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Pentagram: Last Rites

70's underground doom sensations Pentagram just refuse to go away, and as they celebrate their 40th anniversary with a brand new studio CD for Metal Blade Records titled Last Rites, it seems that there's plenty of heavy metal music still left in the tank from Bobby Liebling & company. Not only is a new album from these Virginia legends noteworthy in itself, but ace guitarist Victor Griffin is also back in tow for the first time since the early 90's, and brings his heavy riffs and wah-wah laced psychedelic solos with him. Longtime fans of the band no doubt know that this is a winning combination, and yes, Last Rites certainly delivers. Bassist Greg Turley and new drummer Albert Born round out the line-up here.

From start to finish, there's no sortage of skull crushers here on Last Rites. Though there is for sure that crushing 70's feel throughout, with modern production values this is a really good sounding CD that allows the power of Pentagram to really shine through. Liebling's trademark warble fits like a glove on the moody & atmospheric doomster "8", and Griffin's crushingly heavy riffs take "Call the Man", "Into the Ground", and "Horseman" to new levels of psychedelic metal madness. Not everything is about massive doom however, as you also get the Doors-meets-Lynyrd Skynyrd type fare of "Everything Turning to Night" and "Windmills and Chimes", two songs that feature Leibling's fine melodic vocals and stinging guitar solos from Griffin. "American Dream" mixes prog with plodding metal, and "Walk in Blue Light" could have been a leftover from Black Sabbath's Master of Reality...yeah, it's that heavy.

With newer bands like Noctum, Witchcraft, Graveyard, The Sword, and Grand Magus raising the torch for vintage sounding 70's hard rock & doom, it's great to see one of the originators still at it and keeping the flames alive. Last Rites is the real deal, and let's hope Pentagram can keep this line-up intact and continue on with more of the same for years to come.

Track Listing
1. Treat Me Right (2:32)
2. Call the Man (3:49)
3. Into the Ground (4:21)
4. 8 (5:02)
5. Everything's Turning to Night (3:18)
6. Windmills and Chimes (4:33)
7. American Dream (4:33)
8. Walk in Blue Light (4:59)
9. Horseman (3:38)
10. Death is 1st Person (4:01)
11. Nothing Left (3:37)

Added: December 8th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 2575
Language: english

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