I made the hour and twenty minute long trek to the Metro Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland with the purpose of seeing one band; Rhode Island’s PILGRIM. This was not the first time I have been fortunate enough to see them perform live. I caught them before they signed to Metal Blade Records, while they were doing a headline tour for their first full length release, Misery Wizard. That time was outstanding and I told myself after that show that I would certainly catch them on tour again in the future. This time around, they are supporting doom veterans SPIRIT CARAVAN.
This was the beginning of the 28 date tour. The Metro Gallery was completely SOLD OUT! What a great way to start off! I made my way into the crowded venue half way through local doom metallers IRON MAN’s crowd pleasing set (check these guys out!). As they bid farewell to the applauding crowd, I quickly slithered my way through the masses to the
front of the stage, as PILGRIM were next to perform.
With a fuzzed out, deep, dark, distorted tone, The Wizard struck the first note of “Master’s Chamber,” a track from their forthcoming second LP, and Metal Blade Records debut, titled II: Void Worship (Out April 1). The crowd’s attention was immediately grabbed and all eyes were on the doom trio. Although the band only features three members, they are LOUD! Krolg, Slayer of Men, massacres his drums with every hit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone consistently mash their kit so hard in my life! The Wizard cranked his guitar through two large, cabinets; Roman 4×12 and a Sunn 6×8, and Bradoc the Barbarian transmitted his sludgy bass through a massive Roman 8×10 cab. “Master’s Chamber” crept along at a sloth-like pace, getting all fans in the building to bang their heads and embrace the doom.
At the end of their opener, The Wizard briefly greeted the crowd and the band forged into their second song, “The Paladin.” This has been the only track the band has posted online from their upcoming record. While that song sounds excellent as it has been recorded, you need to experience this epic track in a live environment. The riffs in this song are unstoppable, and The Wizard’s voice is melodic and ominous.
After a quick break to tune guitars, The Wizard strummed the intro riff to Misery Wizard’s opening track, “Astaroth.” He stomped the stage to the beat before Krolg, Slayer of Men began his drum bludgeoning and Bradoc the Barbarian summoned his subterranean low end. This was a crowd pleaser as fans around me, myself included, cheered at the opening notes. We sang along to the lyrics and were all smiling from ear to ear. As many times as I have spun this song on my record player at home, nothing really compares to hearing it in person from these guys.
PILGRIM wrapped up their set by playing a third new song, the title track from their upcoming LP, “Void Worship.” Having come into this night only hearing “The Paladin” from this disc, I can say that my excitement for it has now quadrupled. The new songs are another great step forward for this band. If you haven’t heard Misery Wizard by now, do yourself a favor and get familiar with it before II: Void Worship is released on April 1. Or, better yet, get out and see them on this tour when it hits your town!
If their live performance doesn’t have you banging your head and getting lost in the riff, you aren’t living. Put PILGRIM on your list of “can’t miss” bands.
LIVE REVIEW BY ERIC THE BULL
LIVE PHOTOS BY MARY SPIRO/METALLOMUSIKUM.COM