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Pilgrim
Misery Wizard

Company: Metal Blade
Release: 2012
Genre: Doom
Reviewer: Vinaya

  • Doom-laden musical vision



  • Despite this being their first full-length album, this uber-power trio from my home state of Rhode Island already appear to have made significant progress in carving a niche for themselves on the doom metal scene. For those of you enamored with all things slow, dark and ugly, it seems Pilgrim have got your number. Six song album, approaching an hour in length; none of it particularly subtle, soft or delicate; and much of it well under 100 beats per minute. You do the math.

    Yes, it appears Pilgrim love their morbid sludge, and like I said, if you do too, this album is definitely for you. Those who have come close to wearing out albums by Pentagram, Cathedral, St. Vitus or even Trouble will find much to like here, even if little of it will be new to them. To my ears, the most obviously unique thing about Pilgrim (ironically) is the purity and consistency of their doom-laden musical vision. While the aforementioned bands would at least occasionally drift from their core sound, these amusingly named merchants of morbidity (vocalist/ guitarist "The Wizard," bassist "Count Elric the Soothsayer" and most impressively, drummer "Krolg Splinterfist, Slayer of Men") seem uninterested engaging in such diversions for any significant length of time.

    Really, the purity of this stuff is pretty remarkable, yet for the most part, that purity does not come at the expense of musicality. The aforementioned Wizard's vocals are generally in the lower middle register pitch-wise, yet display enough range to carry the band's grand, often epic songs. Instrumentally, the band keeps it sludgy and loose enough to keep from sounding too polished, yet executed with enough skill to rise above the legions of doom and stoner acts who seem to rely solely on heft and sloth in the absence of solid musicianship.

    The only complaint I have about this album is that, unless you are addicted to sludgy, epic doom, this much of the stuff this consistently in one sitting can be a bit much. (Although, to their credit, Pilgrim do give us one four-and-half-minute up-tempo respite in "Adventurer.") I have to admit, it actually took me awhile to get into the album because of this. But if you fall into that "doom addict" category, consider this at least a four-star album and, by all means, pick it up! Otherwise, consider this a promising debut--worthy of respect, quite enjoyable in measured doses, and definitely a band to keep an eye on in the coming years.


    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: PILGRIM
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Misery WizardPilgrim
    2012
    Vinaya Saksena6/27/2013


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: PILGRIM
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    II: Void WorshipPilgrim
    2014
    Vinaya Saksena8/6/2014


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: PILGRIM
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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