Power of Metal.dk Live Review

Venue: ‘The Garage’, London, England
1st November, 2012
Bands: Pentagram, Gentlemans Pistols, Hark


Almost one year ago Bobby Liebling realised a long held ambition of performing in London….exactly 4 decades after the band’s inception. With malevolent timing an Icelandic volcano had erupted, obfuscating the airspace around the UK and North West Europe. The band had to travel overland from central Europe but eventually made it in time to London.

Mother nature must have a thing for Pentagram – there was no volcanic eruption this time but a hurricane of unprecedented intensity swept the band’s homestate of Virginia just a few days before Pentagram’s first UK tour was to kick off and there was even talk of the band not being able to leave the States. Yet again persistence prevailed and the Doom legends were back.

Scheduled support was to come from Gentlemans Pistols and just before entering it transpired that a second support was also slotted. Ah well, the more the merrier. I had just enough time to drool over some Pentagram vinyl rarities over the merchandise stall before the recorded music stopped…meaning the first band was about to come on.



A trio from Swansea (Wales) called Hark got the night going and straight away I was impressed. The music was groovy with basslines heavier than an obese elephant. Guitarist/vocalist Jimbob Isaac produced some unusual sounds from his guitar, which might not be so surprising considering the ample floorspace occupied by his effects pedals.

Hark’s brand of music is an abrasive Sludge Doom – a sort of an amalgam of Pantera, Orange Goblin and Electric Wizard. Individually the band members gave an intense performance while retaining a collective tightness.

Powerful stuff.

Sins On Sleeves
Paper Pusher
Black Hole Southwest
Clear Light Of Death 

RATING: 81/100



Gentlemans Pistols

I had last seen Gentlemans Pistols when they opened Cathedral’s farewell gig exactly a year ago. Then, like now, they gave their hearts out. At the very least no-one can accuse them of inconsistency.

For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the band, Gentlemans Pistols play a sort of Stonier version of Led Zeppelin and Blackmore-era Deep Purple. So the music is very Bluesy with every riff and solo squeezed for all its worth. Despite an excellent performance, however, I found it hard to fully immerse myself into their music - maybe because nostalgia trips make me uncomfortable. I’m not really sure, to be perfectly honest.

A recent addition to the band’s line-up was Bill Steer, erstwhile guitarist of Carcass. Of course Bill also used to play with Napalm Death when Lee Dorian (incidentally the owner of Rise Above Records, label of Gentleman’s Pistols) was fronting the band. This was Steer’s second foray into Classic Rock, the first being Firebird, which split up earlier this year. So he already knew what strings to pull with this music genre.

Without a doubt the gig was another feather in the cap of Gentlemans Pistols.

Living In Sin Again
Comfortably Crazy
Widow Maker
Some Girls Don't Know What's Good For Them
Personal Fantasy Wonderland
I Wouldn't Let You
Lying And Fooling
The Ravisher 

RATING: 79/100




Like the consummate grandmasters of Doom…nay, of Metal…that they are, Pentagram gave an outstanding performance for an audience that was relentlessly vocal and physical in its appreciation. This is not to say that there weren’t any ‘gremlins’ (technical cock-ups in a live gig)…drummer Sean Saley busting a snare skin, guitarist Victor Griffin’s guitar tunings going haywire…but both band and audience took such minor incidents in their stride.

As suggested the band truly slayed from the very first notes of ‘Death Row’ and the expressions in everyone eyes seemed to say: “THIS is why I love Metal.” If a year ago, in this same venue, the event was a more emotional affair then this time around Pentagram’s performance was more of a celebration. Indeed I felt they played better than last time around.

With a spot-on set-list, ‘Forever My Queen’ and ‘Sign Of The Wolf’ were obviously included but numbers such as ‘The Deist’ and ’20 Buck Spin’ were lethally effective in getting the crowd going. But it was during the encore that the audience really went bananas – I kid you not, when Pentagram played ‘Relentless’ it was like the world was coming to an end. Vocalist Bobby Liebling’s on-stage antics didn’t help matters…thankfully enough.

Pentagram managed to escape from a devastating hurricane but the audience at the ‘Garage’ weren’t so lucky.

Death Row
All Your Sins
Wolf’s Blood
Sign Of The Wolf
The Ghoul
Forever My Queen
You’re Lost, I’m Free
The Deist
Run My Course
Treat Me Right
20 Buck Spin
Dying World (Encore)
Relentless (Encore)
Nothing Left (Encore) 

RATING: 94/100



Attending: Chris Galea

Pentagram Webgallery