Pentagram (band)

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Pentagram Hammer of Doom X Wuerzburg 2015 1.jpg
Bobby Liebling of Pentagram
Background information
Origin Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Genres Heavy metal, doom metal
Years active1971–2005, 2008–present
Labels Metal Blade, Season Of Mist, Peaceville, Black Widow, Relapse
Associated actsDeathrow, Place of Skulls, Internal Void, Spirit Caravan, Unorthodox, Wretched, Valkyrie
MembersBobby Liebling
Greg Turley
"Minnesota" Pete Campbell
Matt Goldsborough

Pentagram is an American heavy metal band from Alexandria, Virginia, most famous as one of the pioneers of heavy metal, and the subgenre of doom metal in particular. The band was prolific in the underground scene of the 1970s, producing many demos and rehearsal tapes, but did not release a full-length album until reforming in the early 1980s with an almost completely new lineup. Throughout the band's history the only constant member has been vocalist Bobby Liebling. The revolving lineup of Pentagram has featured many well respected musicians in the local doom metal scene, with members spending time in other acts such as Raven, the Obsessed, Place of Skulls, Internal Void, Spirit Caravan, among many others. The band's current lineup consists of Liebling (vocals), Matt Goldsborough (guitar), Greg Turley (bass) and "Minnesota" Pete Campbell (drums). [1]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Alexandria, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2016, the population was estimated to be 155,810. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Washington, D.C.

Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Children of the Grave", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England, the United States and Sweden defined doom metal as a distinct genre.


The 1970s

In 1971, Bobby Liebling and Geof O'Keefe decided to leave their previous bands (Shades of Darkness and Space Meat, respectively) to form a new band that reflected their interest in emerging metal acts such as UFO, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and Sir Lord Baltimore. At Liebling's suggestion, the group was named Pentagram, a name that reflected the gloomy subject matter of their material. Although the band would change its name several times during 1971 and 1972 (Virgin Death, Macabre, and Wicked Angel were all considered during this period), they would eventually (and permanently) return to Pentagram. Contrary to popular belief, they were never called Stonebunny; this was the name given to Space Meat when Liebling joined them briefly. [2]

UFO (band) English heavy metal band

UFO are an English rock band that was formed in London in 1968. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal. The band's current lineup includes vocalist Phil Mogg, lead guitarist Vinnie Moore, rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Neil Carter, bass guitarist Rob De Luca, and drummer Andy Parker. They have gone through several line-up changes, leaving Mogg as the only constant member, and had two hiatuses. The band are also notable for featuring former Scorpions guitarist and MSG founder Michael Schenker, who was a member of UFO from 1973 to 1978 and again, occasionally, between 1993 and 2003, when Moore replaced him. In May 2018, Mogg announced that he will retire from UFO after one last tour as a member of the band in 2019.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Uriah Heep (band) English rock band

Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969. It has had the same lineup since 2013: lead and rhythm guitarist Mick Box, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw, drummer Russell Gilbrook and bassist Davey Rimmer. Of the current lineup, Box is the only remaining original member. Throughout many lineup changes, the band has included many notable musicians, such as vocalists David Byron, John Lawton, John Sloman, Peter Goalby and Steff Fontaine, bassists Gary Thain, Trevor Bolder, John Wetton, Bob Daisley and John Jowitt, drummers Nigel Olsson, Lee Kerslake and Chris Slade, and keyboardists Ken Hensley and John Sinclair.

During their five-year career, they were represented by seven different managers, including Gordon Fletcher, a Washington D.C. rock journalist who wrote for magazines such as Rolling Stone , Creem and Circus . The others were Steve Lorber, Phillip Knudsen, Skip Groff, Bob Fowler, Tim Kidwell and Tom McGuire.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

<i>Creem</i> magazine

Creem, "America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine", was a monthly rock 'n' roll publication first published in March 1969 by Barry Kramer and founding editor Tony Reay. It suspended production in 1989 but attained a short-lived renaissance in the early 1990s as a glossy tabloid. Lester Bangs, often cited as "America's Greatest Rock Critic", became editor in 1971. The term "punk rock" was coined in May 1971, in Dave Marsh's Looney Tunes CREEM column about Question Mark & the Mysterians.

