In Death Reborn

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In Death Reborn
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 22, 2014
GenreHip hop, horrorcore
LabelEnemy Soil
Demigodz Records
ProducerBlastah Beatz
Stu Bangas
Paul Nice
Frank Grimes
Leaf Dog
Juan Muteniac
Lecs Beats
Grim Reaperz
Army of the Pharaohs chronology
The Unholy Terror
In Death Reborn
Heavy Lies the Crown
Rear cover
Singles from In Death Reborn
  1. "God Particle"
    Released: March 11, 2014
  2. "Curse of the Pharaohs"
    Released: April 7, 2014
  3. "The Demon's Blade"
    Released: June 4, 2014

In Death Reborn is the fourth studio album by underground hip hop collective Army of the Pharaohs. The album was officially released on April 22, 2014, via Vinnie Paz's independent record label; Enemy Soil.[1] It is the first of the two albums Army of the Pharaohs said they would be releasing in 2014, Heavy Lies the Crown being released on 21 October.[2] The album features members Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Blacastan, Block McCloud, Celph Titled, Crypt The Warchild, Demoz, Des Devious, Doap Nixon, Esoteric, King Magnetic, King Syze, Planetary, Reef the Lost Cauze and Zilla with a guest appearance from Lawrence Arnell.[3] The only member that didn't make an appearance on the album was Jus Allah who is also affiliated with Jedi Mind Tricks.[4] It was later confirmed that Jus Allah had left the group as well as leaving Jedi Mind Tricks.

On February 11, 2014, it was confirmed that the album's production team consisted of producers include Stu Bangas, C-Lance, Leaf Dog, Panik and including Army of the Pharaohs' own Apathy amongst others, including new faces that hadn't been producing for the group beforehand.[5] In promotion for In Death Reborn, Vinnie Paz released The Flawless Victory mixtape on March 2, 2014.[6] Reef the Lost Cauze released a collaboration album titled Fast Way alongside producer Emyd on March 9, 2014.[7] Member Doap Nixon only appeared on the song 7th Ghost but spoke out saying, how he was only featured on one song because he had a lot of personal stuff going on and stated that there will be more of him on the LP that is due to drop in November.[8] King Syze released his fourth studio album one month before the album release on March 25 titled Union Terminology.[9] Apathy pushed back the release date of Connecticut Casual from April to June in favour of In Death Reborn.[10] A week before the release of In Death Reborn, Zilla announced he was working on his fourth studio album titled Martyr Musick set to be released sometime June 2014.[11] The group released their second album of the year Heavy Lies the Crown on 21 October 2014. Six months after In Death Reborn.[12]

The album peaked 63 on the US Billboard 200[13] and also topping the UK R&B albums at 33 and US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums at 16.[14] Upon Release, In Death Reborn was met with generally average to positive reviews. Online Rap album reviewer; RapReviews gave the album a mediocre score of 5.5/10,[15] HipHopDX gave the album a fairly positive score of 3.5/5,[16] and Canadian Music magazine Exclaim! gave the album a generally positive review of 7/10.[17]



Vinnie Paz announced in early 2011 on his Facebook page that In Death Reborn is due to be released in 2012, however the date was pushed back and almost seemed like it was never going to be released.[18] Early in 2012, Houston underground MC Zilla and Connecticut's Blacastan (Demigodz) were added to the group. Both artists have made names for themselves with their features and album releases in 2012. On Facebook, rumours circulated that Reef the Lost Cauze would not appear on the album.[18] However, on 27 Nov 2013 he tweeted how it's "bullshit" and he is going to be on the album.[19] In April 2013, the official Facebook page of Army of the Pharaohs posted "New album is not finished. Don't know when it will be finished. Will let you know when there's a release date. No need for further questions."[20] On 27 June 2013, AOTP frontman; Vinnie Paz tweeted "New solo EP. New Heavy Metal Kings. New Army of the Pharaohs. all coming within the next year."[21]

On 4, October 2013, Apathy shared; "Every AOTP album we've done in the past, we all handed in our verses via email and weren't too hands on with. This one is different. Every day we've been emailing each other, going over songs, picking beats and showing each other our verses. This might be the best Pharaoh album yet. It definitely is the illest, lyrically. We're all having brotherly competition and trying to murder each other on these songs. It's great. Definite "A" game."[22] On November 30, 2013, Vinnie Paz revealed that two new Army Of The Pharaohs albums would be released in 2014. In Death Reborn is slated for an April release, the second LP was originally expected to drop in November, but was confirmed to be released 21 October 2014.[23] On February 11, 2014, Celph Titled announced via Facebook that In Death Reborn would be released April 22, 2014.[1]

