Born in Arlington, Virginia, Pentagram dates all the way back to 1971 and is considered one of the first doom metal acts. Over the course of the years, frontman Bobby Liebling has presided over approximately 2 dozen line ups.
The "classic" '70s line up consisted of Liebling, Vincent McAllister (guitar), Greg Mayne (bass) and Geof O'Keefe (drums) (with occasional appearances by 2nd guitarists Randy Palmer and Marty Iverson), with Liebling and O'Keefe handling the songwriting. The band's '70s output was sparse (only a few 7" EPs) but now considered by many fans to be legendary and Liebling, who at the time handled the bulk of the songwriting, had a large number of songs that went unrecorded or released at the time. This line up lasted until 1976, when tensions between Liebling and the rest of the band over Bobby's drug use and the band's inablility to secure a record deal escalated to the point that Bobby was ousted. Bobby owned the name, though, and resurrected it in 1978 with new members for what is now called "The High Voltage-era" due to the name of the record label who put out an EP by this particular line up.
In the early '80s, Liebling and "High Voltage-era" drummer Joe Hasselvander joined the band Death Row, who would soon assume the Pentagram name. It was the Death Row line up (Liebling, Hasselvander, and guitarist Victor Griffin, with "High Voltage-era" bassist Martin Swaney replacing Death Row bassist Lee Abney) that would record and release the band's first LP, a self-titled affair (later re-issued under the name "Relentless"), in 1985. The group recorded another LP in 1987 (with drummer Stuart Rose, replacing Joe Hasselvander, who would later re-record Stuart's parts upon the album's reissue in the 1990s), only to break up afterward. The Death Row line up (with Martin Swaney and Joe Hasselvander) would reunite again in the 1990s to record a third LP before disbanding for good. In 1999, with the legend of Pentagram growing, Liebling resurrected the name again, eventually recording two LPs with on-again/off-again drummer Joe Hasselvander supplying the instrumental backing and another album in 2004 which saw Bobby backed by members of Internal Void. The majority of the songs on these albums were written by Bobby in the 1970s.
In 2008, a now sober Bobby returned with a new Pentagram line-up, this one consisting of Gary Isom (drums), Russ Strahan (guitar), and Mark Ammen (bass) and, for the first time in years, the band began performing live and touring. Eventually, Strahan, Ammen, and Isom would drop out of the band, but Pentagram continued on and began preparing to work on a new album, called "Last Rites" with former Pentagram guitarist Victor Griffin, bassist Greg Turley, and Tim Tomaselli lending assistance.
Victor Griffin, Joe Hasselvander, Bobby Liebling, Vince McAllister, Greg Mayne, Geof O'Keefe, Martin Swaney, Stuart Rose