Circus was a monthly American magazine devoted to rock music. It was published from 1966 to 2006. In its heyday the magazine had a full-time editorial staff that included some of the biggest names in rock journalism, such as Paul Nelson, Judy Wieder, David Fricke, and Kurt Loder, and rivaled Rolling Stone in sales and surpassed Creem. In 1974, a sister publication was launched, titled Circus Raves, but by 1977 that venture had been abandoned.

Early lineups

The initial Pentagram lineup consisted of Liebling (vocals), O'Keefe (guitar), Vincent McAllister (bass), and Steve Martin (drums). Early practices included the long-time standard "Livin' in a Ram's Head", along with several other long-lasting Pentagram stalwarts.

After a month of rehearsals, Space Meat alumnus John Jennings joined to create Pentagram's dual-guitar "Mark II" lineup. It soon became clear that Martin's jazz-influenced drumming did not fit Pentagram's hard-rocking style, and so he was asked to leave the group. His position was filled by guitarist O'Keefe, reprising the role of drummer he had previously enjoyed in Space Meat.

This "Mark III" lineup of Pentagram was a strong one, and at the time, it seemed like Pentagram had found a permanent lineup. However, after this lineup's first rehearsal, Jennings called O'Keefe to tell him that he was leaving the group, citing a lack of interest in heavy music as his reason for departure. After a few rehearsals without a guitarist, bassist McAllister picked up a guitar and amazed Liebling and O'Keefe with frenzied, feedback-laden soloing. McAllister would go on to become Pentagram's guitarist for the next five years. Later McAllister would leave for California (1980) to attend classes at the Guitar Institute of Technology and Jennings would subsequently collaborate with Mary Chapin Carpenter during the 1980s and into the 1990s as her primary guitarist.

Musicians Institute college of contemporary music located in Hollywood, California

Musicians Institute (MI) is a for-profit college of contemporary music in Hollywood, California. MI students can earn Certificates and — with transfer of coursework taken at Los Angeles City College — Associate of Arts Degrees, as well as Bachelor of Music Degrees in either Performance or Composition. The college was founded in 1977.

Mary Chapin Carpenter American musician

Mary Chapin Carpenter is an American singer-songwriter. Carpenter spent several years singing in Washington, D.C. clubs before signing in the late 1980s with Columbia Records, who marketed her as a country singer. Carpenter's first album, 1987's Hometown Girl, did not produce any singles, although 1989's State of the Heart and 1990's Shooting Straight in the Dark each produced four Top 20 hits on the Billboard country singles charts.

The Ram Family

On Christmas Day 1971, this Pentagram lineup began rehearsing, with Liebling on vocals, McAllister on guitar, Greg Mayne (formerly of Space Meat) on bass, and O’Keefe on drums. In mid-1974, rhythm guitarist Randy Palmer joined the "Ram Family", as the group was known, but left in January 1975 due to drug problems and the group once again continued on as a quartet.

Thanks to manager Gordon Fletcher's industry connections, the group had several "close calls" in the following years with regard to a recording contract. On April 29, 1975, Fletcher persuaded Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman (producer and manager of Blue Öyster Cult) to see them rehearse. Impressed, the two arranged a demo session at Columbia Studios in New York City in September. Unfortunately, the session went sour after a conflict between Liebling and Krugman over a point of production, and the group's major label hopes were dashed. The group also rehearsed in front of Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in December 1975, but the Kiss camp was unimpressed by the group's lack of image and Pentagram remained unsigned.

Samuel Clarke "Sandy" Pearlman was an American music producer, artist manager, music journalist and critic, professor, poet, songwriter, and record company executive. He was best known for founding, writing for, producing, or co-producing many LPs by Blue Öyster Cult, as well as producing important albums by The Clash, The Dictators, Pavlov's Dog, Space Team Electra, and Dream Syndicate; he was also the founding Vice President of He was the Schulich Distinguished Professor Chair at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, and from August 2014 held a Marshall McLuhan Centenary Fellowship at the Coach House Institute (CHI) of the University of Toronto Faculty of Information as part of the CHI's McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology.

Blue Öyster Cult American hard rock band

Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed on Long Island, New York in 1967, perhaps best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", and "Godzilla.” Blue Öyster Cult has sold more than 24 million records worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You," received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern popular culture.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

On December 16, 1975, Liebling and his girlfriend were arrested, leading to the other members of the band meeting on New Year's Eve to discuss their status. The decision was made that the rest of the band would quit Pentagram because Liebling owned the rights for the name "Pentagram", and they could not continue under that name without him. The remaining members unsuccessfully auditioned singers during much of 1976 before recruiting Marty Iverson as a second guitarist in the summer of 1976 and deciding to give Liebling a second chance. However, after beginning a recording session at Underground Sound in Largo, Maryland, the band split from Liebling again, leaving the sessions unfinished and unmixed.

