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Pilgrim - "Misery Wizard" (CD)

Pilgrim - "Misery Wizard" CD cover image

"Misery Wizard" track listing:

1. Astaroth
2. Misery Wizard
3. Quest
4. Master of the Sky
5. Adventurer
6. Forsaken Man

Reviewed by on February 15, 2012

"Droning and monotonous, even by doom metal standards, Pilgrim's 'Misery Wizard' is more cursed than magical."

Sure, doom metal is all about the fires of Purgatory, but you shouldn't have to feel like you're actually there when you're listening to it. Unfortunately, that's the feeling the aptly named "Misery Wizard" inspires. It's too long by a mile, full of repetitive droning guitar parts that blend together, punctuated by the ever-popular technique of ending a song by letting it dissolve into a wall of feedback.

It's not that the guys in the band can't play. The band's drummer — nicknamed "Krolg The Slayer Of Man" — does a pretty good impression of Bill Ward throughout the album — and he's about the only thing that livens up the 11-minute title track. The guitarist, "The Wizard," proves to be an adept soloist in the speedier mid-section of "The Quest," which almost feels like it was put there to keep the listener from going to sleep.

The problem is that that speedy mid-section only arrives after nearly 20 minutes of monotony. Ditto for the album's other high point, the four-and-a-half-minute "Adventurer," which is reminiscent of Sabbath's "Children Of The Grave" in terms of speed and style.

As for the rest of the album, it's basically low guitar notes sustained nearly endlessly, with "The Wizard" groaning Ozzy Osbourne-style atop it and some chanted sections. Even the most ardent doom fans may have trouble getting through the 13 minutes of "Forsaken Man."

Droning and monotonous, even by doom metal standards, Pilgrim's "Misery Wizard" is more cursed than magical.

Highs: A portion of "The Quest" and "Adventurer"

Lows: Droning guitar parts prove basically interchangeable.

Bottom line: All but the most dedicated doom metal fans will find their attention flagging.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)