Review Summary: First Daze Here is the Quintessential Doom metal album, the fuzzy riffs, sonic boom, and great voice of Bobby Liebling make this album perfect. However, pinning down this band as just Doom does not do this band justice.
There was a lot happening in the 70’s musically. Many of the new bands were bringing lots of different influences to their music, from The Beatles, Stones, Motown, Sabbath, jazz fusion, and psychedelic music. One of these bands was Pentagram, a D.C. based band led by Bobby Liebling. Liebling and his band were gritty and dirty, with lots of fuzz in their sound. The first time anybody outside of D.C. heard Pentagram was the early 80’s with a self-titled album full of fantastic doom and gloom, behind Lieblings perfect voice and brilliantly written songs. Unfortunately, nobody got to hear the first recording of these songs, recorded up to 10 years prior to that first release, with different lineups. It took almost 20 years for these early recording to come out in the album being reviewed “First Daze Here”. What was released may be the quintessential Doom Metal album. The album in question took prime recordings from early years of Pentagram spanning from the early to late 70’s. To call this album a compilation would be unjust, It was what this band was doing during those years, without the backing of a major label, they had to record when they could get the money together, sometimes waiting years to record their songs.
The opening track to “First Daze Here” is “Forever My Queen”, and within the first 10 seconds you know why this band is so highly regarded, the bass fuzz and downbeat just make any metal head, especially those interested in the vintage sounding stuff, excited to hear more. The sound is so heavy and destructive, with great time changes and beautiful hopeful lyrics. OK, not completely hopeful, but Liebling’s voice inflection really drives home the message whether he is singing about love, or a cheap hooker. The third song on the album, “Walk In the Blue Light” is probably their best song, the time changes, which are present throughout the album, really set the mood here, Bobby’s lyrics of the temptation of drugs and peer pressure can be related to on any level. Probably the most sinister lyrical song is “Be Forewarned”, a song about stalking a girl until she relents and agrees to be with him, sounds bad I know, but still totally cool. The last song is as close to a ballad as they could possibly get, But Bobby’s voice inflection give the song a certain edge. I would like to go on and on, reviewing each song, but it is really hard to describe perfection, it is something you just have to hear yourself. You will hear almost all these songs on more recent releases; however you have not heard these songs until you hear them on “First Daze Here”.
To call this band “Doom Metal” is not doing them justice. These guys transcend genres. Yes, they are very heavy and fuzzy, but they have great time changes and a certain groove, and even some funk splattered in the doom and gloom, as people say, they swing. So please do your mind and ears a favor and check it out, you may be changed forever.