Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Number five

Now I am down to the top five already so let's unveil number five of the top ten hard rock/metal albums of 1985. A lot of metal bands that existed in the 1970's were trying to reinvent themselves to some extent in the 80's. Bands like Kiss, Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult and even the Nuge were making adjustments to their sound to try and keep up with what was current. Meanwhile a somewhat obscure band from northern Virginia formed in the early 70's and they released a few 7 inches between 72-78. They had some interest from CBS records and recorded some songs for them, but they never got a deal at that time. That band broke up in 1979, but reformed with a slightly different line-up in 1982 and by 1985 they had a record deal and they were finally ready to release their debut lp and what a debut it is. Number five goes to....

Pentagram - Relentless (s/t)

This album was originally released as just Pentagram and then was later re-released under the title Relentless. Today doom metal is a fairly popular sub genre of metal, but that wasn't exactly so 20 years ago. In the mid to late 80's there was Saint Vitus, Trouble, Candlemass, Pentagram and just a few others. The style wasn't always referred to as doom back then, the sound was normally just given some description relating it to Black Sabbath. That description is somewhat accurate of Pentagram as there is a distinct Sabbath influence. However unlike say Saint Vitus and Trouble, Pentagram were playing sludgey riffs in clubs at the same time Sabbath was defining metal. Pentagram's experience shine through on this album as most of the songs have an effortless flow to them. Most of the tracks are slow and heavy, but they are so much more at the same time. Pentagram always claimed Blue Cheer were a bigger influence on them than Sabbath and you can hear some that as well plus maybe an early BOC influence. Bobby Liebling has a very natural clean voice that fits in perfectly. The songs vary in pace and level of heaviness, but all of them have that fuzzy sound that just works so well for them. I have to say that I prefer Relentless as the title for this album. It's the perfect title for the debut of a band that waited so long to do an album and a band who stuck by the sound they had been doing for years.

The hint for number four is that this band took their band name from a Motorhead song.


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