Largo, Maryland Census-designated place in Maryland

Largo, located within greater Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland, in the United States. The population was 10,709 at the 2010 census.

For much of their career, Pentagram rehearsed at the American Mailing warehouse in Alexandria, due to the fact that both Liebling and O’Keefe lived in high-rise apartments. The latter’s father, George O’Keefe, was an executive at American Mailing. The younger O’Keefe had used this location for many of his previous musical projects, whether on his own or with Space Meat. At the warehouse, the group was able to have a good practice room to store their equipment and play loudly without the worry of complaining neighbors. Many of these early rehearsals were recorded on O’Keefe's reel-to-reel tape recorder. The resulting rehearsal tapes, featuring the many early lineups the group went through in the early 1970s, were later traded extensively among Pentagram fans. When American Mailing moved locations, Pentagram eventually moved to rehearse at Mayne's house, which he was renting with an old friend, locally renowned keyboardist Knox Cockrell.

Pentagram’s first 7-inch, "Be Forewarned" was released under the name Macabre and included "Lazy Lady" on the [B-side]. The record was produced by Phillip Knudsen and released on Intermedia (TBSM 003). This recording ended up being one of the band's only proper releases, although a promotional 7" of the song "Hurricane" (Boffo Socko R13859) was also released during that time. A large number of demo and rehearsal recordings (as well as 22 unreleased studio recordings) exist from this time period. Despite the handful of recorded material, Pentagram’s repertoire reportedly consisted of nearly 80 original songs, written or co-written by Liebling, as well as covers such as "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds’ version of "Little Games."

Demos recorded by Pentagram included:

  1. A three-track demo recorded at Columbia Studios in New York, New York on September 20, 1975 (featuring "Run My Course", "When the Screams Come" and "Wheel of Fortune")
  2. A 12-track demo recorded at the American Mailing Warehouse in Alexandria, Virginia on December 1972 and on February 2, 1973 (featuring "Virgin Death", "Yes I Do", "Ask No More", "Man", "Be Forewarned", "Catwalk", "Die in Your Sleep", "Forever My Queen", "Review Your Choices", "Walk in the Blue Light" and "Downhill Slope").
  3. A five-track demo recorded at Underground Sound in Largo, Maryland, on September 4, 12 and 23 1976 (featuring "Smokescreen", "Teaser", "Much Too Young to Know", "Little Games" and "Starlady").

Many of these demos would appear on the semi-authorized 1972–1979 compilation, the bootleg followup 1972–1979 (Vol. 2) and the hard-to-find (albeit official) Human Hurricane compilation. In 2001, Relapse Records issued an authorized compilation of 12 early tracks, three of which were live rehearsal recordings, titled First Daze Here (The Vintage Collection) . Following the compilation's success, Relapse released First Daze Here Too in 2006, a two-disc, 22-track compilation of additional unreleased material.

High Voltage era

After O'Keefe, McAllister, and Mayne split from Liebling, a new lineup consisting of Liebling (vocals), Randy Palmer (guitar) and John Ossea (drums) began rehearsing in the basement of a dentist's office. Bass players in that period included Rick Marinari, who went on to join Albatross, and Vance Bockis, later of The Obsessed. However, this lineup folded after only a couple of months and Liebling was once again band-less.

On Halloween 1978, the singer bumped into his friend Joe Hasselvander at the Louie's Rock City club in Falls Church, Virginia while seeing Sex, a band featuring ex-members of both Pentagram and The Boyz (Hasselvander's previous band). [3] Hasselvander was playing in a singer-less group consisting of himself (drums), Richard Kueht (guitar), Paul Trowbridge (guitar), and Marty Swaney (bass). Liebling soon joined, and in less than a week they would take on the Pentagram moniker and begin performing Liebling's material from the previous Pentagram lineup. This configuration played several shows and released a 7" single of "Livin' in a Ram's Head" in 1979, but personal problems caused this lineup to dissolve later that year. It is generally referred to as the "High Voltage era" of Pentagram. [4]

