If you haven’t gotten the new Pentagram, titled ‘Curious Volume’ yet, then you need to change that immediately. Because this one is a winner. I know, many of you long time Pentagram fans must have been through a lot over the years. Live gigs that sucked, or got cancelled, frequent changes in the band’s line-up, etc., well, I guess Pentagram is not necessarily a synonym for consistency. However, as we all know, it’s certainly not because for lack of talent.
Anyway, back to Curious Volume, which was released earlier this week. If I had to put things simple, I would call this record a top-notch heavy rock album. It features a great mix of tracks with different degrees of heaviness. Which brings me to a point that seems to be a constant subject for debate: is the new Pentagram album doomy enough? Honestly, what actually is Doom Metal – I think the argument whether a certain band or record should be considered Doom or not is silly. Thankfully, I’m of an age where I can legitimately call everything I like Rock ‘n’ Roll and it always seems to fit. So, whether or not Pentagram’s Curious Volume should be called a Doom record is completely up to you. I think we can all agree that it’s by any standard a very good heavy rock product.
As a matter of fact, I would go as far as saying that it has the potential to elevate to a milestone or all-time classic. Like with all good albums of such caliber, it will take time to get there. For me, the more I listen to Curious Volume, the better it gets. As I said in the video, my favorite track for now is “The Devil’s Playground”, but let’s have a brief look at all of them.
The opener “Lay down and die” is a staccato-esque boom-bang-boom-bang piece with brutal drive. From the first note on, Bobby Liebling leaves no doubt regarding his legendary vocal-panache (weird word construction, I know). Victor Griffin’s wah-wah lead guides elegantly through the song, while Greg Turley and Pete Campbell keep popping away. Track number 2, “The Tempter Push” is a real ‘Pentagram’ tune, founded on a simple, yet ‘I’ll leave no prisoners’ power riff. I’m not surprised that Victor Griffin wrote this piece. The third track is aptly named “Dead Bury Dead”, just listen to the intro guitar riff and you know what I mean. “Earth flight” needs no further introduction, it’s an old Pentagram Classic in a new outfit – again, beautiful guitar work by Mr. Griffin! The next song is “Walk Alone” and I admit, I wasn’t sure where they were going with this one, but the more I listen to it, the better I understand it, I think. The ending is yet another typical Pentagram ‘move’!
“Curious Volume”, the title track, is both atmospheric and playful at the same time. Very interesting song-writing! In contrast, the following number “Misunderstood” is another straight forward power-stomp tune. “Close the Casket” takes things down a notch, but only in terms of tempo, certainly not with regard to riff-intensity! “Sufferin’” is another prime example of great songwriting, featuring some very interesting guitar harmonics. Now, the next one “The Devil’s playground”, as I mentioned before, is my favorite track for now. The whole song is brilliant and has just everything a heavy rock fan is looking for on an album. “Because I made it” is the perfect closer, it has a little bit of everything. Slow passages, some up-tempo sections, swirly guitars, everything comes nicely together.
So, kudos to all of you, Victor Griffin (guitars), Greg Turley (bass), Bobby Liebling (vocals) and Pete Campbell (drums). And let’s also not forget the mover and shaker behind the scenes, Mr. Sean Pelletier without whom Pentagram wouldn’t exist today, I would venture to say. So, thank you Pellet, you came through yet again!
Alright, this one is going to be a classic, as I said before. I encourage you to pick up your copy of Pentagram Curious Volume today. I promise, you won’t regret it.