PENTAGRAM CHILE are nearing completion of their first-ever studio album, which will be titled "The Malefice". Drums for the album were tracked at Sade Studios in Santiago, Chile, while all guitars and vocals were recorded at HVR Studios in Suffolk, UK, where the album is currently being mixed by vocalist/guitarist Anton Reisenegger with long-time friend, collaborator , co-producer and studio owner Daniel Biggin.
The band faced a dilemma when deciding whether to re-record their legendary 80s material. Reisenegger comments: "We weren't sure if we should re-record the old demo songs; some people encouraged us to do so, others said we would ruin our own legacy. At first we decided to re-record just a couple, but while we were at it, we were so pleased with the results we decided to do them all."
"We obviously didn't want to base our first studio album on 25-year old songs," he continues, "as people have been – rightfully – accusing us of flogging that material to death already, so I think we found an elegant solution: The album's first edition will consist of two records, one of all-new material written during the last two years, and a second one of re-recorded songs from the 80s demos. The few friends who've been able to listen to the re-recorded material have been amazed at how we've been able to capture the vibe of the old material despite using modern recording technology. Hell, even the new stuff sounds like it came from that era!"
While the PENTAGRAM drum throne was recently taken over by veteran Chilean drummer Juan Pablo Donoso (SADISM, EXECRATOR, THRONAFIRE) after original member Eduardo Topelberg left the band (he is now a local politician for the Ñuñoa district of Santiago), bass duties on the album were split between various musicians. Besides the band's touring bassists Juan Francisco Cueto and Daniel Biggin, the band also invited long-time friend Rodrigo "Pera" Cuadra of DORSO to record the bass on one song, as well as to re-do the evil laughter he originally contributed to the demo version of the track "The Malefice".
Another bassist to guest on the album is Mauricio Peña, brother of original PENTAGRAM bassist Alfredo "Bey" Peña, who committed suicide in 1990. "It was really emotive to have Mauricio perform on the album. He looks a lot like his brother and is just as talented. In a way, it's like Alfredo is still with us in spirit."
In addition, the track "La Fiura" will feature a scream provided by MORGOTH singer Marc Grewe. "The song is about this mythological creature from the South of Chile", Reisenegger explains, "which emits this really piercing, high-pitched scream that literally melts people's faces. When we were playing the Maryland Deathfest last year, MORGOTH were on while we were getting ready, and all of a sudden we heard this insane scream. We all looked at each other and said: 'That's it, that's La Fiura!!!' So we approached Marc and he immediately agreed."
The album mix is due to be finished at the end of January, and the band are aiming for a late spring release on Germany's Cyclone Empire Records.