Pentagram Sub-Basement

Now pared down to the duo of vocalist Bobby Leibling and instrumentalist Joe Hasselvander, Maryland's original doom metal band Pentagram turns in their best effort since their legendary '70s output (the best of which was recently collected and released through Relapse Records as First Daze Here). Sub-Basement offers up 11 new songs that will make long-time fans happy and should attract some new ones as well. The sound is classic Pentagram, with Leibling's unmistakable warbling making that apparent from the get go, but Hasselvander plays some wickedly heavy riffs that modernises the sound without changing the formula. Place of Skulls is a new project that should also appeal to fans of Pentagram. Formed by former Pentagram guitarist Victor Griffin, and featuring bassist Lee Adney (who played along with Griffin previously in his pre-Pentagram group Death Row), the trio have a heavy sound that fits in musically somewhere between Pentagram and Spirit Caravan. Fans of those bands will definitely want to check out this great debut disc, as will anyone into heavy Sabbath/Blue Cheer-inspired rock. (Black Widow)