Pentagram
Curious Volume


3.5
great

Review

by manosg STAFF
August 27th, 2015 | 44 replies


Release Date: 08/28/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pentagram delivers another solid old school metal album with enough hooks but decreased doom metal elements compared to past releases.

Pentagram is one of the biggest “what ifs"” in the history of rock music. What if they had released on time the material Bobby Liefling composed during 1968-73" What if it hadn’t taken them 14 years to release their first album" Would they be considered the first doom metal band" What if Relentless (or Pentagram as it is known) was the first official doom metal release instead of Witchfinder General’s Death Penalty" One thing is certain though; after all is said and done, we are who we are. And regardless of talent and inspiration, our state of mind and the decisions we make fundamentally determine our path in life.

Bobby Liebling could have been recognized as one of the most influential men in heavy metal and among the greatest metal vocalists while stepping out of the underground long before 2011’s documentary Last Days Here. Nevertheless, his talent came with a hefty price, in the form of his heavy drug addiction, but without it he wouldn’t have been the man he turned out to be.

Pentagram’s previous effort marked guitarist’s Victor Griffin return to the band and proved to be a solid effort. Curious Volume is once again a very enjoyable affair for old-school rock/metal fans and the most important reason is Griffin himself. With a beefy, distorted tone that any doom guitarist would be happy to utilize, and an array of memorable riffs and catchy solos, Pentagram’s guitarist provides the backbone on each track of the album. Bobby Liebling does a very good job at sounding fierce on “Lay Down and Die” and “Earth Flight” – which was written more than 40 years ago – and commanding on “Dead Bury Dead”, “Close the Casket” and “Devil’s Playground”. However, his age and mileage is evident even though his overall performance is commendable especially considering his wear and tear. Furthermore, calling Curious Volume doom metal wouldn’t be 100% accurate. A more fitting description may be heavy rock with enough hooks and influences from Cream, Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath of course, among others. Imagine something similar to Witchfinder General but with a heavier guitar tone. Nevertheless, the doom element is definitely present on here and is what makes Pentagram’s music special on tracks such as on the autobiographical “Close the Casket” or “Devil’s Playground”.

On the other hand, those who are not familiar with the band or have only heard their early material compilations such as First Daze Here might have trouble getting into the album. Bobby Liebling is – naturally – far from his ‘70s self, while his pronunciation is a bit iffy (“Misunderstood”), and the band sounds more “plastic” than those early recordings. So if you’re wondering if Curious Volume is a good starting point for a new listener, First Daze Here or Relentless might be better choices. Lastly, more doom wouldn’t hurt at all.

In the final analysis, Curious Volume consists of songs that I’d happily pay to experience in a live surrounding, which plays a major role in rock n’ roll and provides fuel to the band. At the same time, Pentagram does exactly what they’re known for – which was quite expected – while the album’s lifetime value remains to be seen. At the end of the day, Liebling & Co. give a lot of younger guys a run for their money by crafting catchy and filthy melodies that riff lovers are bound to enjoy.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
PsychicChris (4)
There's an alternate universe where Bobby Liebling went down the Ozzy Osbourne route of vocal proces...


Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was between a 3 and a 3.5 but the benefit of doubt always goes to Bobby.



Full stream: http://noisey.vice.com/blog/pentagram-new-album-2015

Digging: Praying Mantis - Forever in Time

ChaoticVortex
August 27th 2015


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was debating with myself between a 3.5 and a 4 but due to my sheer biased love for 70's hard rock/doom metal I give it a 4. Major props for Bobby and the others for still delivering solid and enjoyable music after so many years.



Good review.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks. Bobby's stash of songs from the '70s is endless haha. I think I read somewhere that 4-5 songs on here were written in the early '70s.

danielcardoso
August 27th 2015


11770 Comments


Hey man, I heard about that band once before, don't remember much though. Will read your review later.

SharkTooth
August 27th 2015


13963 Comments


First paragraph was gold, but I do have a couple suggestions

"But at the end of the day, his talent came with a hefty price and without it he wouldn’t have been the man he turned out to be."
could you add a sentence or 2 explaining what that price was?

