Chained within the mythical realms of primeaval black/death metal, so graciously unveiled in the early 80’s by hallowed cults such as Venom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Possessed, Messiah, Necrovore, Bathory, Treblinka, Slaughter (CAN) and Necrophagia, Pentacle’s sepulchral tribute, to this unforgotten legacy, started back in winter 1989 when Mike Verhoeven (guitar), Wannes Gubbels (bass/vocals) and Marc Nelissen (drums) joined forces…
Entangled in the growing urge to inspire their own roaring metal quest, Pentacle soon developed a highly ambitious conspiracy; forging twisting death metal rhythms and haunting doom chords in the archaic traditions of the crafts. 1992 spewed forth Pentacle’s first official rehearsal tape, “Caressed by Both Sides“; a primal anthology of pounding horror, which contained 4 of their own compositions as well as the band’s gloomy interpretation of Hellhammer’s “The Reaper”. Shortly after the tape’s release, Pentacle gained stage experience supporting bands such as Asphyx and Gorefest.
The heretical spawn crawled on into 1993 with the trinity’s one and only studio demo, “Winds of the Fall“, which unleashed 5 more charnel hymns to conquer souls enslaved by ancient metal. Their earthly testimony of doom was reflected in praising reviews and encouraging respect from kindred bands. More stages were shared with the likes of Occult, Anathema, Sentenced, Ancient Rites, Acrostichon, Eternal Solstice and Samael…
1994 witnessed Pentacle descending into the recording dungeons once more, to evoke “A Dance Beyond“; exclusively destined to be included on the DSFA 6/ “Paradise of the Underground” compilation CD, for the Dutch based DSFA label.
Pentacle’s first vinyl desecration “Exalted Journey” emerged a few moon cycles later; from the Belgian Midian Creations; a 2 track 7″ EP to spread the ceremonial onslaught even further…
In March/April 1996, Pentacle’s ranks of the depraved were joined by axe wielder Edwin, to create an even heavier and deadlier storm of slashing metal scythes, as the 12 ” Picture Disc/ CD, “The Fifth Moon“, proves. Selected to be released by Displeased Records for the CD and Damnation Distribution for the vinyl version, it contained 4 new blood wrenching grapes of wrath and, again a recording of Hellhammer’s “The Reaper” as a bonus track for the vinyl version.
After the release of this infernal storm of evil Pentacle did in November 1996 a small European tour with Belgian warriors Ancient Rites. Countries as Belgium, France, Germany and Holland fell under this deadly Metal storm. Many gigs were done to spread the ancient message.
The year 1997 started with the departure of their second axe wielder Edwin as he wasn’t able to commit himself to the band anymore. The band continued to spread their mayhem as the everlasting ancient line-up, the three-piece. In the meantime gigs were done with bands as Obituary, Katatonia, Immortal, Cannibal Corpse, Emperor, Hades Almighty, Marduk, Desaster and In The Woods…. Several compilation CD’s have been desecrated through Pentacle’s contributions.
Indeed, 1998 awaited the album which has the obscure title “…Rides the Moonstorm“. Again, Damnation Records was chosen to unleash this release on CD and DoLP. For this purpose the band recorded at Harrow Productions, Losser, Holland 9 tracks, of which 8 compositions are of their own and a cover of Chile’s own Death Metal Gods Pentagram, called “Spell of the Pentagram”.
2000 spawned a true metal cooperation with the German metal Gods Desaster. Both acts covered a song of the other band and contributed a new song. Named “Desaster in League with Pentacle” this hellish release was released on the German label Iron Pegasus as a limited 10” picture disc and a regular version.
The new millennium saw the release of a special anniversary release. A MCD / 12” called “Ancient Death” was released on Damnation Records / Dark Realm Records. Containing 3 new tracks, an old song and 2 Mantas / Death covers (“Witch of Hell” and “Legion of Doom”) this deadly piece is a mark in the band’s history.
