Pilgrim – Misery Wizard

By Gruesome Greg

Lost amongst the Pentagrams, Bisons and 40 Watt Suns of the label, this record came out on Metal Blade late last month, another foray into doom from the company that first brought you Trouble. Misery Wizard is the first full-length release from this Rhode Island trio, though it’s clear from the first note that they’ve taken a few classes at the University of Doom Metal.

The crunchy riffs of opener “Astaroth” pretty much do all the talking, though we do get some chanted vocals, and even a verse or two, about halfway in. Vocals are in that semi-operatic style, somewhere between Messiah and Witchfinder, and suit the music aptly. A couple of the snake-like riffs that follow bring the likes of Saint Vitus to mind. These kids know their stuff…

The title track follows, a slow, pounding piece of doom clocking in at just over 11 minutes. Definitely a hint of epicness here, think Argus or Candlemass, albeit with the bludgeoning repetitiveness of Reverend Bizarre. (I’ll admit that I can only take RB in small doses…) “Quest” continues on its journey, just a minute shy of its predecessor. Another piece of pounding, downtuned despondency—well, you get the picture.

I gotta say, while these guys don’t reinvent the wheel (or anything else, for that matter), they’ve got a pretty decent slice of doom on their hands here. Just trim the fat, and the next one’ll be even tastier.

(Metal Blade)

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.