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Stoned Jesus: Pilgrims

Pilgrims is the fourth album from Ukrainian stoner power trio Stoner Jesus, a collection of seven hard hitting tunes that is being released by Napalm Records. Featuring Ihor Sydorenko (Vocals & Guitars), Serhij Sljussar (Bass), and Dmytro Zinchenko (Drums), Stoned Jesus rely less on bruising riffs (though they certainly have some of that) and more on grooves and catchy rhythms. The quirky opener "Excited" displays just that, the guitar taking somewhat of a back seat to the elastic bass grooves and the drum bashing, while "Thssalia" lumbers along slowly with the occasional burst of thunder popping into view. It's not until "Distant Light" that we really start to hear the power of this trio, as jagged guitar shards and booming bass lay everything to waste at the start, but then creep back away for more laid back grooves, with some nice Mellotron touches and jazzy guitar dropped in for good measure. The 9+ minute "Feel" is a slow burner, the bass lines enormous as the lilting guitar plays off the crashing drums, the heavy riffs and more aggressive vocals not kicking in until the halfway point. "Hands Resist Him" smolders and simmers for its 6-minute length, and "Water Me", the albums lengthiest track, is another one that takes a while to get going, the bass having more heft than the guitars, which kind of plink away while all the fuzz is saved for Sljussar, who really is the star of the show throughout this album. Closer "Apathy" brings in some neat jazz-fusion elements to work with the stoner grooves, but again, a lot of repetition happening and the song ultimately goes nowhere, though there is a tasty guitar solo that is quite noteworthy for any space rock fan.

In the end, a lot of what's on display here just seems to be stuck in second gear, Stoned Jesus obviously comfortable with the 'stoner' tag but failing to really live up to what we all love about this kind of music. Pilgrim really is an album that is severely lacking in quality riffs, and when you are asking your bassist to basically carry the weight of the entire album, you know you are in trouble.

Track Listing
1) Excited 6:50
2) Thessalia 4:20
3) Distant Light 6:45
4) Feel 9:10
5) Hands Resist Him 6:00
6) Water Me 9:30
7) Apathy 7:30

Added: August 25th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1183
Language: english

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