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'Curious Volume'
(Peaceville Records)
Out Now

Johnny Main

johnny main


American Heavy Metal band Pentagram are without a doubt one of the pioneers of the doom Metal genre having enjoyed a career that has so far spanned nearly forty five years.

Formed in Alexandria, Virginia during the early seventies, the band didn't release their debut album until 1985 but from there on in there was a sporadic supply of new material every few years with bouts of the band splitting up and reforming with new line ups in between.

Over the years, Pentagram have become an influence to bands such as Coventry based Doom merchants Cathedral and US based Trouble, but Pentagram still continue to break new ground and produce material that blends elements of their doom Metal past along with a more bluesy based Heavy Metal tone to create their somewhat unique sound.

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The bands eighth studio album, 'Curious Volume', is a case in point. Kicking things off is ,Lay Down And Die' which has drummer and newest member of the band Pete Campbell playing a solid but fairly simple beat whilst the guitar riff courtesy of band stalwart Victor Griffin comes across clear and strong. The only founding member of the band and front man Bobby Liebling sounds like he's pushing his voice towards its limit but still gives an excellent performance on the mid-paced number.

With 'Dead Bury Dead', slow and heavy are the watch words as the song takes its time allowing each band member to flex their musical muscles. Whist Campbell lays into the drums it's up to Griffin's guitar riff takes centre stage almost overpowering Liebling's vocals at times, but never fully succeeding.

'Earth Flight' remains one of my favourite tracks for the outset, and it brings the pace of the album right up. As Campbell lays out the frantic beat there's a somewhat lengthy intro to be negotiated whilst Griffin throws in a great and, later on in the song, a very inventive solo. It's a catchy number and the addition of some ascending backing vocals towards the end adds a touch of class to an already great song. If you were to choose a first song to hear from the album, then this is the one I would highly recommend.


As you get further into the album, there's a great almost bluesy number in the shape of 'Suffering'. The great big fat guitar riff from Griffin really drives this number whilst Campbell keeps himself and bass player, Greg Turley, in check at the back. Campbell's guitar solo is tagged into the end of the song, and it seems to almost be a bit of an afterthought, but the song is really good anyway so it doesn't really add anything extra to the track.

Towards the end, there's the fantastic 'The Devils Playground' which has Campbell once again lays down a simple but heavy drum beat once his short fill at the beginning is out of the way. By far, this track is the heaviest and the slowest number showcased on the album. It really is a master-class in how to produce a classic doom Metal song.

Once again, Griffin's guitar solo is left towards the end of the song, but it's amongst the best of not only the album but possibly one of guitarists most accomplished solos of his career.

You can hear a trailer for 'Curious Volume' album here:

You can see Pentagram live here:
Wednesday 26th August – Neumos, Seattle
Thursday 27th August – Dante's, Portland
Friday 28th August – The Chapel, San Francisco
Saturday 29th August – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz
Wednesday 30th September – Underground Arts, Philadelphia
Thursday 1st October – The Met, Pawtucket
Friday 2nd October – Revolution Bar & Music Hall, New York
Saturday 3rd October – Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
Tuesday 6th October – Saint Vitus, New York
Wednesday 7th October – Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale
Friday 9th October – Abbey Pub, Chicago
Saturday 10th October – The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Sunday 11th October – Grog Shop, Cleveland
Wednesday 11th November – Vulkan Arena, Oslo
Saturday 14th November – O2 Academy Islington, London
Sunday 15th November – Sound Control, Manchester
Tuesday 17th November – Le Ferrailleur, Nantes
Thursday 19th November – Matrix, Bochum

'Curious Volume' Tracklist:
Lay Down And Die
The Tempter Push
Dead Bury Dead
Earth Flight
Walk Alone
Curious Volume
Close The Casket
Devil's Playground
Because I Made It

Pentagram are:
Bobby Liebling – Vocals
Victor Griffin – Guitar
Greg Turley - Bass Guitars
Pete Campbell – Drums

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