Pentagram>>Macabre>>Pentagram>>Death Row>>PENTAGRAM - USA

Pentagram – 1985 - Pentagram
Day Of Reckoning – 1987 – Napalm
Relentless – 1993 - Peaceville
Be Forewarned – 1994 – Peaceville
Review Your Choices – 1999 – Black Widow
Sub-Bases – 2001 – Black Widow
A Keg Full Of Dynamite – 2003 – Black Widow
Show 'Em How – 2004 – Black Widow
Last Rites – 2011 –Metal Blade
Live Rites – 2011 – Svart
When The Screams Come – 2015 – Metal Blade
Curious Volume – 2015 - Peaceville

Pentagram image
Shades Of Darkness, Space Meat, Bedemon, The Limit, Bobby Liebling And The Rivetheads>>BOBBY LIEBLING>>Space Meat, Bedemon, The Limit, Bobby Liebling And The Rivetheads

Paul Trowbridge>>Reactor - Richard Kueht>>Overlord, Reactor – David Benson, Place Of Skulls, Solo, Death Row Assembly>>Victor Griffin>>David Benson, Place Of Skulls, Solo, Death Row Assembly – Internal Void, Solo>>Kelly Carmichael>>Internal Void, Solo

Death Row>>Martin Swaney>>Death Row, The Hounds Of Hasselvander – CounterShaft, Place Of Skulls>>Greg Turley>>CounterShaft, Place Of Skulls

Ra Notra Sextet, The Boyz, Death Row, Armageddon USA, Reactor, Raven, Solo, Phantom Lord>>Joe Hasselvander>>The Boyz, Death Row, Armageddon USA, Reactor, Raven, Solo, Phantom Lord, Guardians Of The Flame, Black Manta, Blue Cheer, Mind Assassin, The Hounds Of Hasselvander – Dream Death, Penance, Cathedral, Internal Void>>Mike Smail>>Dream Death, Penance, Under The Sun - Tim Tomaselli – Teamster>>Sean Saley>>Teamster, The Skull, Weed Is Weed – The Mighty Nimbus, In-Graved, Sixty Watt Shaman, Place Of Skulls, Gygax>>Pete Campbell>>The Mighty Nimbus, Gygax, Place Of Skulls, In-Graved

History & Biography
The doomy Pentagram has been around since 1971 with many fits and starts and yet lived to sadly tell the tale. The early influences were Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath. The group operated as Macabre for a year in 1972 before becoming Pentagram in 1972. Pentagram's first 7”, Be Forewarned, was released under the name Macabre and featured Lazy Lady on the B side. T Singer Bobby Liebling and guitarist Geof O'Keefe (later in Bedemon) were the founders. This lasted for five years. Then another year was tagged on, then three years were added (now as Death Row) and the act continued until 2005 with a long hiatus at the end of the 1980s. Income was sparse so the band reunited in 2008. Despite many shows, singles and demos the band’s first album came in 1985. Relapse compiled the group’s older material unto a compilation called First Daze Here in 2002. Much of the material is as groovy as it is doomy.

The 1985 debut was issued by Joe Hasselvander’s Pentagram imprint. The group issued two albums on Peaceville before reverting to demos. Joe Hasselvander handled all the instruments on Review Your Choices. A Keg Full Of Dynamite was recorded in 1978. Paul Trowbridge and Richard Kueht were on guitar. Joe Hasselvander switched to bass and guitar for three years before departing in 2002. Mike Smail of Penance drummed on Show ‘Em High. The record contained seven rerecorded 1970s’-era Pentagram songs along with three new compositions. The group was on unintentional hiatus and Liebling battled his drug dependency. The band conducted a fortieth anniversary tour in 2011 and recorded a live album in Helsinki. When The Screams Come was recorded in 2010. Victor Griffin left in 2019. His nephew is Greg Turley who played with the band in 1996 and again after 2010. Bobby Liebling played two concerts as Bobby Liebling And The Rivetheads in Austin and Houston, Texas, USA to start 2023. The act offered songs from Pentagram and Bedemon. A 7" was called The Singles in late 2023. The band had three US concerts in April 2024. Openers were Restless Spirit and All Hell. The band announced it would appear at Keep It True Rising IV in Würzburg, Germany in October 2024. This was part of the band's "farewell tour." Like every other farewell tour, the band announced that Heavy Psych Sounds Records had signed the act and the band was working on a new album in 2024. In the meantime, the label would rerelease the Sub-Basement (2001) and Review Your Choices (1999) albums. The act's latest line-up was guitarist Tony Reed (Mos Generator), bassist Scooter Haslip, (Mos Generator and ex-Saltine) and drummer Henry Vasquez (Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, Legion Of Doom and Sourvein). Pentagram was booked for the Levitation Festival in Austin, Texas, USA on November 3, 2024. The band was also touring Europe.


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 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