"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Column

Sunday Old School: Pentagram

Photo of Pentagram

Band Photo: Pentagram (?)

It’s amazing that some bands can have such a massive influence on a genre yet still remain unheard of by many music lovers. In this case, we’re talking about Virginia’s, Pentagram, who had an effect on the doom metal genre almost as great as Black Sabbath’s. The band was formed in 1971 by singer Bobby Liebling and drummer Geof O’Keefe, who were looking to form a band in the vein of some of the then recent underground sensations like Black Sabbath, UFO and Sir Lord Baltimore. The two found themselves going through a number of musicians all year until their bassist at the time, Vincent McAllister, switched to guitars and they recruited a new bassist in Greg Mayne and this lineup, known to fans as their "classic" lineup began rehearsing together on Christmas Day 1971. The group continued to write and perform material, but found their attempts at gaining major label interest were thwarted each time and the band eventually broke up with only a few demo recordings to their name, on New Year’s Eve 1975, two weeks after Bobby Liebling and his girlfriend were arrested.

In 1980, Liebling became the singer for a band named Death Row, which featured drummer Joe Hasselvander, who would later joing British heavy metal trio Raven, amongst others. After a while of performing together and including old Pentagram numbers in their set, the group decided to adopt the Pentagram name and much like the original incarnation of the band, found themselves struggling for years for a record deal. However, this time, their patience was rewarded when they decided to self-release an album in 1985 and begin to earn recognition from a wider section of heavy metal fans. Although the album was self-titled, it would eventually become known as "Relentless," after it was re-released through Peaceville Records in 1993 and is more commonly known by this mantle today. Their second album, "Day Of Reckoning" would follow in 1987, being released through Napalm Records this time. However, tensions rose once again and Pentagram called it a day soon afterwards. A quick reunion followed in 1993, just in time for the band to release their third album, "Be Forewarned" before they split up again.

Once more however, Pentagram would return, this time as a duo comprised of Liebling and Hasselvander and the two released two more albums, "Review Your Choices" in 1999 and "Sub-Basement" in 2001, before Hasselvander left. Rather than letting the band rest once more however, Liebling recruited a brand new lineup and they released, "Show ‘em How" in 2004, which featured only three original tracks, the rest of the record comprising of re-recorded older material. After the album’s release, the band went very quiet and was assumed to have broken up once again, before Liebling confirmed in 2008 that Pentagram were set to return with another new lineup. This time, the reunion shows went down very well with fans and the band found themselves being booked for more shows. After contacting many labels, the group finally found a new home when they signed to Metal Blade Records, through which they will release their new album, "Last Rites," their first in seven years, on April 12th.

Pentagram - "Sign Of The Wolf"

Pentagram - "Forever My Queen"

Pentagram - "Burning Saviour"

Pentagram - "Treat Me Right"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

What's Next?

Please share this article if you found it interesting.

You can get related band news and info in the sidebar and on the respective band pages.


4 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Pentagram"

Post your comments and discuss the article below! (no login required)

hellrat's avatar

Member

1. hellrat writes:

Fvckin Love It!!

these dudes are SO underrated....haven't really ever heard their newer sh!t, but I'm diggin the gloomy vibe of 8 off the latest one, and am looking forward to hearing the rest of Last Rites

Cheers to another great round of SOS brother!

# Apr 10, 2011 @ 11:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Rychemn's avatar

Member

2. Rychemn writes:

Yes indeed, another great read from a band that never really got all their dues......never knew they were formed in 71'......looks like I have some listening to do this week....awsome!!!..'cause I really dig sh#t like this.....Thanks again Oz........absolutely outstanding!!!

# Apr 10, 2011 @ 3:14 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jenny's avatar

Member

3. Jenny writes:

Whoa...I barely stumbled and fell on these guys a year ago. Time to revisit and check out more stuff. The first track I ever heard was "Forever My Queen." Although I loved the energetic vibe I definitely know I gotta check out the gloomier material; "Burning Savior" and "8" let me know that for sure.

Very good.

# Apr 10, 2011 @ 5:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

4. Cynic writes:

8 is such a great new song from these guys, legends. "Day of Reckoning" is a classic.

# Apr 10, 2011 @ 5:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

To minimize comment spam/abuse, you cannot post comments on articles over a month old. Please check the sidebar to the right or the related band pages for recent related news articles.