Other releases[edit]

Many members of the group had released, or were working on, other projects around the time of In Death Reborn. This period was dubbed "The Pharaoh Season".[24] In promotion for In Death Reborn, Vinnie Paz released The Flawless Victory mixtape on March 2, 2014.[6] Reef the Lost Cauze released a collaboration album titled Fast Way alongside producer Emyd on March 9, 2014.[7] Member Doap Nixon only appeared on the song 7th Ghost from the album, however, he went on to say how he was only featured on one song because he had a lot of personal stuff going on and he is currently working on his fourth studio album Sour Diesel 2, he stated that there will be more of him on the LP that is due to drop in November.[8] King Syze released his fourth studio album a month before the album release on March 25 titled Union Terminology, where he speaks out about working as a union trader.[9] Apathy pushed back the release date of his upcoming album Connecticut Casual from April to June in favour of In Death Reborn.[10] Former Pharaoh Jus Allah didn't make an appearance on the album as he is currently working on his second studio album M.M.A. (Meanest Man Alive).[3] A week before the release of In Death Reborn, Zilla announced he was working on his fourth studio album titled Martyr Musick which was set to be released sometime June 2014, but had been pushed back for a release in 2015.[11]

Album art[edit]

Inspiration: Album art of Punch's Frozen Memory

The first update that the group released in regards to In Death Reborn was the album art. It was leaked onto the Jedi Mind Tricks website on February 11th, 2014.[25] It was revealed that the album art was designed by Graphic Designer and Photographer; Dan Bradley, who has his art directed, produced, photographed and designed for clients both large-scale, as well as small and local.[26] Bradley had been working on the art since October 2013 and he also went on to design the album cover of Heavy Lies the Crown.[27] Dan Bradley has been designing album arts for AOTP members since the past 9 years [28]

The album art is different to all the other arts of albums the group has released. One notable difference is that instead of a Pharaoh depiction on the cover, there is instead a soldier with a gas mask on. This change was considered strange and different amongst fans and aggregators.[29] It was later said that their album cover looks strangely familiar. Although it's not a direct knock-off, the main photo was drown from the same stock photography bank as Punch's Frozen Memory mixtape cover which was released in November 2013. This cover was considered to be the inspiration of the album art.[30]


The group released their first single with a music video off of the album on March 11, 2014; God Particle featured members Vinnie Paz, Planetary, Esoteric, Apathy, Celph Titled and was produced by Stu Bangas with cuts by DJ Kwestion. The music video contained appearances from other members including Reef the Lost Cauze, Blacastan, Doap Nixon, Crypt the Warchild amongst others.[31] The video was directed by Jimmy Giambrone and co-directed by Steve Perrong.[32] on March 31, 2014, Vinnie Paz uploaded Episode 1 of Army of the Pharaohs "Behind the Scenes" on to YouTube. The episode showed Army of the Pharaohs members behind the scenes as they filmed the video to the single "God Particle" and prepare to perform together in Philadelphia for the first time in years.[33]

In promotion of In Death Reborn, Vinnie Paz released the second single off of the album, titled; Curse of the Pharaohs on 7, April 2014, just 2 weeks before the release of the album. The single featured artists Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Celph Titled, Esoteric and Reef the Lost Cauze and was produced by Blastah Beatz.[34] The group released their third single titled; The Demons Blade on 4 June 2014, a music video was released the same day.[35] The music video contained scenes Army of the Pharaohs performing worldwide on stage as well as scenes from Episode 1 of Army of the Pharaohs "Behind the Scenes".[33] The single featured artists Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, Apathy, Blacastan, Planetary & Esoteric and was produced by Leaf Dog.[36]


Celph Titled and Apathy both provided vocals on 11 of the 14 tracks, Apathy also produced a track for the album.

