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A veritable underground institution, APOKALYPTIC RAIDS have become a hallowed name among diehards the world over for one simple-but-special fact: they started as an unapologetic Hellhammer-worship band (and very early Celtic Frost, too) but have transcended their obvious influences into something that actually adds to that legendary canon rather than merely ripping it off. And, as of this year, they've been gloriously succeeding for 20 years now.
Although these Brazilian bastards have released a half-dozen EPs the last five years, it's been a far-too-long eight years since the last APOKALYPTIC RAIDS album, Vol. 4 - Phonocopia, so to say that The Pentagram is long overdue is quite the understatement. And of course, they DELIVER, which is not surprising given that they've gone back to the classic 2004-2007 lineup of Leon Manssur "Necromaniac" on guitars and vocals, Vinicius Canabarro "Hellpreacher" on the bass, and Pedro Moraes Rocha "Skullkrusher" on the drums.
Adorned with characteristically iconic artwork courtesy of close comrade Umberto, The Pentagram is indeed a new beginning, but one that reverently adheres to APOKALYPTIC RAIDS' iron-clad past. Perhaps not surprisingly, the album's compositions span a good decade and a half - but as always, it sounds 666% like APOKALYPTIC RAIDS. Tons of galloping hard-chargers, lots of dirtiness, more metal attitude than is healthy, and even a moody epic in closer "The Story of Pope Joan": no fucking sellout, and no quarter given.

Ltd. 333, red vinyl with gatefold insert. Hells Headbangers 2018

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