Pilgrimage – Sigil of the Pilgrim Sun

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I remember being quite impressed after witnessing Pilgrimage live on the latest edition of the Darken the Moon festival in our very own Asgaard, having never heard of them before. (Read the report here) Slightly disappointed that I could not get my hands on a copy of their debut just yet, I was all the more exited to hear it now a couple months later. Pilgrimage is an international collaboration between Maltese and Dutch musicians. The Dutch element comes from none other than former Stream of Passion guitarist Eric Hazebroek, while the Maltese parts are constituted from members of Weeping Silence, bassist Sean Pollace and vocalist Dario Pace Taliana along with drummer Dina Mifsud Lepre from the maybe less prolific Victims of Creation.

Now Pilgrimage is definitely less gothically inclined than these other bands. Their debut ‘Sigil of the Pilgrim Sun’ is a bonafide death doom album that sounds as if it had been made on the genre’s heyday in the early nineties. The moody yet sober artwork on the cover was taken care of by another doom veteran, namely Daniel Neagoe who has earned his denim patches with the likes of Clouds, Eye of Solitude, Aeonian Sorrow and Aphonic Trenody to name just a few.  He even lends his vocal chords for this debut on the epic ‘Silent Descent into Solitude’, a nine minute spanning slice of morose misery.

Dario has a solid deep grunt that he alternates with solemn clean vocal declamations that recall a little bit Moonspell‘s Fernando Ribeiro , without the Portuguese accent that is. Their real manna on this pilgrim’s voyage , however is their innate aptitude for these melancholic doom leads. Not sure if it’s the Dutch connection to Eric Hazebroek, but I am reminded  specifically of Celestial Season’s early records, barring perhaps their more stoner oriented songs, they do bring to the fore that authentic vibe of the era.

We’re close to the end of the year and we’ve already got a couple of stellar doom records with the new Skeptiscism, Funeralium and Hooded Menace, but this one definitely deserves to be on your end of year list. It’s for sure going to be on mine.

One helluva debut!

Release Date: December 10, 2021
Label: Sleazy Rider Records
Tracklist:

  1. The Pilgrim
  2. Voyage to the End of Time
  3. Dream Rivers Lachrymose
  4. Through the Well of Starlight
  5. She Who Wakes from Slumber
  6. Silent descent into Solitude
  7. Nothing but Death

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music9/10
  • Lyrics/Vocals9/10
  • Production9/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality7/10
8.6An excellent debut of classic nineties inspired death doom
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