Pentagram (band)

Pentagram (band)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Pentagram
Img_capt = Photograph by Cameron Davidson deletable image-caption
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = Arlington County, Virginia, United States
Instrument =
Genre = Heavy metal Doom metal
Occupation =
Years_active = 1971–1976
Label = Peaceville, Black Widow, Relapse
Associated_acts = Place of Skulls, Internal Void, Spirit Caravan, Unorthodox, Wretched, Valkyrie
Current_members = Bobby Liebling Russ Strahan Mark Ammen Gary Isom
Past_members = Victor Griffin Joe Hasselvander Vince McAllister Greg Mayne Geof O'Keefe Randy Palmer Martin Swaney Stuart Rose Kelly Carmichael Adam Heinzmann Mike Smail

Pentagram are a long-running American heavy metal band from Virginia, most famous as one of the pioneers of doom metal. The band was quite 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 Place of Skulls, Internal Void, Spirit Caravan, among many others.


Death Row

In 1980, bassist Lee Abney and guitarist Victor Griffin formed a Northern Virginia doom metal band named Death Row. Shortly thereafter, drummer Joe Hasselvander joined, and the group recruited Bobby Liebling on vocals. Following two demos in 1982 and 1983, respectively, pressure from friends and fans ended up in Liebling dubbing the band Pentagram and continuing on with the new lineup. Former member Martin Swaney soon replaced Lee Abney on bass and the classic 80s Pentagram line-up was forged.

Pentagram reformed

In 1985 the band released the first full-length studio album. Initially self-titled, the album is often referred to as "Relentless" due to it being given the name when it was reissued by Peaceville Records. The album contains a mix of new songs and 70s era songs, as will all the Pentagram albums to follow. After recording their second album, "Day of Reckoning", the band folded yet again. They 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 70s songs were released. In 1994 they released their third full-length album, "Be Forewarned". The band split up again and emerged as a duo, with Liebling retaining vocal duties and Joe Hasselvander taking care of all instrumentation. In 1998, Downtime Records released a number of early recordings on a compilation album entitled "Human Hurricane". Liebling and Hasselvander recorded both 1999's "Review Your Choices" and 2001's "Sub-Basement" as a duo. A bootleg follow up to "1972-1979", "1972-1979 (Vol. 2)", was released in 1999 by Peace Records. 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. The new lineup recorded "Show 'em How" in 2004. This album in particular has seven re-recorded 70s era Pentagram songs and three originals.

Recent activity

After "Show 'em How", the band has been somewhat in limbo due to Liebling's unstable behavior, including collapsing in the intro to an important show at the Black Cat Club in Washington, DC, forcing the band to recruit Hasselvander and others from the audience to perform in his stead.

Hank Williams III has included a rendition of the classic versions of Pentagram's "Be Forwarned" and "Forever My Queen" in his live set. During his set at Washington D.C.'s Black Cat club in 2006, Liebling joined Williams onstage and performed the songs himself. Also in 2006, Liebling joined Witchcraft onstage at their DC show to sing Pentagram covers "When the Screams Come" and "Yes I Do". [, Pentagram biography at Rock Detector] ]

Former members Griffin and Abney formed Place of Skulls following their departure from Pentagram. The band's music is akin to Pentagram's more recent sound. The band briefly featured doom metal legend Scott "Wino" Weinrich on their "With Vision" album, though he has since left to concentrate on The Hidden Hand.

Randy Palmer died in 2002 from injuries suffered in a car crash, while Vincent McAllister died in May 2006 from cancer. [, Pentagram biography at Rock Detector] ]

In July 2007, Bobby Liebling announced on his MySpace page (now the official page for Pentagram and all things related) that he is currently negotiating with an unnamed record label for a new Pentagram studio album entitled "Last Rites of The Setting Sun," which will include "many guest musicians" including original members from the '71-'76 First Daze Here era. Also slated for release is an authorized DVD autobiography produced by 914 Pictures entitled "Last Rites: The Fall and Rise of Bobby Liebling." A teaser is currently available at Both the new album and DVD are due for a spring/summer '08 release.

Joe Hasselvander has started a solo project called The Hounds of Hasselvander who released an album in 2007. For live performances he has recruited Kayt Vigil on bass and one-time Pentagram drummer and Maryland doom mainstay, Gary Isom on drums. Hasselvander also contributed to Blue Cheer's latest album, "What Doesn't Kill You" (2007).

