Thursday 24 September 2015

Pentagram - Curious Volume (Album Review)

Release date: August 28th 2015. Label: Peaceville Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Curious Volume – Tracklisting

01. Lay Down And Die
02. The Tempter Push
03. Dead Bury Dead
04. Earth Flight
05. Walk Alone
06. Curious Volume
07. Misunderstood
08. Close The Casket
09. Sufferin`
10. Devil`s Playground
11 .Because I Made It

Band Members:

Bobby Liebling (vox), Victor Griffin (gtr), Greg Turley (bass), Pete Campbell (Drums)


Legendary doom merchants Pentagram are back with their new album Curious Volume and back to what they do best, which as we all know is doom metal in its purest form.

With his well publicised personal demons hopefully behind him, it is great to hear Bobby Liebling still singing his heart out (his performance on Misunderstood sound like he is having the time of his life) and the fact that he still sounds as good as he does is testament to his vocal ability and resilience no matter the odds, his tortured vocals on the song Dead Bury Dead sound as though they could be from Pentagrams classic first album, and it's not just Liebling who is on top form, the rest of the band play an absolute blinder. Victor Griffin proves once again that he is one of the best and most underrated guitarists on the planet, cranking out doomier than thou riffs and solos with consummate ease, his playing on Close The Casket in particular is sublime as is the closing solo on Because I Made It. Greg Turley and Pete Campbell also prove themselves to be a vital rhythm section on the album too, creating a faultless groove that you can't help but get involved in.

As mentioned before, this is classic Pentagram and the material on Curious Volume could have easily slotted in with their earlier material (indeed songs here date back to when the band were first starting out) such as the opening bombast of Lay Down And Die, the groovy doom of Earth Flight (complete with a mind blowing mid 70s doom finale) and the albums title track (which comes complete with some exceptionally fine brooding riffs from Griffin) while tracks such as the anthemic Walk Alone, the frenetic Misunderstood, the funereal stomp of Close The Casket and epic album closer Because I Made It (a track that is both uplifting and life affirming and seems to sum up the spirit that drives the band) that classic blueprint and come up with a vibe that is both fresh and timeless.

Pentagram although legendary within doom and metal circles still never got their dues in their heyday but such is the strength of the songs on Curious Volume they will hopefully receive them now, they undoubtedly deserve it and fact that Pentagram are still an active band is an amazing feat let alone releasing an album as vital as Curious Volume. Lay Down And Die may be a title on the album but it is definitely something that Pentagram aren't going to do any time soon and that is something to be thankful for. A magnificent return from legendary band.

Words by Gavin Brown

Curious Volume is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl now through Peaceville Records