In March 2014, producers including Stu Bangas, C-Lance, Leaf Dog, Panik (amongst others) were confirmed to produce the album.[5] Stu Bangas has long been affiliated with Army of the Pharaoh members since 2006, as well as producing the songs "The Wait is Over" on Doap Nixons; Sour Diesel as well as releasing a full-length album with Blacastan[37] and also the highly anticipated Machete Mode with Esoteric,[38] so it was no surprise that he was chosen to produce the first single; God Particle to mark the return of Army of the Pharaohs.[32] C-Lance, a long time affiliate with Jedi Mind Tricks, was one of the two producers to produce more than one track, with the songs Midnight Burial and See You in Hell[39] Vanderslice, another long-time affiliate with Army of the Pharaohs, produced the track Broken Safeties.[40] French production duo; Crown and Supervillain, who make up Grim Reaperz and are signed by Enemy Soil, produced the single 7th Ghost.[41] Although being signed on by Vinnie Paz's label, this was the first time they had collaborated with Army of the Pharaohs despite making remixed versions of songs including Jedi Mind Tricks Street Lights.[42]

The album was also noted for its different take on the type of beats it had, which were considered very different from the previous albums, the main reason for this was due to collaborating with majority of producers they hadn't done so before. Frank Grimes was the other who produced two tracks on In Death Reborn; including the second released single Curse of the Pharaohs and the final song of the album Sumerians. British producer Leaf Dog, who was formerly the DJ of The Three Amigos, made his debut in the American hip hop scene by producing the third single of the album; The Demon's Blade.[43] Panik, who makes up 1/4 of the hip hop production team, Molemen, collaborated for the first time with Army of the Pharaohs, on the song Ninkyo Dantai (Yakuza).[44] Other producers include; Paul Nice, Juan Muteniac, and Lecs Beats. All of whom who had never collaborated with Army of the Pharaohs before.[45]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
HipHopDX3.5/5 stars[16]
Allmusic4/5 stars[46]

Upon its release, In Death Reborn was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. Exclaim! gave the album a fairly positive 7/10. They went on to say In Death Reborn is a hard-hitting slab of jacked-up fight music that combines aggressive beats with aggressive (yet intricate) wordplay. Over beats served up by the likes of underground and highly slept-on producers Stu Bangas and Vanderslice (who crafted one of hard rap's classics in Blaq Poet's 2011 Blaq Poet Society) among others, Vinnie and Esoteric team up with affiliates ranging from Apathy, Celph Titled, Reef The Lost Cauze and Blacastan to drop knowledge on tracks whose titles and subject matter resemble a B Movie horrorfest.[17]

HipHopDX gave the album a fairly average rating of 3.5/5. They described Army of the Pharaohs' "In Death Reborn" to feature "enough experimentation and raw talent to draw in casual listeners while still catering to a loyal fan base." Omar Burgees, a reviewer at HipHopDX, went on to say; Hardcore material representative of Hip Hop made in the mid-to-late ‘90s has been taking a beating in some circles. Somewhat backhanded phrases like “Rappity-Rap” and “boom bap” epitomize aggressive, multisyllabic, Rap infused with similes and metaphors accented with sample-based production. Army of the Pharaohs rarely (if ever) give off the appearance of being threatened by this stigma, in part, because their individual and collective careers originated from that era. Some 16 years later, after multiple lineup changes and over a decade of watching Rap evolve (or devolve...depending on your perspective), AOTP splits their time between simultaneously preserving Hip Hop's Golden Era and asserting their current relevance by competitively out-rhyming each other.[16]

RapReviews gave the album a mediocre score of 5.5/10, going on to say that the Music Vibe is 5/10 and the Lyrical vibe is 6/10. Reviewer Grant Jones went on to say; I feel like I'm being harsh about this new album from the underground's most prominent supergroup, but I feel it sums up what they have become. Army of the Pharaohs are very much a modern example of underground hip hop. Despite proclaiming authenticity throughout each of their albums, "In Death Reborn" feels the most manufactured of all their releases. Production is provided by different producers on each song, and the vocals lack any real cohesion, almost as if each one was recorded on its own, emailed and pieced together. The continued obsession with violence and posturing borders on bland, lacking the tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top humour of Onyx and M.O.P. However, it's refreshing to hear one of the best British producers (and rappers) in Leaf Dog lace "The Demon's Blade," an explosive neck-shredder that feels like the punch in the face the record needs after 15 minutes of predictable, water-treading hip hop. It harks back to posse cuts such as "Seven" and "Battle Cry" from earlier LPs. Another noteworthy performance comes courtesy of Juan Muteniac, with "Visual Camouflage" oozing character and ultimately lacing the rhymers with a track worth rewinding. The rest of the record is decidedly average.[15]

