Review : PENTAGRAM- "Last Rites"

Pentagram Last Rites
Release: 2011Apr12 (US)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Rating: 4.5/5

As a fan of Pentagram, I was stoked to learn about this release, their first since 2004’s Show ‘Em How. If you’re not familiar with Pentagram, they are a pioneering predecessor that helped mold Saint Vitus (in the late 70s and 80s), Kyuss (in the late 80s and 90s), and The Devil’s Blood in this new century. Last Rites is especially unique because it contains unused demos/rehearsals that have been updated for a modern audience. Although, judging by the first spin, I’m certain that mainman Bobby Liebling never really left the hazy 70s.

Several tracks stand out, starting with “Treat Me Right”—a wicked twist between stoner rock and grunge that makes me wonder if I’m actually listening to early Soundgarden. “Into The Ground” drives deep in the brain, with some tasty fucking licks and a soundscape that transports you back to the band’s 1971 inception. “8” truly shows off the band’s infamous wizardry, and likewise, “Nothing Left” is a sinister, plodding plethora of chunky, fuzzy doom.

But “Horseman” nearly took my head off, and if it was the b-side to the 1972 single “Be Forewarned” (instead of “Lazy Lady”), this band would be on the same legendary wavelength as Black Sabbath.  Last Rites is an extraordinary effort from Pentagram that will please both fans of their older material and all the bands mentioned herein, who owe the venerable Virginians a debt of infernal gratitude.

FCC: Clean
Try: 1, 3, 4, 911

01. Treat Me Right
02. Call The Man
03. Into The Ground
04. 8
05. Everything’s Turning Into Night
06. Windmills and Chimes
07. American Dream
08. Walk In The Blue Light
09. Horseman
10. Death In First Person
11. Nothing Left
12. All Your Sins (reprise)

~Brad Barratt

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