Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pentacle

Pentacle (Holland) began in 1989 and were inspired by the classics of extreme metal: Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, Death and the other names at the foundation of the genre. They are a cult band, but metal people into the sounds of the classics of extreme metal, of black/death/thrash, would be pleased to learn about this band, if they have not done so. Who is Pentacle and what is Pentacle about? Below you can read excerpts of reviews at Metal Archives and the band's biography, too.
BIOGRAPHY: Chained within the mythical realms of primeaval black/death metal, so graciously unveiled in the early 80's by hallowed cults such as Venom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Possessed, Messiah, Destruction, Necrovore, Bathory, Treblinka, Slaughter (CAN) and Necrophagia, Pentacle's sepul­chral tribute, to this unforgotten legacy, started back in winter '89/'90 when Mike (guitar), Wannes (bass/vocals) and Marc (drums) joined forces...
Entangled in the growing urge to inspire their own roaring metal quest, Pentacle soon developed a highly ambitious con­spiracy; forging twisting death metal rhythms and haunting doom chords in the archaic traditions of the crafts. 1992 spewed forth Pentacle's first official rehearsaltape, "Caressed by Both Sides"; a primal anthology of pounding horror, which contained 4 of their own compositions as well as the band's gloomy interpretation of Hellhammer's "The Reaper". Shortly after the tape's release, Pentacle gained stage expe­rience supporting bands such as Asphyx and Gorefest.
The heretical spawn crawled on into 1993 with the trinity's one and only studio demo, "Winds of the Fall", which unleashed 5 more charnel hymns to conquer souls enslaved by ancient metal. Their earthly testimony of doom was reflected in prai­sing reviews and encouraging respect from kindred bands. More stages were shared with the likes of Occult, Anathema, Senten­ced, Ancient Rites, Acrostichon, Eternal Solstice and Samael...
1994 witnessed Pentacle descending into the recording dungeons once more, to evoke "A Dance Beyond"; exclusively destined to be included on the DSFA 6/"Paradise of the Underground" compilation CD, for the Dutch based DSFA label.
Pentacle's first vinyldesecration "Exalted Journey", emerged a few mooncycles later; from the Belgian Midian Creations; a 2 track 7" EP to spread the ceremonial onslaught even further...
In March/April 1996, Pentacle's ranks of the depraved were joined by axewielder Edwin, to create an even heavier and deadlier storm of slashing metalscythes, as the 12 " Picture Disc/ CD, "The Fifth Moon", proves. Selected to be relea­sed by Dis­pleased Records for the CD, and Damnation Distribution for the vinyl­version, it contains 4 new blood wrenching grapes of wrath and, again a recording of Hellhammer's "The Reaper" as a bonus track for the vinyl version.
After the release of this infernal storm of evil Pentacle did in november 1996 an small European tour with Belgian warriors Ancient Rites. Countries as Belgium, France, Germany and Holland fell under this deadly Metalstorm... The reactions on the new product were very supporting. The limited Picture Disc (525 copies) sold as hell and the CD sliced many unexpected throats through pure aggression! Many gigs were done to spread the ancient message.
The year 1997 started with the departure of their second axewielder Edwin as he wasn’t able to commit himself to the band anymore. The band continued to spread their mayhem as the everlasting ancient lineup, the threepiece. In the meantime gigs were done with bands as Obituary, Katatonia, Immortal, Cannibal Corpse, Emperor, Hades Almighty, Marduk, Desaster and In The Woods... . Several compilation CD’s have been desecrated through Pentacle's contributions.
Indeed, 1998 awaited the new album which has the obscure title "...Rides the Moonstorm". Again, Damnation Records was chosen to unleash their new release which is available on CD and DOLP. For this purpose the band recorded at Harrow Productions, Losser, Holland 9 tracks, of which 8 compositions are of their own and a cover of Chile's own Death Metal Gods Pentagram, called "Spell of the Pentagram". 2000 spawned a true metal coöperation with the German metal Gods Desaster. Both acts have covered a song of the other band and have contributed a new song. Named “Desaster in League with Pentacle” this hellish release was released on the German label Iron Pegasus as a limited 10” picture disc (100 copies) and a regular version (833 copies).
The new millenium has seen the release of a special anniversary release. A MCD / 12” called “Ancient Death” has been released on Damnation Records / Dark Realm Records. Containing 3 new tracks, an old song and 2 Mantas / Death covers (“Witch of Hell” and “Legion of Doom”) this deadly piece is a mark in the band’s history. At the same time a tribute to one of the ultimate bands, the almighty Possessed, should have been released on the Polish label No Mercy. Pentacle has recorded the “Beyond the Gates” track “The Beasts of the Apocalypse” for this purpose, but used it for a split 7” (“Dunkel Besatthet”) with Swedish act Repugnant as No Mercy didn’t react on any of the band’s inquiries concerning the tribute. In the meanwhile original drummer Marc left the band unfortunally. Marc wasn’t willing to do shows anymore. He has been replaced by Robert. This year the band did a small tour with Pulverizer (NL) and Desaster (GER) which attended Holland and Germany. More than 200 gigs have been played by now.
