PENTAGRAM - TURN TO STONE - PEACEVILLE
This writer's appreciation for Ozzy-era Black Sabbath has always been limited. It is in that context that a listen to this compilation of Peaceville-issued material of Yankee Black Sabbath-worship band Pentagram leaves a decidedly ambivalent mark on his taste buds. It is indeed genuine doom metal, the wah wah pedal is often heard, there are bursts of solos and the sound is undiluted. Having said that, this style has been heard repeatedly, not only with the Sabs themselves, but also with subsequent clones like Saint Vitus and Cathedral.
Of course respect is due the band for not only persisting since 1971, albeit intermittently, but also for not diluting or altering the progenitor's initial vision. The songs are good for what they are and, it goes without saying, they put contemporary Black Sabbath to shame.
The songs All Your Sins, Sinister, Relentless, The Ghoul, 20 Buck Spin and Death Row are from Pentagram's 1993 album Relentless. Wartime, Burning Saviour, When The Screams Come, Evil Seed and Madman are culled from 1993' Day Of Reckoning. The songs Petrified, Frustration, Bride Of Evil, Vampire Love (this song is occasionally called Vampyre Love), Wolf's Blood and Live Free And Burn are culled from 1994's Be Forewarned. This is also meant to imply that it is disingenuous of Peaceville not to indicate Turn To Stone to be a mere Pentagram compilation - Ali "The Metallian"
PENTAGRAM - FIRST DAZE HERE TOO - RELAPSE
Pentagram could be the next Iron Maiden or Motörhead if the band keeps this up. The band has released four or five compilations in the last ten years, but who is counting? Get a couple of live albums out and more than just the usual bunch of reviewers will begin calling you “classic” or “legendary.” Whether the band even plays live is another matter.
First Daze Here Too is a sequel compilation to another compilation and is really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Disc one is a somewhat of a proper studio recording. Side two is a rehearsal recording(s) and often appalling. Each and every one of the songs Yes I Do, Ask No More and Man, for example, are weak and have no right being released. The non-existent sound quality and weak whimpering of the singer further weaken the band’s popish heavy rock. Only a song like Much Too Young To Know has any value and that is owing to the rip off early Judas Priest soling going on.
And let’s not forget the cover tunes. Pentagram has those too!
Every silly compilation released, old band that never went anywhere that reforms or former mega band that tries one more kick at the can means less room for new bands. As for issuing rehearsals on disc twenty years later”¦ let’s not even go there. - Anna Tergel