Monday 15 March 2021

OLDE - Pilgrimage (Album Review)

Release date: March 19th 2021. Label: Seeing Red Records / Sludgelord Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl 

Pilgrimage – Tracklisting

2.A New King
3.Medico Della Peste 
4.In Defiance
5.The Dead Hand
6.Depth Charge
7.Under Threatening Skies


Greg Dawson & Chris Hughes | Guitars
Doug McLarty | Vocals
Ryan Aubin | Drums (and two fiery guitar solos)
Cory McCallum | Bass


Pilgrimage is the new album from Canadian Heavy Sludge Rockers – OLDE – who come out all guns blazing on this release with a heavier and different release compared to their previous albums. Moving away from their earlier “Stoner Metal” sound and more further in to the land of Sludge Metal with the band balancing Progressive Doom/Sludge ideas that has slight “High On Fire” flavour. This allows OLDE plenty of opportunities to play “fast and loose” with the standard rules of Doom/Sludge Metal and rewrite them in their own aggressive style.

Opening song – Pilgrimage – first half of the song is a superbly played Psychedelic Instrumental track with a Post-Doom/Post-Sludge metallic atmosphere being created at first before Doug’s impressive vocals come in and fully take over. The music has pinpoint accuracy with it’s heavy sludge riffs with an early “High On Fire” edge being noticed between the different styles of music that OLDE employ here.

Second song – A New King – has a more “Crust” vibe with the gloomier aspects of OLDE shining through this early on with this song. OLDE are unforgiving with everything contained in this song. Lyrics and Vocals offer a bleak sense of the world with the pulsating riffs having a blackened approach to them. The song also offers moments of THRASH grooves with a not so subtle 80s sounding Psychedelic and Progressive Rock being heard as well. It shouldn’t really work but OLDE will keep listeners entertained and on-board with their adventurous blend of Doom/Sludge Metal. VOIVOD fans will be interested to know that Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain appears on this song.

Third song – Medico Della Peste – which translates as “Plague Doctor Mask” well according to Google and you would assume this would see OLDE go full on DOOM METAL. However, this song is perhaps the most catchiest and addictive song on the album with OLDE playing a modern blend of NOLA grooves splashed with a spice of Classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. 

Fourth song – In Defiance – is another track where OLDE fuse Psychedelic Metal with their own style of Doom/Sludge Metal for perhaps one of the best tracks on the album. The music is quite epic in places with a world-weary vocal performance from Doug with OLDE playing a more Progressive and Post-Metal style of music towards the later stages of the song.

OLDE continue to impress even more on songs: The Dead Hand and Under Threatening Skies. With perhaps some of the heaviest parts on the album on these two songs alone.

OLDE have delivered a superbly heavy and entertaining album that is without doubt their best album to date. The overall sound of the album is excellent with OLDE’s very own Greg Dawson producing, mixing, mastering and recording the entire thing. He does a first-rate job in making OLDE new album quite contemporary in places but still thoroughly modern as well.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Pilgrimage will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Seeing Red Records (USA) and Sludgelord Records (Europe) from March 19th 2021. 


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