Pentacle
Spectre of the Eight Ropes

Formed at the end of the 80’s Pentacle has remained a staple in the underground death metal scene and helping to push forth the Netherlands metal scene, which is one of the best, in my opinion.  With the members in various other bands and still to this day, we have Alex and Mike Verhoeven on guitar, Robert Smissaert drums and Wannes Gubbels, from Asphyx and Soulburn fame.  But the Pentacle line-up has remained stable and the band has firmly cemented themselves in the death metal scene, where their sound harkens back more to mid 80’s/early 90’s death/thrash metal.  Pentacle has released demos, ep’s splits, comps and 2 prior albums:  …Rides the Moonstorm ’98 and Under the Black Cross in ’05 and now they return with their long overdue 3rd album, Spectre of the Eight Ropes.

And what an album we get.  First and foremost, you may want to reduce the volume on your devise of choice when listening to this album.  It’s fucking LOUD!!!!!  One of the loudest releases I have ever heard. “Behold…Denial, Despair and Cruelty” starts and Wannes lets loose with a vintage Celtic Frost, Tom Warrior grunt.  The tune has that death thrash Pentacle speed and the song slows down with some excellent drum and bass guitar work.  Excellent guitar melodies as well.  Wannes, has such a great voice, always reminded me of a raspier, Martin Van Drunen style.  The Holy Shit moment is at the slow-down 2 minute marker with the guitar and cymbals isolated and Wannes growls Down they go.  This slower passage is pure awesomeness.  The perfect album opener.

PENTACLE "Spectre of the Eight Ropes" Album Teaser

***STORMWARNING***Pentacle "Spectre of the Eight Ropes" CD/ Gatefold LPAncient Death Metal returns! FINALLY, a brand new studio album from PENTACLE! Heavy, traditional, deathly, twisted and without any compromise! Recorded at Toneshed (PESTILENCE, DEAD HEAD, etc). Artwork by Manuel Tinnemans.Pre-Orders start tomorrow!

Posted by IRON PEGASUS RECORDS on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

“I Christen Thee Doom!” starts with a nice slow build-up and then more Celtic Frost riffing and the sol that comes whipping by at the 40 second mark, sounds like something on To Mega Therion.  The song picks up pace and this is such a strong song with excellent drum rolls, vocals and riffing at the end of the song.  Just a killer damn song. “Now Spit Forth Death” once the epic build-up is finished and Wannes lets out a UGGHH, the song picks up speed getting into one of the faster riffing songs the band has ever pulled off.  I really love the transition from the fast part to the 2.35 mid-paced rumbling double bass crushing part.  This part had me two-stepping all day long.  I actually moshed my way to the grocery store, bought a SlimJim and moshed all the way around the corner while I finished my snack.  “Bound by Death’s Ropes” also destroys.  Nice guitar solos over the death thrashiness and the riffing is just so excellent.  The song is fast and furious and then Pentacle brings the slower crushing riffing in, before the 9+ minute “(Emerging from) A Sea Ablaze” comes in with a killer guitar riff that seems like a homage to “Dethroned Emperor” from Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales, then the song gets into a Hellhammer speed and this part punishes!!  Very epic parts and it’s great to see Pentacle bring forth these longer tracks, like they usually do.  The song goes back n forth between faster and slower parts with some great drum work.

Pentacle even pull off a nice Necrophagia cover “Forbidden Pleasure”. It’s cool and keeps to the original classic song, in terms of style.  At 54 minutes these 9 songs pack a punch.  Spectre of the Eight Ropes is produced excellently.  Retains the organic and true heaviness of Pentacle.  Old school, but never sounds dated.  Pentacle knows how to write meaningful songs and they craft them quite well.  This is the best produced album Pentacle has released and all the songs are great.  The thick cd booklet is huge.  Lyrics, pictures and really nicely designed, as is the creepy album cover drawing.  I would not want to be part of that corpse militia.  Spectre of the Eight Ropes has been in constant rotation for me and this is one of the best albums of 2019.  As Wannes and the rest of Pentacle will always say:  Don’t Forget The Ancient Feeling…It Still Rules!!!

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 23rd, 2019

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