The 1980s and 1990s

Death Row, Pentagram reformed: the Doom era

In 1980, bassist Lee Abney and guitarist Victor Griffin formed a Knoxville, Tennessee (later based in Northern Virginia) doom metal band named Death Row. Shortly thereafter, drummer Hasselvander joined, and the group recruited Liebling on vocals. Former member Swaney soon replaced Abney on bass and the classic Death Row lineup was forged. Following two demos in 1982 and 1983, Hasselvander left the band in 1984. Stuart Rose was picked as his replacement, and the band soon assumed the Pentagram mantle. The 1982 demo, All Your Sins, was then remixed and partially rerecorded in 1984 for release in 1985 as the band's eponymous debut album. The 1983 demo, along with several live recordings from 1982 and 1983 and the band's first jam from 1981, were collected and released via Black Widow in 2009 as a double CD, Alive in Death.

In 1985, the band finally released their first full-length studio album, featuring the "Death Row" material and lineup of Liebling on vocals, Griffin on guitar, Swaney on bass and Rose on drums. Initially self-titled, the album was often referred to as Relentless due to it being renamed when it was reissued by Peaceville Records. The album contained a mix of new songs and 1970s-era songs, as did all of the following Pentagram albums. The record's heavier sound and obscure lyrical themes helped cement Pentagram's reputation as one of the pioneers of the classic doom metal style. After recording their second album Day of Reckoning , the band folded yet again. In 1989, 1970s-era members Mayne and Palmer rejoined Liebling with the addition of Ted Feldman on guitar and John Cook on drums. The band was working on recording a third LP, but shortly after their first performance in Maryland, they split up.

The previous "classic" lineup of Liebling, Griffin, Swaney and Hasselvander reformed in 1993, and Peaceville Records reissued the first two albums. During this same time, Peace Records released the semi-legitimate 1972–1979 . This was the first time many of the 1970s-era songs were released. In 1994 they released their third full-length album, Be Forewarned . Griffin and Hasselvander briefly joined UK doom band Cathedral as live musicians in 1994. Bassist Greg Turley and drummer Gary Isom occasionally performed live with the band in this era, filling in for Swaney and Hasselvander.

Liebling/Hasselvander duo, more changes and crisis

Pentagram split up again, and in 1996, a new lineup was forged, consisting of Liebling on vocals, Hasselvander on drums and new members Greg Reeder on guitar and Ned Meloni on bass. This lineup recorded a demo, Change of Heart. Shortly afterward, Pentagram reemerged as a duo, with Liebling retaining vocal duties and Hasselvander taking care of all instrumentation. In 1998, Downtime Records released a number of early recordings on a compilation album titled Human Hurricane , and 1972–1979 (Vol. 2) , a bootleg follow up to 1972–1979 , was released in 1999 by Peace Records.

Liebling and Hasselvander recorded both 1999's Review Your Choices and 2001's Sub-Basement as a duo. In-between those albums, a brief live reunion of the Death Row classic lineup took place with Liebling, Griffin, Hasselvander and Abney. The duo of Liebling and Hasselvander occasionally performed live as Pentagram during this period, assisted by bassist Walter White and drummer Dale Russell.

In 2001, Relapse Records issued First Daze Here (The Vintage Collection) , a compilation consisting of unreleased material from the 1970s. In 2002, Peaceville Records released a compilation of songs from the first three albums titled Turn to Stone . Peaceville re-released the band's first three albums on CD in digipak format in 2005.

Shortly after Sub-Basement Hasselvander split with Liebling, who soon recruited guitarist Kelly Carmichael, bassist Adam Heinzmann, and drummer Mike Smail, all members of Frederick, Maryland-based doom act Internal Void. This new lineup recorded Show 'Em How in 2004, an album that featured seven rerecorded 1970s-era Pentagram songs along with three new originals.

In 2006, Relapse released a second compilation of unreleased 1970s material, First Daze Here Too . These reissues ensured that Pentagram's early material and albums were finally widely available.

After Show 'Em How, the band remained in limbo for some time due to Liebling's unstable behavior and drug addiction, including collapsing in the intro to an important show at D.C.'s Black Cat, forcing the band to recruit Hasselvander and others from the audience to perform in his stead.