At the same time a tribute to one of the ultimate bands, the almighty Possessed, should have been released on the Polish label No Mercy. Pentacle recorded the “Beyond the Gates” track “The Beasts of the Apocalypse” for this purpose, but used it for a split 7” (“Dunkel Besatthet”) with Swedish act Repugnant as No Mercy didn’t react on any of the band’s inquiries concerning the tribute.
In the meanwhile, original drummer Marc left the band. Marc wasn’t willing to do shows anymore. He was replaced by Robert. That year the band did a small tour with Pulverizer (NL) and Desaster (GER) which attended Holland and Germany.
After having done gigs in Italy and Germany, it was decided that the band needed another second axe maniac. The search for such an addition was very short. Mike’s brother Alex joined the band after a short test-period. After he had gotten his baptism of fire in Switzerland, he became a full member of the band. His second gig was as a support for the mighty cult band from Peru, Mortem!
In 2004, the much delayed Possessed tribute (“Seven Gates of Horror”) was released through the Dutch label Karmageddon Records.
At the end of 2004, Pentacle entered Harrow Productions again to record 11 songs. The band recorded 8 tracks for the album, called “Under the Black Cross”. This album was released on the German label Iron Pegasus Records on CD and vinyl. The reviews were very supporting and many magazines claimed this was Pentacle’s best effort ever!
The tracks “A Hellish Descent” and “Blast them from the Sky!” have been used for the “Archaic Undead Fury” 10” on From Beyond Productions, while Pentacle’s version of Necrovore’s “Divus de Mortuus” has been used as a bonus track for the US release of “Under the Black Cross” as a digi pack on Ibex Moon Records.
Hell waited for the arrival of new macabre compositions for several years. The first one to appear was the double EP with Dutch Death Metal masters Eternal Solstice on Dark Descent Records, followed by a split 7” with demon gods Mortem on Iron Pegasus Records. From beyond the grave, live recordings with a very good sound from the year 1993 were exhumed and released through Afterlife Productions on tape format. This release was named “At the Depths of Mill” after the village where the gig took place. Furthermore, Vic Records rereleased “The Fifth Moon” as a double CD, containing all releases prior to Pentacle’s first PD/MCD while Iron Pegasus Records released the “Five Candles burning red” MCD containing the full session of the split releases.
The band embarked for their first US tour called “Ancient Death over North America” and performed all over the USA and Mexico. The stages were shared with acts as Ares Kingdom, Sathanas, Unholy Lust and Morgengrau. Pentacle was given a rapid response by the hordes of darkness and the tour was a success. In 2015, the band embarked for their first South American trip to Chile.
2016 spawned the long-planned “Invocations of the Death-ridden”split 12” with LA’s darkest force, Sadistic Intent, on Iron Pegasus Records as well as a contribution for the “Vestibule of Hell” compilation LP on Wolfsbane Records.
As final part of the Dutch/Japanese trilogy, a split live picture disc 7” with Sabbat was released on New Era Productions. This label, together with Slowrunner Records, rereleased “The Fifth Moon” on its original intended format, a 12” gatefold MLP.
The quest for the third full length album ends in 2019 when Iron Pegasus Records releases “Spectre of the Eight Ropes” upon the unexpected masses. Recorded at Toneshed Recording Studio, this deathly offering presents the band in full gear showing no signs of decay and moving further into the realm of Ancient Death Metal, utterly proud of this morbid achievement.
After almost 30 years of active (!) service, the musical concept of the band is still firmly rooted in the golden ‘80’s, though remains far from being a mere copy-cat of the forefathers of extreme Metal. Don’t make the mistake to file Pentacle under any retro-trend. They started performing their music when only a selected (and loyal) audience still was interested in this honest style of music. Others sailed the seas of successive trends. Pentacle didn’t. Together with an obscure, yet individual lyrical approach, the band always worked hard to create a personal style, based on ancient Metal values. Remember this when listening to Pentacle’s releases…
DON’T FORGET THE ANCIENT FEELING…IT STILL RULES!