Music guide service website AllMusic gave the album a rating of 4/5, saying that Vinnie Paz's loose supergroup Army of the Pharaohs returns with In Death Reborn, an album that instantly feels "old school" thanks to some major contributions from founding member Esoteric. That unapologetic, brutal dude attitude is in full force as "Midnight Burial" barks "I'm out to make a million/Kinda hard to do without pussies catchin' feelings" while late album killer "7th Ghost" creeps the graveyard and threatens "me peelin' your grill off the front of our Hummer truck" because that's what gas guzzlers were made to do. Production wise, lead single "God Particle" is a new kind of stomping electro hulk from Stu Bangas, while rappin' member Apathy does double duty and puts a funky, harpsichord-driven ghost dance beneath "Headless Ritual." Put it all together and this grim one is like the flying death ball from Phantasm, driven by the hunger for blood and totally focused on looking for a forehead to lodge itself into.[47]

Track listing[edit]

1."Curse of the Pharaohs[48]"Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Celph Titled, Esoteric, Reef the Lost CauzeBlastah Beatz4:03
2."Midnight Burial"Reef the Lost Cauze, Crypt the Warchild, Esoteric, Des Devious, Celph TitledC-Lance4:21
3."Broken Safeties" (featuring Lawrence Arnell)Apathy, Lawrence Arnell, Vinnie Paz, Celph TitledVanderslice4:06
4."God Particle"Vinnie Paz, Planetary, Esoteric, Apathy, Celph TitledStu Bangas3:47
5."Luxor Temple"Blacastan, Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Esoteric, Celph Titled, PlanetaryPaul Nice4:35
6."Azrael"Block McCloud, Reef the Lost Cauze, Vinnie Paz, Crypt the WarchildFrank Grimes4:19
7."The Demon's Blade"Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, Apathy, Blacastan, Planetary, EsotericLeaf Dog4:29
8."See You in Hell"Celph Titled, Planetary, Blacastan, Vinnie PazC-Lance3:29
9."Headless Ritual"Blacastan, Apathy, Vinnie Paz, King Syze, Zilla, PlanetaryApathy2:56
10."Visual Camouflage"Apathy, Zilla, Vinnie Paz, King Magnetic, Celph Titled, EsotericJuan Muteniac4:20
11."Ninkyo Dantai (Yakuza)"Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, Blacastan, Apathy, Esoteric, PlanetaryPanik3:38
12."Digital War"Celph Titled, OuterSpace, Blacastan, Esoteric, Apathy, Vinnie PazLecs Beats5:03
13."7th Ghost"Reef the Lost Cauze, Doap Nixon, Blacastan, Demoz, Vinnie PazGrim Reaperz4:19
14."Sumerians"Vinnie Paz, Blacastan, Apathy, Celph Titled, EsotericFrank Grimes3:44
Total length:57:09


Album credits adapted from AllMusic.[49]

  • Apathy — Composer, Featured Artist, Mixing, Producer
  • Lawrence Arnell — Featured Artist
  • Stu Bangas — Producer
  • Blacastan — Featured Artist
  • Blastah Beatz — Producer
  • Dan Bradley — Layout
  • Celph Titled — Composer, Featured Artist
  • C-Lance — Producer
  • Crypt the Warchild — Featured Artist
  • Demoz — Featured Artist
  • Des Devious — Featured Artist
  • Esoteric — Featured Artist
  • J. Faust — Composer
  • Grim Reaperz — Producer
  • Frank Grimes — Composer, Producer
  • Pete Humphreys — Mastering
  • King Magnetic — Featured Artist
  • King Syze — Featured Artist
  • Leaf Dog — Producer
  • Lecs Beats — Producer
  • J. W. Leigh — Composer
  • V. Luviner — Composer
  • Block McCloud — Featured Artist
  • Juan Muteniac — Producer
  • Paul Nice — Producer
  • Doap Nixon — Featured Artist
  • Panik — Producer
  • Vinnie Paz — Featured Artist
  • Planetary — Featured Artist
  • Reef the Lost Cauze — Featured Artist
  • Scott Stallone — Engineer, Mixing
  • Green Steez — Additional Production
  • Vanderslice — Producer
  • J. Vargas — Composer
  • Adrian Younge — Composer, Sample Source
  • Zilla (Also credited as V. Gurrola Jr.) — Composer, Featured Artist

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[50] 33
US Billboard 200[51] 63
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[52] 16


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External links[edit]