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Pilgrim: Forsaken Man

Wow, this stuff sounds like it was written and recorded in a garage in the mid 70s by a bunch of musicians having a really bad trip. We are dealing with incredibly heavy and tortured doom metal, obviously inspired by the early doom metal bands. Pilgrim are slated as an epic doom metal band, but I do not really think that their music is epic yes, the songs are long, but that is not necessarily what makes music epic. No, this is heavy crushingly heavy and doom-laden with simple, slow droning riffs and is more akin to acts like Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, and Pentagram (except Pilgrim are way heavier).

I think this is massive, and potentially the best thing to happen in doom metal since Cathedral released their first album. It certainly is as heavy and oppressive as Forest of Equilibrium. I really like how Pilgrim blatantly disregard the conventions of modern popular music by having a 3:30 minutes long instrumental section of heavy droning riffs and heavy trippy drums in the beginning of 'Forsaken Man' before the verse kicks, sung in a raw 70s doom rock fashion. The other track 'Quest' is just as dark and heavy and even more melancholic in atmosphere and melody, but it also contains an uptempo bridge which is more in the vein of early Candlemass before it morphs into a more Sabbath-esque pattern and the song slowly breaks back down into its heavy main body.

Now, this is only two tracks, but I would happily listen to an entire album of Pilgrim's music if it all sounds like this, because it is really authentic and back to basics doom metal. I would have loved a couple of heavy blues-based solos, I admit, but I can live without them. The production is very raw with the guitars and bass having a lot of bottom and being quite dominant, while the drums are kept more in the background I think it is a shame about the drums because big booming drums, I think, fit perfectly into the general sound universe of any doom metal release. Before condemning Pilgrim for lo-fi production, we have to remember two things, though: 1) this is a demo release, which makes lo-fi production forgivable and 2) the way that this demo is produced has a very convincing 70s doom-rock feel to it which actually suits the music extremely well.

Doomsters should definitely check out Forsaken Man because it is an amazing doom metal release and it's only two tracks! I really look forward to hearing a full-length release from these guys, because Pilgrim might well be the next torchbearers of the dark flame of doom metal passed on by the likes of Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Count Raven, Candlemass and Cathedral.

Track Listing:
1. Forsaken Man
2. Quest

Added: July 19th 2011
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 1969
Language: english

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Pilgrim: Forsaken Man
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-19 09:19:07
My Score:

Let's get it out of the way right off the bat-Forsaken Man by doom act Pilgrim is ridiculously heavy. Slow and heavy. Crushing and heavy. Heavy any way you look at it. Made up of two semi-lengthy tracks, Forsaken Man is like a head-on collision between early Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Celtic Frost, and Pentagram, with production values that give it that early 70's garage feel. Nothing fancy, just ominous, bone crushing guitar riffs, tortured vocals, and plodding drum & bass work. Every so often you hear some lead or harmony guitar lines, but for the most part it's all about the riffs, and they are monstrous.

Of course, you really have to be into this sort of thing. For some, this near 'funeral' doom can get a tad monotonous, but thankfully Pilgrim do mix things up a bit on occasion, like on the tune "Quest" where the mid section sees the band kick things up into overdrive almost like classic Sabbath circa Master of Reality or Volume 4. I also like the fact that the band go for a more tortured, almost psychedelic vocal style here rather than standard droning growls that you will often hear with this style of doom.

Overall, there's lots to like on Forsaken Man, a doom release that shows the arrival of one of the more interesting bands in the genre in quite some time. It will be fun to watch where they go from here.

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