The pentagram has a very long history that is now admittedly skewed. Technically, a pentagram is drawn with five straight stokes and creates a pentagon in the center. The star alone is also known as a pentacle or pentangle. The pentagram has been used in a myriad of religions including Christianity and Wicca, but it’s use in Satanism has essentially robbed the symbol from any other association.
Metal music has used the symbol to the point where it’s a laughable cliché, however non-metal bands have also used it. Please add any albums that have a pentagram on the cover and are not included here to the comments.
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I suppose if you are going to do a list of album covers that have a pentagram on them you need to start it with The Satanic Mass as performed by the founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey. I haven’t personally heard the record, but I am sure it’s a combination of dark creepiness and campy hilarity.
Although not a true pentagram, the cover of 2112 was mean to combine the witchy, supernatural feeling of the occult with space age science fiction. Released in 1977, 2112 is one of the pinnacle moments in prog rock and is the first pentagram-laced album I ever saw as well as the first I ever bought.
Although the cover of “Shout At The Devil” was later changed to feature the mug shots of the 4 band members in full glam mode, originally it was a simple matte black background with a glossy black pentagram. Kind of like Spinal Tap, but for real. I still think this was the Crue’s best album, but it was downhill from here.
Jack Black’s hilarious and suprisingly musically talented band Tenacious D got their name from a Mike Ditka line for good football defense. The cover of their debut album is a satire on metal (much of the music is as well). The boys are standing naked on a pentagram with a demon arising behind them. Make sure to check out the track “Dio“.
Many give credit to Venom for painfully giving birth to the genre of Thrash Metal. Besides this accomplishment they also took Satan obsession to the next level. “Welcome To Hell” was the band’s debut and the production is some of the worst you’ll hear anywhere, but then again, what else would you expect in Hell?
“Show No Mercy” was released in 1987 and at the time Slayer, like Venom were building a new extreme metal empire that would grow and influence many future metal musicians. The cover of “Show No Mercy” utilized the pentagram, but as drawn with swords! How fuckin’ metal is that!
Any pentagram playlist needs to include the band that is named after the symbol. As you would expect Pentagram is a metal band. They have been around since the early 1970s and did not release “Relentless” until after 15 years of struggle. So it seems that selling your soul to Satan does not necessarily mean a quick turn-around.
Three Sixes – Three Sixes In addition to the pentagram, the number 666 has been overused to the Nth degree to convey a band’s allegiance to Satan. Three Sixes takes the symbol, but in an attempt to show intelligence they actually spell it out instead of using the number itself. The music mixes thrash and punk, but it’s the priest and pentagram on the album cover that ticks up the evil factor.
Allmusic.com says that “Death Cult Armageddon may be the closest-to-perfect amalgamation of the hallowed genres of black, death, thrash, gothic/industrial, and symphonic metal .” Well, I am not sure if that’s true or not, but the pentagram fuckin’ rocks!
The band Pentangle was a folk group that featured Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. This double album was released in 1968 and is probably the one you want if you are not familiar with the band. This is one of only a few albums on the list that features the acoustic guitar. So it’s a more “woodsy” occult we’re talking about here.
Hecate Enthroned are a British death metal band whose original vocalist left to join Cradle of Filth, but eventually returned. Was it the powerful pull of Satan who brought him back? We may never know for sure, but we do know that the Devil digs bands with pentagrams on their album covers.
Anthrax spent decades doing heavy metal without the use of a single pentagram, but on this 2002 release they show up on the cover wearing pentagram t-shirts. The members seem to be pulling their fans back into the fold with the power of the ultimate metal symbol. Could it be Satan?
Mephiskapheles is a take off on the name of chief demon “Mephistopheles”, but instead of using “stoph” they use “ska”. It’s a ska-punk band, get it! This may be the only Satanic Ska band in the world and this album is also the only one I am aware of with a white pentagram on a white background.
This is the only Brazilian death metal band on the list. “Black Force Domain” was Krisiun’s 1995 full-length debut. And if the bloody pentagram on the cover leaves any doubt about the band’s evilness, the 4 upside down crosses should drive the point home.
The commercially successful metal band “Disturbed” took symbolism to the next level with this cover. Not only is the pentagram easily seen here, but a host of other symbols including those of Christianity, Islam and Judaism are included. Freakin’ pussies.
Robert Burke spends much of his time loving crafting thematic music playlists on the Rhapsody Radish.