Every time Pentagram make a new record, it’s a small, doom-laden miracle. As documented in the 2011 film Last Days Here (and a SPIN profile by David Marchese), frontman Bobby Liebling has struggled with drugs since forming the trailblazing heavy metal band in early-’70s Alexandria, Virginia. Also in 2011, Pentagram released Last Rites, their first proper album since 2004 — and their first with classic-era guitarist Victor Griffin since 1994.
Now, Pentagram have signed with Peaceville Records for a new studio album, the label has announced. The release is scheduled for this summer. The band has finished pre-production of the yet-untitled record, helmed by Sweden’s Mattias Nilsson and Last Rites producer Travis Wyrick. The new album will include old songs Liebling wrote in the ’70s but never properly recorded along with new songs written with Griffin, bassist Greg Turley and new drummer “Minnesota” Pete Campbell, who previously played in the band Victor Griffin’s In-Graved.
To understand the import of Pentagram’s signing to Peaceville, you need to know a little about the band’s history. They didn’t release their first, self-titled album (also known as Relentless) until 1985, when Griffin was in the band. Peaceville helped bring the record new attention by reissuing it in 1993 and restoring it to the demo the band recorded in 1982, which lacked some later guitar and vocal overdubs.
“Doom is often mistaken as exclusively slow music,” the band says in a statement. “If you listen to our classic ‘doom’ album Relentless, many of those doomed classics are quite fast. One of the magics of doom metal is to have a faster song seem much slower because of the sheer heaviness of the number. That’s what we are going for. The band will sound like they are as much from the street as they are from the Sabbath, because, well, we are.”
Pentagram also churn up an unholy racket live, as I can personally attest, and on March 31, they’ll release All Your Sins, a double-DVD featuring seven hours of footage spanning 30 years. Check out the artwork and tracklist below.
All Your Sins (March 31)
1.1 Death Row Live at the Silver Fox – 1983 [01:29]
1.2 CBGBs – 1985 [00:28]
1.3 The Seagull Inn – 1985 [00:22]
1.4 The Hung Jury Pub – 1987 [00:39]
1.5 9:30 Club – 1993 [00:41]
2.1 The Paragon – 1993 [01:02]
2.2 The End – 2010 [01:09]
2.3 John Dee, Oslo – 2012 [01:11]
2.4 The DNA Lounge – 2014 [00:06]