Pilgrim

Pilgrim

Deeper Well, 2015

http://deeper-well.com/artists/pilgrim

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/06/2015

Pilgrim is a metal band – more precisely, a doom metal band with album titles such as Void Worship and Misery Wizard. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is this band, also called Pilgrim. Not to be confused by the former “Pilgrim,” the latter is a one-man band that sings songs of worship under a bright and shiny guise of indie pop music. And no, this is not the kind of Void Worshipmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 of Pilgrim the metal band; quite the contrary, in fact.

The sophistication of what is classified as Christian rock music is undeniable. But Pilgrim – moniker of Portland, OR’s Josh White – is an example of the great versatility in the types of bands that sing the lord’s praise. This band caters only too perfectly to the demographics least likely to be swayed by its message: today’s ironic hipster. Now how’s that for irony?

As an indie pop record, Pilgrim doesn’t sound any different from the droves of New Wave inspired albums that one can find these days. There is nothing extraordinary about this record that would make it stand out in the midst of the countless other DIY indie pop releases that have the same musical characteristics.

There are definitely some great moments on this release where the confluence of synth-influenced, dreamy indie pop and great songwriting result in extraordinary results, making Pilgrim worthy of getting noticed – for instance, the opening and closing tracks “Magnificent Defeat” and “Faith Facing The Dark” and the ones in between, like “Outrageous,” “Forgiven,” and “I’ve Been Surprised.” With standout cuts comprising of half the album, Pilgrim is pretty admirable; however, the other half of the album is haunted by a somewhat serious lack of consistency.

As an album of “sacred music,” Pilgrim is pretty extraordinary. It does a fantastic job in not allowing its religious foundation to totally consume the music. Apart from the lyrics, nothing else – the singing, music, or the song styling – suggests that this disc has any specific theme. In fact, the gentle and melodious songs on this album could be interpreted merely as love songs. It is left up to the listener to choose their savior.

Rating: B-

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