II: Void Worship

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Though their name is typically used to describe a traveler from a far-off land, Pilgrim feel more like a band from another time. Revisiting the bleak and dramatic sounds of early doom icons like Candlemass, the band offer up their second soul-crushing love letter to metal's most ominous genre with II: Void Worship. With a sound that harkens back to an era when doom meant more than having too many amps on-stage, Pilgrim perfectly capture the style's stark simplicity. With a no-frills arrangement of guitar, drums, and bass, the band create sprawling exercises in moody darkness, with monolithic riffs making it clear that there's nowhere to run from the encroaching terror of demons and other things that may not be named. Most impressive is the band's restraint. Rather than pack every empty space with an unnecessary fill or some keyboards, Pilgrim stay the course, showing real patience as they refuse to rush or overplay any part. By keeping this sparse, the listener is given the space to really take in and appreciate the shuddering tones of songs like the titular track "Void Worship," where an intro of solo guitar strums along at a glacial pace before being joined by thunderous accompaniment. With music like this, the line between undercooked and overdone is a pretty fine one, but II: Void Worship shows that Pilgrim are a band more than capable of walking it with an album that's sure to find purchase with doom purists looking for something less fussy than the post-metal albums the genre influenced.

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