Pentagrind

Oh hay guise. It seems I forgot to post for awhile.

Well, one excuse I can offer is the Pentagram cover band that I’m currently playing guitar in. I got pegged by some guys from this solid grind band, Magruder Grind, who are supposed to do a one-off, cover-band going-away-party show for a local musician and organizer. So Pentagram is the name of the game. Pentagram was a proto-doom/sludge band from the 1970s and ’80s. The band seemed to fall apart in the mid-late ’70s before attaining much success, and had a different vocalist guitarist when they recorded songs again in the early ’80s. The two periods have different sounds and songwriting styles, which is to be expected considering they were about ten years apart. A lot of Pentagram’s classic stuff has been recently re-released by Nuclear Blast .

The early ’70s stuff contains a number of classic-rock and acid-rock sounds, but has a somewhat unconventional songwriting style. Actually, most of their stuff is fairly unconventional for a sludgy classic rock outfit. One of the songs I really like from their early period is called “Starlady” and covers a lot of great sound aesthetics from the period, but with a slightly rougher edge (as one would hope of a band called Pentagram!). I’d really like to cover this one, as it retains some more epic elements than their other stuff, and has a good sense of phrasing during the solos.

Pentagram – Starlady

Their ’80s stuff has a heavier sound to it, has more frenetic solos and–as I mentioned before, a new singer. One of the cooler songs from this period has to be “Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)”, which might as well be their theme song. Haha, my friend was saying it’s like the song they should play at the beginning of their Monkees-style TV show. Some solid catchy sludge from the ’80s:

Pentagram – Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)

The ’70s sludge aesthetic has been pretty popular with metal bands as of late (to say nothing of the big trend of drone, stuff like Sunn O)))). There has been a prevalent trend of bands trying to reinvent the classic doom sounds of Black Sabbath, Candlemass, and even late acid-rock stuff like Uriah Heep. It is said cultural trends are cyclical. Well, no surprises there. Aren’t modern rap and go-go bands currently trying to reference classic R&B, Motown, and … go-go? (It’s not rhetorical: I’m really asking this because I don’t know!)

So there are a number of bands attaining notoriety that use and admire the ’70s rock sound — the wide panning and heavy low end on the mixes (where you can actually hear the bass). As one of my friends pointed out, some metal folks are just sick of the clicky, triggered double-bass drums found in so much modern death metal and black metal. Those genres are mixed almost entirely into mid-range EQs and the double-bass drums are triggered with a “click” sound in order to make them stand out in the mix. The low end is usually dominated by downtuned guitars and growling vocals.

*snore* Sorry… Yeah, I attribute a large part of this Black Sabbath worship to the excellent Electric Wizard, who have been doing their intense (Satanic) “Black Sabbath-on-steroids” thing for over a decade, as well as the early ’90s “stoner metal” California band, Sleep.

Check ’em out — just might be your thing!

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on October 19, 2008.

2 Responses to “Pentagrind”

  1. more of a pentangle guy.

    Man – so much stoner rock is “by the book.” Makes it hard to wade through it all – glad your doing your part.

  2. Heh heh, I’m actually not that informed on the stuff myself! I was always more into the melodic doom angle than the current drone/sludge trend anyway.

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