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Pentagram : Sub-Basement

Few bands have been around as long as Pentagram has. Probably only the mighty Black Sabbath can claim to have been around for this long. Fans of Pentagram however need no introduction on this legendary doom outfit. Newer fans unfortunately seem rather unfamiliar with Pentagram, making this band one of the best-kept doom secrets around.

Pentagram has been around since the early 70ties in one form or another. Influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and Uriah Heep, it became a cult act in its own right. Pentagram is also somehow connected to the even more cult doom act Bedemon. I must admit though that I never figured out completely this connection, with members going back and forth and (I believe) Pentagram even re-recording a few Bedemon songs.

With over 30 years of musical past behind them and Pentagram now solely consisting of Bobby Liebling and Joe Basselbander, it's interesting to see how a band evolves from their earlier sound. I must say I am not disappointed at all. I have heard some negative sounds from fans about this release, but I have to disagree with them.

Pentagram manage to sound stuck in the 70ties (in a good way) and seem to have a total disregard for current musical movements. Which is something I deeply respect, as they did not try to update their sound to fit the latest rage going on. At the same time however, the band has really evolved from their earlier sound. What really surprised me is the energy in those songs. Given, some songs as such aren't as doomy as some (esp. newer fans) might expect, but I welcome it. Songs like 'Buzzsaw' and 'bloodlust' are just overflowing with energy and can really get you going. Doom fans need not worry however as there is plenty of slow and heavy material to be found here as well. A song like 'Tidal Wave' is just… …just Doom! Overall the album does move away slightly from their earlier sound of the 70ties. It's a bit more rock and less blues influenced.

I truly love this release and I don't think it will be leaving my CD player any time soon, I also advice all fans of traditional doom to check this out, but then again most of you probably already own this album or mean to buy it. Fans of just second-generation doom (more romantic doom, death/doom, etc.) I don't really know what advice to give you. To be honest I think a lot of you will think this is just 70ties rock, but to those interested enough to find out about to one of the originators of doom-metal this is a really interesting release. Albeit, I would rather recommend the Collection album of Pentagram's earlier work 'First Daze Here' or great albums like 'Be Forewarned' and 'Relentless'.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Bloodlust
2. Buzzsaw
3. Drive me to the Grave
4. Sub-Basement
5. Go in Circles (Reachin' for an End)
6. Mad Dog
7. After the Last
8. Tidal Wave
9. Out of Luck
10. Target

Duration : Approx. 45 minutes.

Visit the Pentagram bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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