Sanctus Bellum Summons Pentagram for a Not-So-Silent Night of Metal
Nothing sucks worse than having a birthday in late December. It's not really even a debate at this point. Year after year, Christmas is all anybody cares about, and you wind up with a gross gingerbread cake and birthday presents under the tree. Nobody's trying to celebrate your ass.
Sanctus Bellum assembles the legion of doom Saturday.
If your birthday is doomed to be forever overshadowed by the Christ child's, you've got to create a spectacle to get any attention. For some of us, that means throwing a little crying fit. For Sanctus Bellum, it means calling up a couple of notorious pals to help them unwrap an unholy night of heavy-metal volume.
In order to properly commemorate the births of bassist Ben Yaker and guitarist Jan Kimmel, Sanctus Bellum put together something special for the El Birthday Metal Fest II. The local doom merchants will play three sets at Rudyard's on Saturday.
First, a typical Sanctus Bellum show, featuring all of the attendant riffs you've come to expect. Then, Helstar wailer James Rivera will join the band for a set of classic metal covers.
The final set of the night will feature legendary Pentagram vocalist Bobby Liebling on the mike for a suite of his songs that haven't been heard live in decades -- if ever.
For Yaker, it'll be a dream come true: The bassist calls Pentagram his favorite band. Liebling lost decades of his creative prime to drug addiction before making a startling, Roky Erickson-esque recovery recently -- the subject of the excellent film Last Days Here. With Liebling back playing shows at last, the chance to jam with the long-lost doom-metal icon will be Sanctus Bellum's birthday present to itself. And we're all invited to the party.
In a twist that's just got to have some kind of ominous astrological significance, Liebling's birthday happens to fall on this weekend, as well. I called him up this week to ask about the gig.
"I've met Ben at probably 11 different places or more," Liebling says. "We're his favorite group. He called me when I wasn't working on anything -- We're in the process of searching for a new guitar player. I had nothing to do, so I told him no problem."
The set won't be anything like the gigs that Liebling has been playing with Pentagram lately. Sanctus Bellum will highlight a few of the dozens of songs that the singer wrote in the '70s, but never played live due to his unstable behavior.
With Pentagram sticking close to a reliable list of classics on the road, the singer is relishing the chance to dig into some deep cuts.