On August 23rd 2008, Pentagram's new lineup was announced, which features Bobby Leibling being joined by Russ Strahan (Guitar), Gary Isom (Drums) and Mark Ammen (Bass). [ [ Pentagram in Metal Archives] ]


In 2001, Relapse Records issued "First Daze Here (The Vintage Collection)". The consisted of unreleased material from the 70s. In 2002, Peaceville Records released a compilation of songs from the first three albums entitled "Turn to Stone". Peaceville re-released the first three albums on CD in digipak format in 2005. In 2006, Relapse released a second compilation of unreleased 70s material under the name "First Daze Here Too". These reissues allowed Pentagram's early material and albums to finally be widely available.



*"Pentagram" LP (1985 Pentagram Records) (later reissued under the name "Relentless" [ [ Pentagram - "Relentless"] Collective (BBC) August 17th, 2005] )
*"Day of Reckoning" LP (1987 Napalm Records)
*"Be Forewarned" CD/LP (1994 Peaceville Records)
*"Review Your Choices" CD/LP (1999 Black Widow Records)
*"Sub-Basement" CD/LP (2001 Black Widow Records)
*"Show 'em How" CD/LP (2004 Black Widow Records)
*"Last Rites of The Setting Sun" (2008, TBA)


*"Be Forewarned"/"Lazy Lady" 7" (1972 Intermedia Productions) (as Macabre) Limited to 1000 [, Pentagram biography at Rock Detector] ]
*"Hurricane"/"Earth Flight" 7" (1973 Buffo Socko Records)
*"Under My Thumb"/"When the Screams Come" 7" (1973 Gemini Records)
*"Livin' in a Ram's Head"/"When the Screams Come" 7" (1979 High Voltage Records) (Re-released on "A Keg Full of Dynamite")
*"Relentless"/"Day of Reckoning" 7" (1993 Peaceville Records)

Live albums

*"A Keg Full of Dynamite" CD/LP (2003 Black Widow Records)


*"Relentless" CD (1993 Peaceville Records) (Reissue of debut LP)
*"Day of Reckoning" CD (1993 Peaceville Records)
*"1972-1979" CD/LP (1993 Peace Records)
*"Relentless/Day of Reckoning" 2CD (1996 Peaceville Records)
*"Human Hurricane" CD (1998 Downtime Recordings)
*"1972-1979 (Vol. 2)" CD/LP (1999 Peace Records)
*"First Daze Here (The Vintage Collection)" CD/LP+7" (2001 Relapse Records)
*"Turn to Stone" CD (2002 Peaceville Records)
*"Relentless" DigiCD (2005 Peaceville Records)
*"Day of Reckoning" DigiCD (2005 Peaceville Records)
*"Be Forewarned" DigiCD (2005 Peaceville Records)
*"First Daze Here Too" 2CD/2LP (2006 Relapse Records)


Bedemon was an offshoot of Pentagram in the early 70s (circa 1973). The name was chosen as a portmanteau of two earlier suggested names, Demon and Behemoth. [ Official Bedemon biography] ] 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." [, Bedemon at Rock Detector] ] After a short time the group got together again and recorded some more tracks. When Palmer officially joined Pentagram he brought two tracks with him, "Starlady," and "Touch the Sky." [, Bedemon at Rock Detector] ] After Palmer's departure from Pentagram the Bedemon got together in 1979 to record three more songs: "Time Bomb," "Nighttime Killer" and an unnamed composition by O'Keefe. [ Official Bedemon biography] ] A slightly different line-up (featuring former Pentagram member Greg Mayne on bass) recorded "Night of the Demon" along with some older songs in 1986. [ Official Bedemon biography] ]

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


*Randy Palmer - guitar
*Bobby Liebling - vocals
*Mike Matthews - bass
*Geof O'Keefe - drums
*Greg Mayne - bass (1986)


ee also

*Mezarkabul — Turkish heavy-metal band called Pentagram.

External links

*amg | id = 11:r69ds36ua3vg | label = Pentagram
*musicbrainz artist|id=d7e9b9e7-8ac3-4be4-85c8-64601d68261c|name=Pentagram

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