One of the first acts to mess with ideas that are now known as doom metal, Pentagram are a still-operational (in some capacity) metal band that got their start -- and toiled in obscurity for most of their career -- in and around Alexandria, Va. Formed by singer Bobby Liebling in 1971, the band played a murky, downtempo derivative of Blue Cheer's Outsideinside album that won them a devoted local following but failed to yield a record deal. Four singles and a slew of demos represented the band's oeuvre until 1985, when Pentagram, made up of both new material and remixes of songs written and recorded in the '70s, surfaced (the album has since been re-released as Relentless). A second album, Day of Reckoning, followed in 1987, after which the band broke up for the zillionth time. In 2001, Relapse put out a collection of demos, First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection, which -- with the doom and stoner metal movements in full swing -- took on an uncanny prescience. Pentagram came to represent a physical link between Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, if only by the tempos and lo-fi recordings. Liebling promptly re-formed the band and started releasing records on Italian label Black Widow.
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