" However, at the end of the day, Liebling & Co. give a lot of younger guys a run for their money by crafting catchy and filthy melodies that riff lovers are bound to enjoy."
Delete the 'however' in front, it makes the sentence read awkwardly

Otherwise review was great as usual

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@dan

Yeah they could/should have been much bigger but shit got in the way. Don't know if they're your style.



@Shark

Glad you enjoyed man. Thanks for the suggestions as well.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, regarding the "hefty price"; I meant his heavy addiction to drugs that got the best of him and prevented him from realizing his potential. I actually thought of including a sentence or two about that, but a lot of Pentagram reviews out there focus on Liebling's drug addiction and I didn't want another one talking about drugs and shit. So thanks for reminding me to clarify that in the comments section. But if other guys want me to include it in the actual review, feel free to tell me and I'll edit it.

danielcardoso
August 27th 2015


11770 Comments


Yeah, maybe not man. My knowledge on metal is pretty hazy besides Megadeth and Metallica :] You're a fan?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yup big one. Maybe now that classic rock isn't clicking with you, you can check a bit metal ;) Maybe some Iron Maiden?

danielcardoso
August 27th 2015


11770 Comments


Well, if you consider The Who classic rock (which I'm not sure if I would), I'll consistently say they've always been one of the most overlooked bands ever. Just listened to Who's Next again today and it's amazing. Not an Iron Maiden fan, I'm afraid. Some great songs, but overall never really cared for the albums they've got. Your opinion on Judas Priest?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm a fan of Priest but not as big as some guys on here. Their post-British Steel material sounds a bit "mechanic" to me if you know what I mean. How about Motorhead? You dig them?



Agreed on The Who. Especially Who's Next and Quadrophenia are brilliant albums.

danielcardoso
August 27th 2015


11770 Comments


Have yet to hear Live At Leeds but I'm looking forward to doing so since it's hailed as a classic. Yeah, I asked but I'm not a massive Priest fan myself, though Stained Class especially is an excellent record. Only know a few tunes from Motorhead, Ace Of Spades obviously being one of them, and it didn't really get me interested in checking out proper albums of theirs. Any one you'd recommend?

I heard Blizzard Of Ozz a couple of times just a few days back and, though I reckon it's good, I don't get the hype for it. That'd explain why I only gave it a 3. What's your opinion on it?

deslad
August 27th 2015


633 Comments


Great review as always man, mind pos. I am not into doom metal so much so I am not sure I'll check this one out though. I also listened to First Daze Here and it was OK for me, but nothing special I'm afraid.

Digging: Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece

Forest159
August 27th 2015


63 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Funnily enough, this is my first Pentagram record. Figured I've put off listening to them to much and would check the new album out. Was kinda disappointed since there's so little doom, but I still dug the record. It sounds great.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks des. Yeah if First Daze Here didn't do much for you, this one won't do either.



Good stuff Forest. I imagine you'd really dig their earlier material once you check it.

deslad
August 27th 2015


633 Comments


That's what I thought exactly manos.

Forest159
August 27th 2015


63 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, definitely plan on checking out their earlier stuff. For a doomier record would you recommend Relentless or First Daze Here?

DrJohn
August 27th 2015


1041 Comments


cool stuff manos. btw, is that double "at the end of the day" on your last par there on purpose? kinda works tbh ;P

SharkTooth
August 27th 2015


13963 Comments


"Oh, regarding the "hefty price"; I meant his heavy addiction to drugs that got the best of him and prevented him from realizing his potential. I actually thought of including a sentence or two about that"

just say "due to his drug problem" and it'll be good

manosg
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2015


11542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Forest

I'd say begin with First Daze. The band is at its peak imo and it has some early versions of Forever My Queen and Starlady that are awesome.



@DrJohn

Always nice to see you bud. Not exactly on purpose haha. I made some edits to the last paragraph and the double thingy was the outcome of them. Hope it reads better now.



@Shark

OK, edited the sentence. Hope it's better now.



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