Tuesday 27 August 2019

Pelegrin - Al-Mahruqa (Album Review) And Exclusive Song Premiere Of FAREWELL

Release date: September 13th 2019. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Al-Mahruqa – Tracklisting

1. Majoun
2. Farewell
3. The Coldest Night
4. Dying Light
5. Al-Mahruqa


François Roze - guitar, vocals
Jason Recoing - bass
Antoine Ebel - drums, percussions


Al-Mahruqa is not like most Psych Rock/Stoner Rock albums. As Pelegrin play an almost avant-garde style of Stoner Rock that fuses Middle Eastern noises with progressive and cinematic Space Rock sounds. The album takes many creative risks that a lot of people won’t like and that’s a bold thing to do especially with your debut album. Pelegrin are always thinking outside of the box and are always 5 steps ahead of the listener planning and preparing where to take this spooky as hell album next.

The album has it’s fair share of heavy Doom based moments but its’ the more relaxed and chilled out Psych Rock aspect that gives Al-Mahruqa it’s deeply philosophical and addictive edge. The album contains 5 songs and clocks in at 41 minutes of deeply engaging Progressive grooves from start to finish.

Opening song Majoun is a complex combination of Psych Rock, Stoner Rock, Space Rock and Cosmic Doomed Out moments that shows Pelegrin’s deep love affair for Middle Eastern sounds and textures flirts between Mars Red Sky heavy psychedelia and heavy complex Drone/Doom vibes. It shouldn’t really work but Pelegrin soon put those early fears to bed with a highly confident performance with stunning vocals and riffs to match.

Second song – Farewell – opens rather quietly and confidently with a soothing Ambient/Semi Acoustic Psychedelic riff that has a cool sounding groove to it. The band start adding a “less” subtle gloomy based Stoner groove to the song. The song is quite reflective and the vocals feel quite emotional and reflective in places. Pelegrin change direction when they add a heavier and thunderous Doom Rock sound to the song and it changes for the better with the Psychedelic atmosphere holding everything together.

Third song – Home Again – is a more heavier affair with the band adapting a Post-Rock/Post-Doom style of music though it does take time for those moments to appear. The song starts rather quietly again before building up many different levels of sonic wizardry. The song be quite claustrophobic in places but it’s the emotionally charged lyrics and music that gives this song and Pelegrin their undeniable creative power and hold over the audience. The heavy Psych Rock moments of the song are some of the best parts of the entire album. As the song instantly draws you in as Pelegrin play some epic spaced out jams to immerse yourself with.

The final two songs – Dying Light and Al-Mahruqa – offer the final 16 minutes of this album and the band carry on playing their hybrid Psychedelic Spaced Out Stoner Rock style of music with a cool sounding Middle Eastern sensibility that leaves you wanting more.

I was kinda sad that the album finished. As I wanted to hear more from this hugely talented band. Pelegrin undeniably have their own sound and it’s quite a refreshing thing to hear over and over again. As no doubt you will miss something the first time you listen to this album. Multiple listens of this album is a must to fully understand it all.

The album sounds excellent throughout and it’s good to see band member François recording and mixing the album himself. Though getting Wo Fat legend KENT STUMP to master the album helps as well.

Overall, Al-Mahruqa is a rich and deeply satisfying album that shows a band that everyone needs to know about. This is Psychedelic Stoner Rock of the highest order and one that dares to be bold and different to stand out from the crowd.

Words by Steve Howe

You can hear the epic new song Farewell from the upcoming new album. 

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Al-Mahruqa will be available to buy on DD from September 13th 2019.