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Penance was an American doom metal band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.

OriginPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
GenresDoom metal
Years active1990–2004
LabelsRise Above Records
Century Media
Associated actsDream Death, Novembers Doom, Cathedral, Internal Void, Pentagram, Em Sinfonia
MembersBrian Balich
Terry Weston
Matt Tuite
Mary Bielich
Mike Smail
Past membersBrian Lawrence
Lee Smith
Richard Freund
Frank Miller
Ron Leard
Dave Roman



Penance was born from the ashes of Dream Death, when several members decided to pursue a more traditional doom direction.[1] Dream Death existed during mid eighties and played a mixture of doom, hardcore and thrash metal.

Founders of Penance were drummer Mike Smail and guitarist Terry Weston (both previously members of Dream Death) and they were the core of the band from its early days to the disbanding. The band changed various line-ups, and one of their most notable members were Mary Bielich (Novembers Doom).

Penance's debut The Road Less Travelled, featuring Brian Lawrence (who was also previously a member of Dreath Death) on vocals and guitar, was released 1992, under Lee Dorrian's label Rise Above Records. Alongside with Revelation's debut, it was a first doom metal album released on this label. They embarked on a European tour in support of Cathedral and Sleep.[2]

Their second album, Parallel Corners, was released 1994, by the European metal label Century Media. Many fans[who?] consider this the band's best album, and it's also considered one of the classics of 1990s (traditional) doom metal.[citation needed] On the next releases Penance adopted a slight range of psychedelic influences, but still remained fairly closed to their traditional doom roots.[citation needed]

Spiritualnatural (2003) was the band's final album. They embarked on a European tour in 2004 partnered with Well of Souls and Orodruin.[2] They split that same year. The Road Revisited was released in 2005, which is the unreleased original recorded version of the first album.

Mike Smail went on to join Internal Void and doom legends Pentagram.



  • The Road Less Travelled - 1992
  • Parallel Corners - 1994
  • Proving Ground - 1999
  • Alpha and Omega - 2001
  • Spiritualnatural - 2003
  • The Road Revisited - 2005


  • Living Truth - 1990
  • Bridges to Burn - 1998


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2007-04-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]