After having done gigs in Italy and Germany, it was decided that the band needed another second Axe-maniac. The search for such an addition was very short. Mike’s brother Alex joined the band after a small test period. After he had gotten his baptism of fire in Switzerland, he became a full member of the band. His second gig was as a support for the mighty cult band from Peru, Mortem!
In 2004, the much delayed Possessed tribute (“Seven Gates of Horror”) has been released through the Dutch label Karmageddon Records.
At the end of 2004, Pentacle entered Harrow Productions again to record 11 songs. The band recorded 8 tracks for the album on the German label Iron Pegasus Records, called “Under the Black Cross”. The CD version of this album is out now. The 3 remaining songs will be used for an EP (“Archaic Undead Fury”) on the US label Metal War Productions and a contribution for a tribute to Necrovore LP for the Dutch label From Beyond Productions.
After so many years of active service, the musical concept of the band is still firmly rooted in the golden ‘80’s, though remains far from being a mere copycat of the forefathers of extreme Metal. Don’t make the mistake to file Pentacle under the current retro-trend. They started performing their music when only a selected ( and loyal) audience still was interested in this honest style of music. Others sailed the seas of successive trends. Pentacle didn’t. Together with an obscure, yet individual lyrical approach, the band always worked hard to create a personal style, based on ancient Metal values. Remember this when listening to Pentacle’s releases...
...Rides the Moonstorm Full-length 1998
"...Rides of the Moonstorm" is one damn brilliant album. It includes songs, which I find 100% metal and killer and dare to say, it was one of the best death metal albums from that period of late 90's. The recipe is very simple here... The Dutch crew brought a lot of Celtic Frost feeling to their music (the LP even starts with an intro, with Tom Warrior's screams recorded live in 1985!!!!). There are many riffs that will remind you "Emperor's Return" or whatever and trust me, they sound great. They're heavy, brutal and will force you to bang the skull without any mercy. And at the same time I feel that Pentacle had a lot in common with their legendary countrymen Asphyx. If you listen to such tracks as "Yielding to the Scepter of Flesh" for instance, then the similarity is pretty obvious, especially with the slow beginning in this song, but not only, as also the faster playing here reminds me the greatest Dutch band ever. Of course Wannes Gubbels (whose vocals really may remind you Martin van Drunen's!) has joined Asphyx / Soulburn at the same time... So both bands started to play very similar music, but I have no problems with that, as long as it sounds killer, it's fine. And here the songwriting is not worse than on the Asphyx records. "...Rides of the Moonstorm" has also a strong thrash metal influence, one which sometimes reminds me the German satanic troops of Desaster!!!! Listen to "Raised By Night's Chaos" and make your own opinion, but doesn't this song match the brilliance of "Tyrants of the Netherworld"?? Anyway, putting all these three main ingredients together, you'll get what I find as crushing and totally memorable old school death metal. It may seem as so obvious and simple, but trust me, not many bands were able to capture this old school feeling so perfectly. The songs are full of blasting energy, the riffs are killer, the production raw, but deadly as hell... And even the fact that the songs are quite lengthy doesn't disturb, they're just well composed and diverse. I think that the songwriting here is one of the best ever, if we speak about such music.
Under the Black Cross Full-length 2005
I think that music wise "Under the Black Cross" doesn't really bring anything new into the once created style of Pentacle. If you've heard the first album or any other releases the band unleashed in the late 90's / early 00's, then you already know what to expect. Pentacle doesn't need to experiment, it's the old school death metal they shred with and for sure it sounds great to my ears. I totally like the atmosphere the band creates. Again there's lots of similarities to such bands as Asphyx (of course!!!), Celtic Frost in the slower parts, then there're hints of Desaster (with some thrashing riffs and slightly in vocals), finally I think early Death and also Sadistic Intent can be mentioned here as the bands that have influenced Pentacle a little. Anyway, whatever bands I mention, one thing will remain important - this is classic death metal, so don't expect over technical and complex structures, the riffing here is about to create a certain atmosphere and that's something I love about such music. As well as the fact that you just want to bang your skull when hearing these sounds. The album is solid throughout and all the songs are of the same quality, with few standouts that rip the skull especially.
DISCOGRAPHY:
Caressed by Both Sides Demo 1992
Winds of the Fall Demo 1993
Exalted Journey EP 1995
The Fifth Moon EP 1996
...Rides the Moonstorm Full-length 1998
Desaster... in League with... Pentacle Split 2000
Ancient Death EP 2001
Dunkel besatthet Split 2002
Under the Black Cross Full-length 2005
Archaic Undead Fury EP 2005
Eternal Solstice / Pentacle Split 2013
Liquefied Blood of the Saints / Five Candles Burning Red Split 2013
Into the Depths of Mill Live album 2013
Five Candles Burning Red EP 2014
The Fifth Moon…Beyond and Back Compilation 2014
www.facebook.com/Pentacle-86420806112/
www.pentacle.nl

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