Pentacle Under The Black Cross

This traditional quartet from the Netherlands return with Under The Black Cross, a brief and nostalgic trip back to death metal’s dawn. Make no mistake: this is old school, from when thrash was getting bland and in dire need of reinvention. Sure, Pentacle weren’t there but they’re very convincing impostors and many of these tracks would fit in seamlessly with anything that rhymes with Seven Churches or Scream Bloody Gore. The production is appropriately bossy, with a meat-eating guitar tone and drums that gallop straight into the reds. Despite living in the past, there are a few surprising sunspots of innovation — the start of "(Storming Through) A Hall Of Steel” could fit on a Melechesh record, for example. Not original by any means but that’s not the point. This is perfect for people constantly complaining about "the new shit.” Get the Ibex Moon release and be treated to a Necrovore cover, which is strangely more adventurous than the album itself. (Ibex Moon Records)