In the end for me it will always be doom metal. It is my desert island metal. In my mind it is the metal apex, the genre’s eternal peak where its theatrical tendencies meet the true and innate meaning of HEAVY, all of it creating a general sense of unease. Doom places on a pedestal those special dread moments found throughout the music of your SABBATHS and your FLOWER TRAVELLIN’ BANDS and worships it without overstaying its welcome (well at least the good ones do). This is metal that to some extent retains its rock-ness. Derided as simplistic by dummies, it is a classic example of “if it’s so simple, why don’t you do it?” It takes dedication, tenacity, and understanding to make the kind of music that PILGRIM makes, and to make it so amazingly well.
The legendary METAL BLADE RECORDS has just released PILGRIM’s 2nd record, II: VOID WORSHIP. Here the Rhode Island band truly crafts a smoldering wasteland of riffs, climbing falsetto that sings the praises of quality dark magic, and general oozing propulsion. So heavy. So wonderfully beyond reason. So nerdy in a most badass kind of way.
I recently learned that the original bass player for the band, “Count Elric The Soothsayer” had departed just before the recording of this new record leaving the band as a duo to record. Who did the two remaining members of the band, guitarist “The Wizard” and drummer “Kroig, Slayer of Men” choose to fill this bass void? None other than “Bradoc the Barbarian” of Boston area doom magicians ICE DRAGON (they of “Spell Pouch”) of course. No band could be more simpatico with PILGRIM’s fantasy doom worldview than ICE DRAGON. Of course they know each other. They would have to.
But, II: VOID WORSHIP, yeah. These songs are amazing, man. AND they are heavy as fuck. Pummeling. “Masters Chamber” is a masterful blend of a number of insanely heavy riffs, and though it clocks in @ 10 and 1/2 minutes it is never boring, and never in danger of losing its momentum despite moving at an extremely sludgey pace. The heaviness, and richness of the guitar sounds that fill the giant space between the shambling drums and often soaring vocals, is almost “lush” in the textured feel that it gives to this track and others on the new record. This is serious. These guys are seriously awesome.
PILGRIM plays @ SCORCHED EAR, which is being held on June 13th @ Cuisine en Locale in Somerville.
w/ Guerilla Toss, Microwaves, Doomsday Student, Spitting Earth, M Ax Noi Mach, Olneyville Sound System, In Heat, Bezoar, Age of Taurus, Charlie