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March 24th, 2010 NATHAN CARSON | Music Stories
 

Primer: Pentagram

     
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IMAGE: Christian Misje

FORMED: 1971 in Arlington, Va.—but the band is generally known as the grandfather of the Baltimore doom scene.

SOUNDS LIKE: A cross between Black Sabbath and the Doors. This is the real deal: Dark, post-Woodstock rock that is warm as melted butter and bone-chilling as a haunted house.

FOR FANS OF: Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer, the Stooges, the Animals, Blue Öyster Cult, KISS

WHY YOU CARE: Pentagram was the first American band to take Black Sabbath’s blueprint for heavy metal and craft truly great new songs. Unfortunately, drugs, disorganization and bad luck left the group without a recording contract for its first 15 years. Demos were cut for several labels, but no deals were ever struck. By the time Pentagram became a semi-functional album-generating band in the mid-’80s, doom was the least commercial style of music around. But frontman Bobby Liebling and crew pressed on, if only to afford another fix. Pentagram was a myth even in the doom metal underground. But the Internet age finally came, and no stone remains unturned. Relapse Records came to the rescue, remastering two collections of Pentagram’s early compositions. Liebling is an old and unhealthy man—the least likely survivor of this essential and long-toothed act. Replacing his fallen comrades is a selection of second-generation Baltimore doom scenesters—truly the best living men for the job.


SEE IT: Pentagram plays Satyricon on Saturday, March 27. 8 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. All ages (+ bar w/ID).
 
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