The 2000s


Lead singer Bobby Liebling performing live at Hole In the Sky, Bergen Metal Fest 2009 Pentagram HITS09 by-Christian-Misje-2308.jpg
Lead singer Bobby Liebling performing live at Hole In the Sky, Bergen Metal Fest 2009

In July 2000, former members Griffin and Abney formed Place of Skulls, following their departure from Pentagram. Place of Skulls briefly featured doom metal legend Scott "Wino" Weinrich on their 2003 With Vision album, though he later left to concentrate on the Hidden Hand. Abney left in 2002 but returned in 2007.

Palmer died in 2002 from injuries suffered in a car crash, while McAllister died in May 2006 from cancer. [2]

Hank Williams III included renditions of the classic versions of Pentagram's "Be Forewarned" and "Forever My Queen" in his live set. During his performance at the Black Cat club in 2006, Liebling joined Williams onstage and performed the songs himself. On September 15, 2006, Liebling joined Witchcraft onstage at a show at The Rock and Roll Hotel in D.C. to sing Pentagram covers "When the Screams Come" and "Yes I Do". [2]

Hasselvander's solo project The Hounds of Hasselvander released an album in 2007. For live performances, Hasselvander recruited Kayt Vigil on bass and former Pentagram drummer and Maryland doom mainstay Isom on drums. Hasselvander also contributed to Blue Cheer's 2007 album, What Doesn't Kill You.

On August 23, 2008, a new Pentagram lineup was announced, which featured Liebling joined by guitarist Russ Strahan, former live drummer Isom and bassist Mark Ammen, who came in after a short period with Kayt Vigil. [5]

In 2009, the band played two triumphant shows in New York City and Baltimore. The New York show was filmed for the documentary Last Days Here . Due to the success of these shows, the band embarked on a seven-date mini-tour which included two sold-out shows in Chicago, plus dates in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; San Francisco's DNA Lounge and West Hollywood's House of Blues.

On March 14, 2010, Strahan abruptly left the band one day before a spring tour was to begin. [6] Scrambling to find a guitarist, Liebling contacted Johnny "Wretched" Koutsioukis of Wretched fame to replace Strahan on lead guitar. Wretched had limited time to learn the material and for the first few shows, the setlist was cut short. He left after those gigs.

For Pentagram's May 2010 tourdates (which concluded with Maryland Deathfest), Griffin once again joined Liebling, Turley and Isom on what was intended to be a temporary basis, solely for the tour. He instead become a permanent member again and remained with the band for nearly three more years.

Last Days Here documentary

Last Days Here is a documentary film featuring the daily struggles of Bobby Liebling, the lead singer, songwriter and cofounder of Pentagram, as he and others attempt to get his life back together. The documentary features interviews with prior members of the band as well as Liebling's parents and friends; the roles of his friend Sean "Pellet" Pelletier and his girlfriend Hallie, who became Liebling's wife; and the band's successful 2009 stage comeback.

The film was directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton from 9.14 Pictures, best known for their documentaries Rock School and The Art of the Steal . Sundance Selects, a subsidiary of IFC Films, purchased the film with plans to release it theatrically in the winter of 2012.

In 2011, the documentary toured the film festival circuit, debuting at the prestigious SXSW Film Festival as well as playing at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. Other festival cities included Chicago; Sarasota, Florida; and Columbia, Missouri, as well as stops in Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Australia. At the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, it won the prize for Best Music Documentary.

Recent activities

Live at Hammer of Doom 2015-Festival, Wurzburg, Germany Pentagram Hammer of Doom X Wuerzburg 2015 25.jpg
Live at Hammer of Doom 2015-Festival, Würzburg, Germany

In February 2011, Metal Blade Records announced that Pentagram would play South by Southwest in March 2011, followed by a European tour beginning on April 14, 2011 at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands. The lineup included Griffin on guitar, Turley on bass, and Albert Born on drums. [7] Born soon left the group and was replaced by Tim Tomaselli (Place of Skulls).

Last Rites, released April 12, 2011, featured the studio return of Griffin after more than 15 years. Turley and Tomaselli also played on the album, which sparked renewed worldwide interest in Pentagram.

In June 2012, Pentagram announced that drummer Sean Saley had joined the band. [8] At the end of that year, they announced an amicable split with Griffin. In April 2013, Pentagram unveiled the name of his successor: Matt Goldsborough, a member of the Philadelphia band The Great Unknown. [9]

Pentagram played several shows in the U.S. and toured Europe heavily during 2012 and 2013, including dates in the UK, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, France, Slovenia, Greece, Italy and Spain.

