Music / Pentagram
Pentagram is a Doom Metal
band formed by Bobby Liebling and Geof O’Keefe in 1971. They have been active on and off since then, with Liebling being the sole constant member. While Pentagram has been extremely influential to the genre, often being viewed as an American Black Sabbath
, success has eluded them until only very recently, when their numerous 1970s demos were finally given an official release. Liebling had written hundreds of songs in the 70s that to this day he still re-records (or records in the first place), yet claims to have not written since then. Pentagram's music, in retrospect, is often seen as ahead of its time, as their debut self-titled album came out in the middle of the 80s (15 years after their first formation), during the days of Speed Metal
and Thrash Metal
While much of the signature sound and vision is credited to Bobby Liebling, Pentagram's numerous failures are also due to his constant screw-ups, notably being very difficult to work with (costing several major record deals and an inability to keep a stable line-up) and crippling addictions to crack cocaine and heroin. His struggles to keep sober, as well as Pentagram's first real taste of success, are documented in a 2012 documentary called Last Days Here
Tropes that apply to Pentagram:
- The Band Minus the Face: In 2017, Bobby Liebling found himself in legal issues that prevented him from going on tour, so the band simply went without him and had guitarist Victor Griffin perform all lead vocals.
- Darker and Edgier: The band gradually became heavier and more abrasive as time went on. Just compare First Daze Here to Pentagram/Relentless and then to Sub-Basement, which is borderline Sludge Metal.
- Doom Metal: Trope Maker and likely Ur-Example if you don't count Black Sabbath.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: Liebling infamously overdosed onstage in 2005.
- I Am the Band: Bobby Liebling; however, songwriting is far more collaborative than most examples, as Bobby hasn't written a song by himself in decades.
- I Love the Dead: "The Ghoul."
- May–December Romance: Bobby Liebling's wife Hallie, who is thirty-two years younger than Bobby, and the mother of his child. She is credited with helping Bobby keep sober.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Early demos were 5-7, Mid 80's to Early 90's material was a solid 7, everything afterwords is mid-7 to high-8.
- Not Christian Rock: On a surprising number of songs. Liebling and several other band members are Christians, so that may explain it, especially since one of Liebling's initial missions was to have his music put the fear of God in the listener. Averted with Place of Skulls (Victor Griffin's other main project), which is very explicitly Christian.
- Revolving Door Band: Liebling is infamously hard to work with, so it is no surprise that many musicians have come and gone throughout the band's history.
- Trope Codifier: Of Doom Metal along with St. Vitus, Witchfinder General, Candlemass, and Trouble.
- Trope Maker: If one doesn't consider Black Sabbath to count as a proper example of Doom Metal, then these guys often get a lot of the credit for inventing Doom Metal.