(Hungarian web site, English translation below)
Pentacle has an interesting career behind it. Launched in Bladel in 1989, the band is one of the pioneers of the Dutch death / doom scene, just a few years younger than Asphyx or Sempiternal Deathreign. Obviously, this is not what makes them interesting, but the fact that during their three decades of career there have been only two exchanges of members, and that their fans are not spoiled by sound, although the latter statement is relative. But when it comes to death / doom, Pentacle is such a flawless choice, I would say, an inevitable band.
But let’s start from the beginning! The formation of the complete Dutch extreme metal scene dates back to 1984, with the formation of Thanatos in Rotterdam; they were the first thrash / death team in the tulip country. But in the late ’80s, in fact, heavy metal brutal bands in the Netherlands, such as Mandator, Mourning, Sinister, Pestilence, or Beyond Belief, have attracted attention. This circle also includes Pentacle.
The band was formed by singer / bassist Wannes Gubbels and guitarist Mike Verhoeven, joined by drummer Marc Nelissen a year later. Their original purpose was to keep the ancient death metal alive, which in their case represents the period 1984-1989, especially with the work of Celtic Frost. Of course, this is not just a single copy, just a drive before the source of inspiration. To date, Pentacle is one of the most basic, most reliable bastions in the underground scene. With the trio lineup, they actually held on until the early 2000s (with the exception of The Fifth Moon EP in 1996, when Edwin Fölsche was co-guitarist), but then a double rotation: Mark Nelissen was replaced by Robert Smissaer, while Alex Verhoeven took over as second guitarist 11 years younger than his older brother, Mike Verhoeven, and from that point on, there were no other personal changes. I add, no musicians either.
And here comes the second curiosity: Specter of the Eigth Ropes is their third album. “What the fuck have they done so far?”, The poet asks, quite rightly, the earthly mortal. The answer to that is that they only applied for a full lineup when the material they wrote was found worthy of publication. In addition, they were featured in a number of shared publications with other teams, and it was not necessarily their advantage that Mike Verhoeven suffered a scuffle in 2005 and was unavailable to Pentacle for an indefinite period.
You can’t go without saying that Wannes Gubbels appeared on Asphyx’s 2000 album “On the Wings of Inferno” (he sang the disc), Death… the Brutal Way single and album (2008, 2009 – bass) ) as well as Soulburn’s ’96 demo and ’98 Feeding on Angels’ album. He also played for Bunkur for “security”. (I also recommend the latter line-up for fans of extreme metal.)
But the point is that the new Pentacle album has just been released on September 21st. I hate “recommendations”, descriptions that “if you know the earlier records of a given band, you know the new one,” but for Pentacle, this statement is acceptable, and even accepted. They do not have revolutionary solutions, surprises, synth rugs, female vocals, honeyed melodies, only the death / doom cliché that goes back to basics. It doesn’t matter if I mention Behold … Denial, Despair and Cruelty, I Christen Thee Doom !, The Fury of Retribution, or Mesmerizing Depths of the Abyss, all numbers are old school death / conceived in the spirit of doom, not to mention that Wannes Gubbels’ rumble / performance completely evokes Martin Van Drunen.
And if I mentioned the old school, the last one – after Killjoy’s memory – is the Necrophagia Forbidden Pleasure (Season of the Dead). The sound of the material recorded in the Toneshed studio leaves nothing to be desired, so it is a perfect work in every respect.
No matter that I, as an old fan, have this record at the end of the year clearance, I have no more requests from Wannes Gubbels than having to wait 14 years for the next material.