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Pentagram > Day of Reckoning > Reviews > Zombie_Quixote
Pentagram - Day of Reckoning

Plays like NWOBHM in slow-mo - 85%

Zombie_Quixote, June 20th, 2008

I often use the word "slow" or "slowed down" in reviews and expect the reader to derive positive connotations from it. I realize that in metal it typically goes the faster the better; or rather that was the stamp that NWOBHM and the subsequent thrash bands put on the genre. Sometimes this is the case sometimes it isn't. We tend to criticize bands who go from one extreme to a lesser extreme: Blind Guardian drew criticism- along with praise- by falling from speed metal to a more mid paced progressive/power metal.

It's misperception amongst some circles- not all mind- that slower songs are easier to play. And, essentially, that's true: slower songs are easier to play. They are not, however, easier to create. It takes a certain ear for sound to be able to put together a slower piece of metal and still captivate the listener. Sabbath flirted with the lines between up tempo and down tempo. It's the down tempo songs that fans most remember because of Iommi's particular ability to create entrancing riffs (helped by Butler's bass playing certaibly): Iron Man, Black Sabbath, War Pigs, The Wizard, etc. Wino (St Vitus, Hidden Hand, The Obsessed) is a veritable master of that exact same ideal. Plus he could sing which Iommi couldn't do to well.

Pentagram is inherently different from the two while portraying the same ideas. Their riffs are more melodically driven than Sabbath's. They play with harmony akin to Iron Maiden. Vocally Liebling is better than Ozzy, though not as good as Wino, and lyrically he dances between silly and passable. Certain lines from When the Screams Come are laughable which somehow doesn't detract from how absolutely spectacular that song is. Even given the production on the release I find the drum playing to be quite good, almost alike to how Dio used drums in his earlier records.

The production on the release isn't the greatest though I'm not sure what one expected from a not-so-mainstream band from the 70-80s to sound like. Fans of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, St Vitus, and Mercyful Fate will probably find things they can like in this release; Candlemass fans could come to see their roots and New Wave fans can have some fun.