Southern Lord 2007

The masterminds behind the Doom/Stoner legends Sleep have conspired once again to bring to light their third album Pilgrimage which is sort of a contemplative album full of chants filtered through a stoner prism and mixed with drug induced spiritualism.  The title track is a lengthy communion with religious contemplation in the form of clean bass lines and soothing clean vocals.  The second of the four tracks, Unitive Knowledge of the Godhead is much more jarring in its presentation of the same theme as its bellows forth thick guitar riffs and cacophonous drumming.  Though the vocals raise in volume their approach is still the same, a chanting sort of approach.  Bhima's Theme calls to mind Buddhist monks in the northern Himalayas hidden behind the walls of their temple surrendering themselves to enlightenment while basking in the walls of sounds emanating from the Black Sabbath tracks flowing out of a massive stereo.  The final track is a reprise of the opener.  So with Pilgrimage we die as we are born contemplating meaning and existence.  If you noticed throughout the review I used the word "contemplation" a lot.  There is a reason for that.  This album brings into being existential introspection for the listener.  However with that said, if you are not looking for that sort of experience then you are unlikely to enjoy this album as it can become tedious in its repetition.  This is not an album I think I will find myself listening to often.  But occasionally I might find myself in that special mood where I want to push out all earthly mental tribulations and ponder that which is greater than I am and remains unseen.  And this is the album to which I will use to engage in that exploration.