Pentagram - Curious Volume

Pentagram Curious Volume cover
Pentagram
Curious Volume
Peaceville Records
2015
7
The US Pentagram are a bizarre case, Bobby Liebling is their sole original member and obvious focal point, being the singer and all... the band has existed in one way or another from 1971 until this day, with a few short time downs and a couple of name changes, that were always reverted after a while… the band didn’t actually release a debut until sometime in the mid-80s and Bobby has on more than one occasions overdosed and so on… so… while a lot of retro loving kids these days try to sound like their heroes, Pentagram, don’t even have to try, with a guy like B, they embody the cadaverous spirit of the era, that just refuses to die. Actually, since Bobby’s health got a little improved recently, they just kept on going and gigging around and by the grace, of the ones from beyond, this leads us to the bands, what – ninth studio effort…?
 
Those familiar with the band know what to expect more or less, as Pentagram doesn’t seriously stray from what is expected from them except on occasion. Some sludgy heavy rock, doom amalgam, that on occasion tips more towards doom or more towards rock ‘n roll is to be expected, but maybe this time around there's a bit more variation. Their production is not bad, as the guy who was behind the knobs for “Last Rites” is still in place, but don’t expect something earthshattering… as the band’s style doesn’t necessitate some “exorbitant”  big production. They get a nice, dry and slightly boomy 70s sound that is even more authentic due to Libling’s performances...
 
Opener “Lay Down and Die” is a bit swampy sounding but it’s quite energetic and rather impressive to be honest.
 
“The Tempter Push” exploits a rather typical rock riff, with gusto, while “Dead Bury Dead” sounds more stoney and a bit like Clutch…
 
“Earth Flight” is bleaker and moodier and probably one of the more epic and interesting moments of the album, only problem is that it’s too short!
 
Walk Alone” demonstrates a rather nice main riff, that makes it quite endearing, while the eponymous “Curious Volume” is more typical and several hyes darker and gloomier.
 
“Misunderstood” has another quite sweet riff, but Liebling’s delivery is a bit too pouty, sounding a bit like a demented Mark Bolan wannabe.
 
“Close the Casket” is even moodier and darker, almost to the point of sounding a bit pretentious, but hey, if people like other shit, why would Pentagram’s quite authentic style phaze em.
 
“Sufferin’” shake quite a dust up, all rock ‘n rolling and constantly buzzing…
 
“Devil’s Playground” sounds like typical Pentagram only way more spaced out… with it’s jazzed out lazy jam riffs, just expanding all over…
 
Lastly the “autobiographical” “Because I Made It” is at other times bittersweet and almost apologetic and at others defiant and unapologetic, a bit of an enigma…
 
It’s a miracle that Pentagram are still around making music and hell, it sounds quite authentic, so I can’t put them down although I consider them, quite the underground, also runs, that could have never antagonized, the mainstays of each era they were active in, or they would have already done so…