Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Review: Pentagram – 'Curious Volume'

'Curious Volume'

The US legendary doom metal pioneers Pentagram return with their eight full-length studio album in the form of 'Curious Volume'. Despite originally forming in 1971, it wasn't until the mid 1980s that the band would take a foothold in the annals of doom metal. But they have made their presence felt ever since even through multiple line-up and record labels changes. Pentagram are still referenced by many upcoming doom metal bands as a major influence on them.

So what do they have left to offer in 2015? Well, quite a bit actually. With the return of Victor Griffin on guitar (again) and coming home to Peaceville Records, the band have a fire lit underneath them again. Which is evident right from the start of the album's opener 'Lay Down And Die' is an old school riff-o-rama in classic pentagram style that still feels right at home these days considering bands such as Orchid, Uncle acid And the Dead Beats and Ghost are doing well with their own take on the formula.

The album continues in a similar fashion for the most part letting the heavy guitars lead and Bobby Liebling's distinctive vocals power through the mix. The likes of 'Dead Bury Dead', 'Curious Volume', 'Misunderstood', 'Sufferin'', and 'The Devil's Playground' are particular stand outs with their raw and to the point execution, great riffs, throbbing rhythms and great vocals they easily hold their own with the young bucks as well as stand up against Pentagrams already legendary discography.

The album enjoys that raw 1970s/80s bluesy mix that harks back not only to their own early recordings but also to the likes of Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. It sounds timeless, rather than dated and definitely delivers what the long-time fans will be looking for.

'Curious Volume' is another strong chapter in the Pentagram story. It may not quite capture the heights of 'Day Of Reckoning', but it definitely builds on the strong foundation of 2011's 'Last Rites' with the end result being one of the band's strongest outings to date. 'Curious Volume' shows that Pentagram are still a force in doom metal and still have a lot to give.  

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