“After the Turkish military coup in 1980, we were misfit kids in an authoritarian environment. The music reached out and offered the liberty to express our frustration in a civilized way. We’ve always looked up to great legends and aspired to be like them. Becoming a band was our primary objective. We yearned to mature into fine musicians and belong in the music scene we love. It’s been the case ever since. Fortunately, we’ve endured long enough to see our work relate to a younger generation and feel like a ring of the chain that binds us. Our style is mostly identified with its blend of Anatolian music with heavy metal. The upcoming record is about our generation who still lives under the shadow of guns. We’ve reunited with all former members for our last stand along the purpose against fascism, with music as our only weapon. The songs on the album are monuments of faith, gratitude, passion, conceit, failure, acceptance and regret in one’s life. We were fortunate enough to feature a timeless master, Erkan Ogur on ‘baritone fretless guitar’ and ‘kopuz’; along with Cahit Berkay from the legendary Mogollar, playing the ‘yaylı tambur’. Music is a language, magically native to everyone. The world’s most ancient tradition and a loyal comrade in each one’s own personal struggle. It unites us in shared feelings and insight. We’re devoted to this tradition because we trust in its virtue that sustains our grip in life. Besides, it’s so much fun, making it more convincing than anything else.” – Tarkan Gozubuyuk, Bassist, Pentagram
It’s a very unique experience, really. Think about it, a 30 year old heavy metal band reuniting with all of its members on an acoustic “best of” album in 2017. On top of that, touring with 9 people on stage for 5 years and collaborating on a new album with all of the 9 members. Honestly, I do believe that Makina Elektrika is the most collaborative work that I’ve done in my life, considering 9 members creating together! I’d also like to note that most of the members have had very successful solo careers in performing, producing, film making and in celebrity circles in the past years. Now when we’re on the bus or backstage, studio or stage we all drop our last names and find an environment to express our individualities freely just like how we did decades ago when we were in our twenties. I believe it is the magic of that brotherhood that makes Pentagram what it is, and this new album is flooded with emotion, talent, experience, mastery and love. – Demir Demirkan, Guitarist, Pentagram
Pentagram is a heavy metal act from Istanbul, performing since 1987. After several changes in the lineup over the decades, the band reunited with all former members for their continued stand against fascism, with music as their weapon.
The reunion was intended to be exclusively for an acoustic album, a live tour and a concert video to celebrate Pentagram’s 30th anniversary, in 2017. However, the healing outcome of this gathering has driven the band to make their 8th studio record, Makina Elektrika, as a 9-piece band, with four lead singers.
Makina Elektrika dropped today September 9th via Sony Music. A blend of Anatolian music with heavy metal, the album consists of English and Turkish lyric songs and an instrumental track.
Pentagram Makina Elektrika Track List:
01 Bu Duzen Yikilsin/Bring The System Down (voc. Ogün, Murat, Gokalp)
02 Sur/Castle Made of Sand (voc. Ogün, Murat, Gokalp)
03 Pride (voc. Ogün, Murat, Gokalp)
04 Revenant (voc. Gokalp)
05 Sensiz/Without You (voc. Hakan)
06 Maymunlar Gezegeni/The Planet Of Apes (voc. Ogun)
07 Damn The War (voc. Ogün, Murat, Gokalp) feat. Cahit Berkay
08 Dunya/Earth (instrumental)
09 Odenmez/Priceless (voc. Murat) feat. Erkan Ogur
10 Seek And Destroy (voc. Ogün, Murat, Gokalp)
All songs were written by Pentagram, except two cover tributes; “Dunya” by Yavuz Cetin (a fellow musician who passed away in 2001) and “Seek and Destroy” by Metallica, in memory of Cliff Burton.
About: PENTAGRAM (a.k.a. Mezarkabul)
In 1987, when there wasn’t much speaking of metal music in Turkey, two childhood friends, Hakan Utangaç (guitar, vocals) and Cenk Ünnü (drums) came together to name themselves Pentagram. When Tarkan Gözübüyük joined up later that year on bass, the core of this legendary band was formed in İstanbul.
