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Pilgrim “Misery Wizard” Review

Right here, we have Pilgrim’s “Misery Wizard” [Poison Tongue / Metal Blade]

This is sweet, syrupy retro doom from Rhode Island. It’s got the prerequisite “warm” retro doom production and everything. I’m not disparaging that in any way, mind you – I’m breathing a hefty sigh of relief, here. Personally, I find this type of record extremely soothing, like I’m meeting an old friend for a drink. Then we proceed to relive old times, enjoying every minute together. We make plans to get together again very soon. This will get repeat spins.

Pilgrim’s been around the block. SXSW. Treks to Europe. They’ve played with some of the finest bands around (Gypsyhawk, Black Fucking Pyramid, Rwake, NAAM, Black Tusk), basically all the bands we love around here. Usually when a band you don’t know keeps company that good, you know you’re gonna get turned onto what they do. I honestly don’t know how I hadn’t heard about them before today, but my gain is also your gain, my friends!

So, what else? “Misery Wizard” sounds good. It goddamn sounds great. Loving the production here. This is the type of band that does what you want it to do, and you know exactly what you’re getting.  Sometimes that could be a fat negative, but not here. I was looking for these sounds, and Pilgrim set me up for an enjoyable listen. Waves of doom and fuzz crashing over me. Slow, funereal arrangements (except the track “Adventurer”, fucking stellar uptempo jaunt) and feelings of dread. Minimalist drums that crash in at the right moments. Little snippets of tube-cooked feedback. Nice! This is a record from a band that doesn’t have to try too hard, they just DO.

If I had to nitpick anything on this record, my ony beef is with the overall vocal levels and their sonic treatment – they don’t sit as well in the album mix as I’d like them to. They seem a little too “distant”, and I felt they could be more present and upfront. With everything else being so, so ultimately satisfying, I was slightly let down by this tiny, miniscule point.

In the end, what we’ve got here is a record that makes me want to see these guys live. Maybe do a show together. Hit me up, fellas. Doom.

Check ‘em out: http://www.facebook.com/hailthepilgrim & http://hailthepilgrim.bandcamp.com/

RIYL: Trouble, Electric Wizard, Saint Vitus, Early Sabbath, Witch, maybe even Cathedral.

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