Pilgrimage of Loathing
- Year 2016
- Genre DoomDronePost-Metal
- Country North Carolina/USA
- Label Accident Prone
- Rating Excellent
MAKE, being from North Carolina, that very US state that became “famous” lately with its infamous House Bill 2, also known as the Charlotte bathroom bill, signed by governor Pat McCrory in March, the bill that take the legal right from transgender people to use public bathrooms based on their gender identity and also limits how people pursue claims of discrimination because of race, religion, color etc….., they are angry, angry about NC’s politics and politicians. And with ‘Pilgrimage Of Loathing’ they express their anger in sound and words.
‘Pilgrimage Of Loathing’ is MAKE’s third full length album and follows up ‘The Golden Veil’. While it’s predecessor is characterized by an atmosphere of a richly textured abundance of time and space, ‘Pilgrimage Of Loathing’ sounds heavier, more aggressive, pissed off and abrasive. And yet the intricate textures are to be found here, too.
This album is a sophisticated punch in the face.
Stylistically it’s mainly Doom, Drone and Post-Metal, richly flavored with psychedelic Sludge and Black Metal elements.
Each of the six tracks, definitely has its own mood and stylistic focus, but there are main threads that weave everything together and make it cohesive and organic.
The opening song The Somnambulist starts off with a somber quietness that soon gathers layers of sound and brews into a rumbling Post Metal ambience, with vocals as harsh that they blur the line between Post and Black Metal. Later in the song (and the album) there appear two overlaying vocal lines, one blackish harsh the other throaty and dark, creating a similar blurring effect on the transitions from a Black/Post Metal into sludgy, psychedelic Doom.
The second song Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You begins as a kind of a Post Punk thing, later picks up the psychedelic doom groove from the first song, but driving it further into distorted abrasive heavy Sludge.
The next one Two Hawks Fucking is an instrumental, an interlude, with quiet clean guitars, dreamy, still somber, creepy, echoey and obscure; a contemplative break from the heaviness.
The following Human Garbage comes in a fast HC fashioned, Doom tinged ferocious attack, the lyrics here directly address North Carolina’s governor as “Patty boy”. Kudos! (The band even made Human Garbage stickers, patches and T-shirts with McCrory’s face on it.)
The fifth track Dirt is an fantastic Stooges cover that turns the sleazy Blues Rock song into a filthy down-tuned Sludge Doom , keeping the essential feel of unhinged dissonance (… and the blues), but the band makes the song totally their own. The double vocal lines appear again which don’t only bring depth to the sound texture, but mingle the psychedelic aspects perfectly well with the abrasive, filth until everything builds up into a distorted, slightly dissonant chaos.
The last song Nothing comes back to the opening song by picking up its psychedelic mood which has almost a desert sound to it, utterly distorted with a hypnotically repetitive trudging rhythm, adding layer upon layer of sound to build up monstrous soundscapes that dramatically head into a blistering Black/Post Metal ambience.
The album is loaded with emotions and they are unleashed upon the listener with a powerful violence . MAKE’s blend of styles work extremely well, like it already did on ‘The Golden Veil’, where they contrasted them to the extreme. Here, instead, they create smooth transitions, blur the lines to convey their angry message with a concentrated urgency, with a clenched fist.
As soon as you hit the play button, you don’t exactly listen to the album, it somehow happens to you.
And the band still don’t forget to evolve and interlace everything to create multi-layered soundscapes. As I said above, it’s a sophisticated punch in the face.
‘Pilgrimage of Loathing’ is set to be released through Accident Prone digitally on July 15. A vinyl version will follow in late August.
Thanks to Darren Taylor from Post-PR for providing me with everything I needed to write this review.