Rhode Island’s Pilgrim is the type of metal band I suspect there are a lot of bubbling in the underground: Namely those that have the doom and stoner thing down pat. So what is to separate the men from the boys? Surely not just the ability to master the instrumental vocabulary and sledgehammer riffs or play at sometimes intolerably slow tempos. I think the intangibles for a good doom band are the ability to make the overall ambience believable and the ability to compose complete and whole songs (as opposed to throwing a bunch of riffs and parts together).

This trio has a pretty firm grasp on the prerequisites and the intangibles. Pilgrim — The Wizard (guitars and vocals), Krolg, the Slayer of Man (drums) and Count Elric The Soothsayer (bass) — aren’t out to reinvent anything (save the longstanding metal tradition of absolutely hideous stage names). But they’ve got the language down. All the more impressive for a band that has only been around since 2010.

Repetition can sometimes be the point. At nearly 11 minutes the title track doesn’t veer off course from it’s ultra-basic construction, nor does it need to. It packs its own wallop. Same goes for the almost equally long “Quest,” the riffs are assured, the rhythm relentless and the interlude totally from the pages of Sabbath.

The Wizard is well-suited as both a guitarist and singer, his riffs are elementary but bruising, his voice a cry against the density of the music. Four of the six tracks clock in at over 10 minutes. Do some of them drag at times? Of course. “Masters of the Sky” cries for something, anything to mix it up. But monotony is often the point in doom and the best you’re going to get is the relatively short “Adventurer” to follow such a monster track. In addition to being the shortest, “Adventurer” is probably also the most dynamic tune on the disc. It will likely also remind you of other things you’ve heard before. The key to enjoying “Misery Wizard” is Pilgrim’s credibility as a doom trio. If you’re in search of originality, look elsewhere, outside of the whole doom scene really, to find it. This is an impressive offering from a young band.

(Metal Blade)