In January 2014, the band announced that guitarist Griffin had rejoined Pentagram after a one-year break. [10] Upon Griffin's return, Pentagram embarked on a U.S. West Coast tour in February 2014, covering Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Pentagram also made appearances in Finland and Sweden in May 2014. In February 2015, new drummer Pete "Minnesota" Campbell, previously in Griffin's In-Graved, was announced, as well as a new album, titled Curious Volume , which was released on August 21.

In April 2017, following a period of stability and extensive touring, the band announced that it would play several East Coast dates without Liebling, as a trio of Griffin, Turley and Campbell, with Griffin on vocals. [11] While it was widely speculated that Liebling had entered rehab due to a drug relapse, the singer was in fact arrested and arraigned on charges of first-degree assault and vulnerable adult abuse with physical injury. [12] In October of that year, Liebling plead guilty to "abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult custodian", and was sentenced to 18 months at the Montgomery County Detention Center. [13]

Pentagram resurfaced in January 2019, announcing new live activity and the return of Bobby Liebling and guitarist Matt Goldsborough in place of the again departing Victor Griffin.


Current members
Former members

Several of the personnel listed above were not permanent members, with some having only played on a demo as session musicians, or having played few or no live shows.

Timeline (Recording Era; 1983-Present)

Pentagram %28band%29


Studio albums

Singles and EPs

Live albums

Compilation albums

Compilation appearances



Bedemon was an offshoot of Pentagram, beginning circa 1973. The name was chosen as a portmanteau of two earlier suggested names, Demon and Behemoth. [15] Prior to joining Pentagram, Randy Palmer and his friend Mike Matthews along with Bobby Liebling and Geof O'Keefe (then current members of Pentagram) got together to record some of Palmer's compositions. The first session resulted in three songs: "Child of Darkness", "Serpent Venom" and "Frozen Fear". [16] After a short time, the group reconvened and recorded additional tracks. When Palmer officially joined Pentagram, he brought two tracks with him, "Starlady" and "Touch the Sky". [16] After Palmer's departure from Pentagram, Bedemon reformed in 1979 to record three more songs: "Time Bomb", "Nighttime Killer" and an unnamed composition by O'Keefe. [15] A slightly different lineup (featuring former Pentagram member Greg Mayne on bass) recorded "Night of the Demon" along with some older songs in 1986. [15]

Many songs from the Bedemon sessions were released on various bootlegs throughout the years,[ citation needed ] but were never officially released until 2005, when Black Widow Records issued Child of Darkness.

By 2002, Bedemon leader Palmer along with Matthews and O'Keefe had already reunited to record nine new original Bedemon songs. A few months after basic tracks were recorded, Palmer was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Matthews and O'Keefe, along with vocalist Craig Junghandel (whom Palmer had selected prior to his accident), completed and mastered the songs in 2010. The album, titled Symphony of Shadows, was released in August 2012 on Svart Records and received excellent reviews from critics.

On May 14, 2015, Bedemon announced their first ever live performance would take place on May 15 at the Psycho California festival in Santa Ana, California, with a band lineup of O'Keefe on guitar, fellow ex-Pentagram member Greg Mayne on bass, drummer Frank Hayes and Saint Vitus frontman Scott Weinrich on vocals. [17]

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<i>Relentless</i> (Pentagram album) 1985 studio album by Pentagram

Relentless is the debut studio album from Virginia doom metal band Pentagram. It was self-released in 1985 as Pentagram, but was reissued by Peaceville Records in 1993 with the new title and track listing. It was also issued as a two-disc split CD with Day of Reckoning in 1996 and then re-released again in 2005 as a digipak CD. The album is now commonly known as Relentless.

<i>Day of Reckoning</i> (Pentagram album) 1987 studio album by Pentagram

Day of Reckoning is the second album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram. It was released in 1987 by Napalm Records. It was re-released by Peaceville Records in 1993, and in 1996 as part of a two-disc split CD with Relentless, and then again in 2005 as a digipak CD. Joe Hasselvander originally played drums on only one track, "Burning Savior", with Stuart Rose recording the drums on all the rest. Hasselvander re-recorded drums on all tracks for the 1993 Peaceville reissue. The original mixes with Rose on drums only appear on the Napalm Records vinyl version and an original cassette edition made in Canada, and have never appeared on CD.

