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Pentagram : Last Rites

Pentagram prove you can fall and still climb back to reconquer your place once again.

What were you expecting from Pentagram in 2011? Be honest, the weak release that was 'Show'em How' in 2004 simply called for a stop to what was once a legendary band. Luckily for us, that merciful assassination never happened. And seven years later, with a strongly revamped line-up and a strong detox, Pentagram is back, and with one hell of a vengeance! Shortly put, this is one of the best release from the band, and worthy of praise as much as ’Day Of Reckoning’. This is a montrous rollercoaster ride, all in full riff-o-rama.

Of all the 12 songs featured here, only 3 are real newcomers, the other ones being old songs never properly recorded, getting at last a good treatment (even the new version of 'All Your Sins' is so good that you nearly forget the old one). Long time fans of Pentagram will be pleased to find some damn fine versions of 'Everything's Turning Into Night' and 'Walk In The Blue Light', which were only available on the (in)famous ’Bias Recordings’ of the 70s (and some on the ’First Daze Here Too’ compilation). The lyrics are very dark (and sometimes even the darkest ever written by the band), and the sound follows it: it's massive and heavy, with still a lot of grooves. The interpretation is top-notch, Victor Griffin giving here some of his best riffs ever. A lot of praises must be also given to the excellent rythmic pair of Greg Turley/Albert Born, titanic yet simple, blowing your mind while never sounding like technical wanking, and creating the best support one could have found for Griffin's axe-play and Liebling's astounding vocals.

For this is the other thing that will leave a long lasting mark on the listener: Bobby Liebling has never sung so well, and his instantly recognisable voice is the proverbial icing on the cake. Bobby SINGS, and he does that with so much heart and soul that only the most cold-hearted among you won't feel touched by him. Couple that with some good melodies (all songs are easy to remember, even after just one spin of the album), great choruses that will make the audience sing along like one man ('Call the Man' has this kind of vibe that makes you want to tap the rhythm with your foot while humming the melody) and you have an unexpected album that not only lives up to its legacy, but shows once again who is the undisputed King of the genre. And put once again Washington on the place it should never have lost on the map: Doom Capital of the World, baby!!

Not just the best album of early 2011, it's also a testimony that even when you fall from great heights, you can still climb back to reconquer your place once again. To all the young bandwagonners coming in the scene, take note: ’Last Rite’ is a lesson given by the masters. Welcome back, Pentagram!!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Treat Me Right
2. Call the Man
3. Into the Ground
4. 8
5. Everything's Turning to Night
6. Windmills and Chimes
7. American Dream
8. Walk in the Blue Light
9. Horseman
10. Death in 1st Person
11. Nothing Left
12. All Your Sins - Reprise

Duration : Approx. ?? minutes

Visit the Pentagram bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-01 by Laurent Lignon
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