Pilgrim: album review

Pilgrim
Misery Wizard
(METAL BLADE)

Pilgrim wants to be your modern day Black Sabbath replacement. They’ve got the riffs, the oddly wailed vocals, killer leads and a penchant for down-tuned dirges. Misery Wizard is their debut album and a strong showcase of doom metal in all its crushing heaviness, but with a healthy dose of stoner rock to ward off monotony. The gargantuan twisted leads on “Astaroth” unfold into a collapse of sludge riffs and haunted chanting, an opener that sets the template for the alchemy Pilgrim conjures. All of the epic songs are over ten minutes, excluding the speedy breaks found in “Quest” and “Adventurer. “Quest” searches for itself in a lingering mass of drone and, just when you think the journey is slowly repeating, a galloping rhythm emerges and melts into a sublime bluesy solo. You can almost feel the vibe of exploration on “Adventurer” as it flashes by in a rush of immense grooves while tossing in another ripping solo underneath the frenzied drums. Existing as a band for two years, this is a mighty impressive start. But remember to spark one first — this is a slow burner. — Austin Weber

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