performer (2006)
- Julius Jääskeläinen - Guitar, Performer (2006 - 2015)
- Pekka Jääskeläinen - Guitar, Performer (2006 - 2015)
- Janne Peltomäki - Drums (2014)
- Juho Viljanen - Synthesizer (2014)
- Tommi Sookari - Performer (2014, 2018)
- Antti Uusimaki - Performer (2014, 2018)
- Jani Sulo Viitanen - Performer (2018)