Pentagram: Turn to Stone (Peaceville, 2002)

by The_Uncle_Myke
from Vanguard Party 2.1 (October 2002)

Pentagram, the band not the acclaimed occult symbol, are Woodbridge, Virginia’s Doom Metal Kings. Having been consistently acclaimed throughout their thirty plus year career, 2002’s Compilation Turn to Stone is a faithful companion that upholds the spirit that is Pentagram. The obvious album comparison would be Paranoid to Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath era Black Sabbath. It’s been a long time, and this stuff is delicious.

I have to ask if Satan crafted this voice before or after Ozzy Osbourne’s. Either way vocalist Bobby Liebling is a force to be reckoned with and a face to watch out for. That’s not to underplay the fine musicianship in these songs. Though the guitar solos are a bit more understated than Sabbath’s early work (a characteristic of the production, not the playing), the guitar work here, done by Victor Griffin, would be suitable for a Sabbath album and moreover it works perfectly here. Martin Swaney and Joe Hasselvander ably preform the bass and drums, respectively.

“Petrified” starts the assault, which continues through one hour and eighteen minutes of solid rock. The Second track, “Wartime,” stands out the first time through, as do “Frustrations” and “When the Scream Comes.” “Wolf’s Blood” is of particular interest to “Danzig-ophiles,” who might note that it is tattooed on Glenn’s upper arm. Connected, maybe, but it is a neat occurrence and a damn good song.

Fuck, why aren’t these the guys on Ozzfest? Oh yeah, because they might challenge the Sabbath. Either way they apparently still tour and release albums, so you have no excuse for not seeing them when they rock your town (and your little sister). The have a website, www.ramshead.org, where you can go to have your world rocked and order merchandise to show that it was rocked. This is one CD that I will be keeping and one that will be seeing plenty of playing time as well. Be pissed if Pentagram shirts don’t start showing up all around campus, and then be pissed if all those trendy fucks start wearing them. Sharpies and tees, oh the fun you can have.

 

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