Pilgrim, Misery Wizard

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 12.05.12 in Reviews
One of the most heralded doom-metal albums of the year

The debut full-length by Rhode Island’s Pilgrim may be one of the most heralded doom-metal albums of the year (along with Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction), but the members of Pilgrim are completely uninterested in the recent rise of hipster doom, which is probably why Misery Wizard sounds so authentically effective. Pilgrim’s apocalyptic tones are generated from piles of Lovecraft, some powerful weed and intensive study of the giants of the first two generations of sludge, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Trouble Saint Vitus, Sleep and Electric Wizard. By never breaking above a bloody-kneed crawl (with the exception of the mid-paced “Adventurer”), Pilgrim’s lengthy, down-tuned songs maintain a genuine sense of despair and enough rhythmic variation to keep them captivating and transcend the artificial bleakness of many of their peers. When vocalist The Wizard emotes the melodic lines, “In solitude I lie alone/ In the void, a sweet release/ In darkness I can feel at peace” he sounds like he’s not play acting, he’s crying for catharsis, or at least some good SSRIs. But as the title implies, The Wizard’s misery is our gain. Just don’t let him near any sharp objects.