Here is a review of `Spectre of the eight ropes` from Dargedik rock metal webzine.
(Spanish web site, English translation below)
Although Pentacle is a band that has been active since 1989, its long-term productions are reduced to 3 full albums, being a band that is based mostly on proclaiming the underground movement of the death genre since its inception and until this “Specter of the Eight Ropes. ” So, what you will find in all their discography, is a band that is loyal to its sound since 1989 and with that old American vein of the first albums of that scene and with that detail of not speeding things up, becoming basic in all its schemes and with a scraped voice that gives that central essence to sound and music, because it helps to see the band as it was conceived. And as expected in 30 years, the band does not change its situation and remains a cult band for many latitudes, reaffirming its fascination of wanting to become a cult band in every way. Where Wannes Gubbels and Mike Verhoeven still have that ability to transmit what you expect from a new Pentacle album and you don’t need to investigate more about music, because just as you were amazed with “… Rides the Moonstorm” (1998) and “Under the Black Cross “(2005), because in this ” Specter of the Eight Ropes ” you have the same essence and presentation in general, that you don’t need to speed things up or get more technical to prove that the years of rare mixtures and progressive details, They do not weigh in their compositions within these nine songs that came to light on September 21, through the legendary German label Iron Pegasus Records.
Now, the line-up from their second album “Under the Black Cross” (2005) remains intact with Wannes Gubbels (bass and vocals), Mike Verhoeven (guitar), Robert Smissaert (drums) and Alex Verhoeven (guitar). Who today are the sound of Pentacle for this “Specter of the Eight Ropes” and after 14 years without presenting another long study. Falling bareback in these years of the resurgence Death Metal worldwide and with which the band ensures more years of live performances and other details that come with the release of a new album. Where the work of Manuel Tinnemans (Abaddon Incarnate, Cynic, Deathspell Omega Entombed AD, Foscor, Lychgate, Misþyrming, Necrophagia, Necros Christos, Rotting Christ, Sunn O))), The Ravenous, Varathron) in the graphic presentation of this new album , is what you expect from the band and the artist, since it is the same since the beginning of the band and with that occult vision and death artifacts that were always in the band and that rarely can be associated with something in particular .
“Specter of the Eight Ropes” is an album that does not need to know much about the band, because as it was said in the first paragraph, if you heard their first 2 long durations, because this third album presents that fascination towards that eighties sound and American root, proclaiming in a shaved voice rhythms that the most ingrained to the Death Metal scene of those years will be listening loudly on his sound system. And the small difference that exists between what happened before and now is heard, is that the band improved at the execution level and the sound of this album is much more compact and there are no longer some production gaps that were previously heard in the previous productions, which demonstrates a greater effort on the part of the band and the Toneshed Studio studios to find the soundness of their music in all the songs. Since everything begins in “Behold … Denial, Despair and Cruelty” the band engages with its classic riffs and compact schemes so that it starts to move the head and all its sticky atmosphere sticks in the brain, in addition to the song Thanks to a brief change of times, it gets much more interesting in every way and that brings old memories to mind, and then continue with “I Christen Thee Doom!”. Song that again hooks you with those rhythms that have not lost in the music of Pentacle and at the same time address some scales that there begin to have a better presence in their music; In addition to listening to a band much more to what is known and rectify this world with “Now Spit Forth Death, with its mysterious introduction and then continue with the rhythmic scraping and then accelerate its music so that the hellish pogo begins wherever You are listening to his music.
“Blessed by Fire” is another theme taken from his own trunk and that bears the Death 80s brand in his music, and Wannes’s voice is what ages him more this time, giving him that format that if you know the band, then you have What you expect from them. Direct music and without frills, so that later the speakers “The Fury of Retribution”, where they show that the initial harmonics of Death Metalera rebellion follow their veins and that when you rely on a Crust matrix at times, this idea fits perfectly that you have a song that helps you so that the public gets into the pogo without mercy and ends where you started, on the ground. Then you have “Mesmerizing Depths of the Abyss”, keeping the known and this time its crust essence is much more brimming with the rhythms than in previous songs, giving the band a little respite so as not to typecast what you expect, but to help them get a little more rugged in his music and this same idea continue in “Bound by Death’s Ropes”, which relies for seconds on quasi blackers and other thrashers to end with “(Emerging from) A Sea Ablaze” and his whole world close in the best way and complement to this third album put the theme “Forbidden Pleasure” tribute. Song that belongs to the legends of Necrophagia and thus close an excellent return for the band and with which you will have better views for years to come.