Misery Wizard is the full length debut from the Rhode Island doom trio that call themselves Pilgrim. Some of you might recall that we reviewed their cassette demo a few months back, and since then the band have been signed to Metal Blade Records via Primordial frontman Alan Nemtheanga's Poison Tongue imprint. Not a bad score for this group of youngsters, who go by the names of Krolg Splinterfist, Slayer of Men (drums), Count Elric the Soothsayer (bass), and the Wizard (guitarist/vocalist). The CD was Engineered by Mark Ospovat, Produced by Henry Yuan, and mixed by the both of them with help from the band.
Much of Misery Wizard is slow, ponderous, crushing doom, owing much to vintage Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, and the like. Ominous riffs, pounding rhythms, and haunting vocals make up the formula here, and tracks such as "Quest", "Astaroth", and "Masters of the Sky" mix up the slow motion death marches with speedier dirges for a wild ride. "Adventurer" is perhaps the fastest paced song here, and features galloping rhythms to go along with some massive riffing. Some of the longer, slower paced numbers like "Forsaken Man" and the title track can get a little tiresome after a while, but this is doom after all so you have to expect some monotony at times. There's some nice fat distortion on the guitar riffs throughout the album, and the vocals are actually well done, using a chilling clean vocal style that sort of floats in and out of the mix.
Heavy stuff indeed, Misery Wizard signals the arrival of a solid new doom act on the scene that should get plenty of exposure with their new relationship with Metal Blade.
2. Misery Wizard
4. Masters of the Sky
6. Forsaken Man