Monday 4 July 2016

MAKE - Pilgrimage Of Loathing (Album Review)

Release date: July 15th 2016. Label: Accident Prone Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Pilgrimage of Loathing – Tracklisting

1.The Somnambulist
2.Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You
3.Two Hawks Fucking
4.Human Garbage
5.Dirt (Stooges Cover)

Band Members:

Scott Endres - Guitar, Vocals, Synthesizers
Spencer Lee - Bass, Vocals, Guitar, Rhodes, Percussion
Luke Herbst - Drums, Vocals


Make are a new name to me, but within just the first few seconds of the opening riff to album opener "The Somnambulist" they made a big impression on me. Ushered in on a lone guitar drenched in effects and some tribal tom work in the background,that builds into a crescendo as the song kicks in, in earnest after about the minute mark.

Walls of guitar and bone rattling bass explode in an almost progressive but very aggressive Black Metal style. I had to double check just to make sure that Make aren't Scandinavian. They aren't....

The vocals are like nothing else I've heard in a very long time. Guttural and full of depth one minute then harsh and soaring the next, before at the half way mark the distortion of the guitars is replaced by a haunting clean section, and the harsh vocals are replaced with some astonishingly beautiful, rich clean vocals, before everything kicks back in and before you know it we're at the outro of the song with it's bellowed vocal refrain of "You, you were wrong"

2nd track "Birthed Into A Grave They Made For You" is at one time a similar affair, but all together very different. Similar in as much as all the previous elements are still there, anguished vocals, cutting guitars, and a disgusting bass tone, but all delivered in quite a different style. The track starts in an almost jaunty, angular fashion, before descending into Black Metal, Doom, Sludge chaos. And it's simply magnificent.

3rd track, that wonderfully named "Two Hawks Fucking" gives us something quite different to mark the halfway point of the record. Clean, and eerie guitars, complimented by possibly an organ of some kind and swathes of reverb. The song just gently glides through it's five minute run time, giving you a chance to catch your breath after the hostility of the previous two tracks.

Next "Human Garbage" which flies out of the speakers faster than England can go out of a major football tournament, before the pace slows once again on the sublime and penultimate track "Dirt"

A lone drum heralds the start, and then the guitars, bass and vocals eek their way in, before Make arrive at what I guess is the chorus, where those delicious clean vocals make another appearance, this time doubled with the harsh vocals, that feature throughout the record, bellowing out the sinister vocal "Do you feel it, do you feel it when you touch me"

Genuinely haunting and powerful at the same time.

Final track "Nothing" is as strong as any other album closer I can recall in recent times. More progressive sounding guitar work, and a final outing for those magnificent clean vocals, ease the listener in, and build the tension as we wait for the inevitable moment that Make unleash the riffs again.

And unleash them they do, but in a slightly more controlled fashion, than throughout the proceeding tracks. A stubborn and repetitive riff marks the halfway point of the final track, punctuated by a slightly discordant guitar in the background, before a slight lull and we're back into the full harrowing Make experience. The track continues to build until right until it's final moments as the pedals are switched off and the tempo slows down and the song fades away on one final note.

In the few short weeks, that I have lived with this album, it's hit me in the head, heart and gut and made itself essential listening.

I count myself as extremely fortunate to be able to write these reviews, as every now and then you get the chance to discover something, that's new, exciting, challenging and all consuming. Get this record. And play it. Play it loud, play it often and play it to everyone as this truly is a record that deserves to be heard by as many folks as possible.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

Thanks to Darren at Post-PR for the promo. Pilgrimage Of Loathing will be available to buy from Accident Prone Records on DD/Vinyl from July 15th 2016.