Pentagram
Pentagram


4.5
superb

Review

by PsychicChris USER (116 Reviews)
October 6th, 2014 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It may have taken forever for Pentagram to get its first full-length album out there, but the result is worthy of its legendary status.

Pentagram has had some terrible luck over the course of their forty year history. While their influence over doom metal may be second only to Black Sabbath, they will always be remembered as the 70s band who never got their due thanks to the antics of one Bobby Liebling. Hell, their 1985 debut wasn't even intended to be a Pentagram album, as the group of musicians had originally recorded it under the Death Row moniker. Either way, Relentless has become a true classic in the doom metal canon.

Seeing how this was originally recorded as a demo in 1982, it isn't too surprising that this is one of Pentagram's rawest efforts to date. The sound could be compared to Venom's first couple albums in that it has a dirty tone while allowing a balance between instruments. Martin Swaney's bass can barely be heard but Victor Griffin's guitar and Joe Hasselvander's loose drumming set a grim foundation set for Liebling's macabre delivery.

In a strange bit of irony, this fixture of doom is actually one of the band's faster paced albums and largely lacks the 70s flair that they're otherwise famous for. You sure won't find any speed or thrash metal on here, but songs like "The Deist" and the title track seem to take more cues from Judas Priest than Captain Beyond or Blue Cheer. There is also a touch of classic metal influence as a band like Manowar could probably match the gallops on "Death Row" if they took enough downers.

But even if Relentless is one of the band's odd ducks stylistically, it does contain the best songs they ever put out. "All Your Sins" is the quintessential Pentagram anthem as a groovy drum roll gives way to a blistering set of mid-tempo riffs and catchy vocal lines. From there, "Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)" is an infectious romp and "The Ghoul" offers a percussive yet gloomy taste. 70s diehards will also appreciate the inclusion of "You're Lost, I'm Free" and the classic "20 Buck Spin" though they don't quite the same power as the tracks before them.

It may have taken forever for Pentagram to get its first full-length album out there, but the result is worthy of its legendary status. It may not be the band's best album, but it is one of their strongest and truly showcases their lineup at its best as a unit. The albums Saint Vitus and Candlemass released around the time may be better examples of 80s doom as we know it, but this one is essential listening.

Highlights:
"Death Row," "All Your Sins," "Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)," "The Ghoul," and "The Deist"

Originally published at http://psychicshorts.blogspot.com



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user ratings (133)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rockandmetaljunkie
October 6th 2014


6013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fuck yeah man, great choice !!

rockandmetaljunkie
October 6th 2014


6013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Do you intend to review their next two albums ?

BMDrummer
October 6th 2014


13725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

about time this got reviewed

PsychicChris
October 6th 2014


246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gonna be reviewing all seven of their studio albums. Calling it Pentagram Week!

BMDrummer
October 6th 2014


13725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome m/

sonictheplumber
October 6th 2014


7959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hell yeah

rockandmetaljunkie
October 6th 2014


6013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

that's great man, its about time, smn had to do it

rockandmetaljunkie
October 6th 2014


6013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Jamie will be pleased to hear this

MoosechriS
October 7th 2014


5761 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review dude, doom classic M/



Pos'd

NeroCorleone80
October 7th 2014


33852 Comments


Day of Reckoning is better, but this is m/

Digging: Nina Nastasia - Run to Ruin

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2014


9608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Props for reviewing this album. If you go for their discog, you may want to review First Daze Here (The Vintage Collection) as well.

Digging: Limbonic Art - Moon In The Scorpio

KILL
October 8th 2014


78343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why did you change it to the re-release name/cover fuckin non elite shit



props for reviewin tho

Digging: Bryan MacLean - Ifyoubelievein

sonictheplumber
February 25th 2015


7959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i wanna grow up and be like bobby liebling

rockandmetaljunkie
February 25th 2015


6013 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You can't. There's only only one Bobby Liebling.

wham49
September 9th 2015


1927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The problem with this album now is, the band is better on the original releases of First Daze here. You didn't know it when this came out, but looking back now, I would much rather listen to, the First Daze here than this release, the songs are the same, without the sonic boom of the originals is missing.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2015


9608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, First Daze Here is prime Pentagram. When Forever My Queen kicks in, it just grabs you by the balls so hard.

wham49
September 9th 2015


1927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Totally agree, nothing has ever been as gritty, my fave though is Into the Blue Light,

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
September 10th 2015


9608 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah gotta love those drum fills.

wham49
September 11th 2015


1927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The whole band is mindblowingly good, just the groove they set. Too bad they did not get a few official releases out before they folded, they would have been huge.

KILL
September 11th 2015


78343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea walk in the blue light is my fav too, those suspended chords



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