<i>Be Forewarned</i> 1994 studio album by Pentagram

Be Forewarned is the third album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram. It was released in 1994 by Peaceville Records. It was re-released in 2005 as a digipak CD and in 2010 as a double vinyl LP by Svart Records.

<i>Review Your Choices</i> 1999 studio album by Pentagram

Review Your Choices is the fourth album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram. It was released in 1999 by Italian label Black Widow Records. Joe Hasselvander played all the instruments, while Bobby Liebling provided all lead and backing vocals. The spine reads "Twelve new Skeletons for your Closet of Dementia".

<i>Sub-Basement</i> 2001 studio album by Pentagram

Sub-Basement is the fifth album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram. It was released in 2001 by Italian label Black Widow Records. Joe Hasselvander played all the instruments, while Bobby Liebling provided all lead and backing vocals. The spine reads "If Review Your Choices made you sick, Sub-Basement will take you to the tomb!!!" According to the documentary Last Days Here, the title referenced Liebling's life of living in his parents' sub-basement in Germantown, Maryland.

<i>Show Em How</i> 2004 studio album by Pentagram

Show 'em How is the sixth album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram. It was released in 2004 by Italian label Black Widow Records. This album featured Bobby Liebling on vocals backed up by three members of Internal Void. The spine reads "Further infections to feed your disease".

<i>Human Hurricane</i> compilation album by Pentagram

Human Hurricane is one of many compilations that Virginia doom metal band Pentagram have released that feature the band's 1970s-era material. It was released by Downtime Records in 1998. A vinyl version, retitled If the Winds Would Change was released in 2011 by High Roller Records.

<i>1972–1979</i> (album) compilation album by Pentagram

1972–1979 is the first of many compilations featuring material by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram that was recorded during the 1970s. It was released by Peace Records in 1993. Pentagram frontman Bobby Leibling stated in a 2004 interview with Hellride Music that he gave permission for 500 copies to be issued, but had not received any royalties for this release. Most of the material was later released by Relapse Records on the First Daze Here and First Daze Here Too compilations. The mix of "Smokescreen" included on the 1972-1979 LP is different from the version included on the Relapse compilations and was not released on any other compilation after 1993.

<i>First Daze Here (The Vintage Collection)</i> 2001 compilation album by Pentagram

First Daze Here (2001) is the first of two compilations of 1970s material by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram released on Relapse Records. It was followed by First Daze Here Too (2006). It marked the first time that these early Pentagram recordings were officially released with worldwide distribution. The vinyl version came with a bonus 7", a replica of the 1972 Macabre single containing the songs "Be Forewarned" and "Lazylady". Many of the songs were re-recorded for Pentagram's 1980s and 1990s albums.

<i>Turn to Stone</i> (album) 1996 EP by Legs Diamond

Turn to Stone is a compilation album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram, comprising songs from their first three albums: Relentless, Day of Reckoning and Be Forewarned. It was released by Peaceville Records in 2002.

<i>A Keg Full of Dynamite</i> live album by Pentagram

A Keg Full of Dynamite is a live album by Virginia doom metal band Pentagram, released by Black Widow Records in 2003. It was recorded at The Keg in 1978. Vocalist Bobby Liebling stated that this was the "first authorized representation of Pentagram during what has come to be known as the High Voltage Era". The final two tracks, "When the Screams Come" and "Livin' in a Ram's Head," were taken from the original test pressing 7" issued on High Voltage Records in 1979.

Gallhammer band

Gallhammer is a Japanese extreme metal group that draws on blackened crust, black metal, doom metal, and crust punk. They formed in Tokyo in 2003, and have released three studio albums.

Valkyrie is a doom metal band from Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Joe Hasselvander musician

Joe Hasselvander is an American musician who has been playing professionally since nine years old in 1966. He was self-taught, playing the violin and later the drums. He has been the drummer of the NWOBHM Raven since 1987, and was a member of the influential doom metal band Pentagram.

<i>Last Rites</i> (album) album by Pentagram

Last Rites is Virginia doom metal band Pentagram's seventh studio album. It was the first album since the band's third album, Be Forewarned, to feature guitarist Victor Griffin.

<i>Curious Volume</i> 2015 studio album by Pentagram

Curious Volume is Virginia doom metal band Pentagram's eighth studio album. It was their first studio album to be released on Peaceville Records since 1994's Be Forewarned, and the first album to feature Pete Campbell on drums.


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