In three years, they drew attention with a string of performances and signed with Nepa Music (which had been prosecuted by the government for publishing Kurdish music) for their debut. This self-titled album, strongly supported by the Turkish metal scene, quickly became a local trend with widespread press coverage and performances on national television. It was already clear that Pentagram would become one of the essential metal bands in Turkey for their developing ensemble, influenced by progressive rock and 80’s metal.
Pentagram recorded the Trail Blazer album in 1992 with Demir Demirkan on the guitar and Ogun Sanlısoy on vocals. Nuclear Blast of Germany took a chance on the record and extended its reach to the European head bangers. In 1995, Murat İlkan replaced Ogün as the lead singer.
In 1997, their signature touch, blending heavy metal with Anatolian and Mesopotamian musical heritage, reached a point of maturity on the Anatolia album. Released by Raks Music, the most important local label of its time, the album was well-received by fans from a wider circle than metal enthusiasts alone and was embraced in fifty-two countries spanning five continents after Century Media of Germany licensed it for an international distribution. Pentagram released their 10th anniversary live album/video, Popçular Dışarı, both on CD and VHS.
After the success of Anatolia, Pentagram was no longer just a favorite of the local scene, but an internationally acclaimed metal band. They came to be known as Mezarkabul outside Turkey and were signed to Sanctuary Records. The albums Unspoken(2001) and Bir (2002) were recorded at Sierra Studios in Athens.
Between 2003 and 2006, Pentagram went on a hiatus, but when Sony Music Turkey decided to compile their full catalog, the band started back up with a new release. They put out an iconic live album/video titled 1987, marking their 20th anniversary, on CD and DVD before returning to the studio and making the MMXII record in 2012 with Gökalp Ergen on vocals and Metin Türkcan on the guitar. This album was named the album of the year by Headbang readers. Two years later, an album featuring live performances titled MMXIV was released.
In 2017, the band reunited with their former members (Demir Demirkan, Ogün Sanlısoy and Murat İlkan, who are living legends in their own rights) to celebrate a 30th anniversary and released the album, “Akustik,” which contained unplugged versions of their classic songs. The band also shared a documentary on YouTube called 30 Years of Stories, which includes early archive footage and exclusive interviews.
Following a successful tour and the “Akusik Konser” live album/video, Pentagram played over 100 electric-set shows in Turkey and Europe with a chronological set list, featuring each vocalist singing their own era, and then all hit the stage together for an epilog. This gathering has driven them to make their 8th studio record, Makina Elektrika,” as a 9-piece band with 4 lead vocals
Pentagram has been a ‘metal music performing act’ for many years and has opened for legends such as Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Accept, Manowar, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Queensryche, Guns N’ Roses, Alice in Chains and Rammstein at local and international stages. Sharing musical and lyrical insights for 35 years, the band stands its ground together with a fan base from every age and every walk of life.
Pentagram, current lineup:
Gökalp Ergen (vocal)
Murat İlkan (vocal)
Ogün Sanlısoy (vocal)
Hakan Utangaç (vocal, guitar)
Demir Demirkan (guitar)
Metin Türkcan (guitar)
Tarkan Gözübüyük (bass)
Cenk Ünnü (drums)
Ozan Tügen (keyboard)
Pentagram (Nepa, 1990)
Trail Blazer (Nuclear Blast, 1992)
Anatolia (Century Media, 1997)
Popcular Disari Live (Raks, 1997)
Unspoken (Sanctuary, 2001)
Bir (Universal, 2002)
1987 Live (Sony, 2007)
MMXII (Sony, 2012)
MMXIV Live (Sony, 2014)
Akustik (Sony, 2017)
Akustik Konser (Sony, 2022)
Makina Elektrika (Sony, 2022)