The Pilgrim are a band from Baltimore, Maryland, and this three song demo represents a small sampling of a yet to be released full length CD. The tracks were recorded in 2009 by Kevin Bernsten at Baltimore's Developing Nations Recording Studio, but other than that there was really not much solid information about the band (i.e. the band members names, who played what, etc.) included with the CD-R that I received. This demo is certainly in 'rough' form in fact it's "unmixed", according to the band's Bandcamp page.
The three songs represented are each slightly different in style, but apart from a few tricky guitar and drum passages, I'm not sure any of it's really what I'd term "progressive rock" (which I feel is only fair to point out as this is specifically a prog rock review site.) Their Bandcamp page lists the genre as "psych rock" and "heavy rock", which I think is a bit more fitting.
The first track, "Really Movin'" opens with a blast of harmonica and has a late-60s/early 70s blues rock feel, with some Allman Brothers'-style dual lead guitars, a driving drum beat and mid-range, bluesy female vocals.
"Perdido" is the longest track here, clocking in at 7:04. The song starts out a rockin' pace, then slows down into a move bluesy groove a few minutes in.
Finally, “The Pilgrim” features the female vocalist trading lines with a male lead vocalist who isn't heard on the other tracks. Again there's a bit of a 60s/70s blues rock vibe, with the heavy dueling-guitars dominating the sound. This is a good thing, as the thick “wall of guitar” sound is the element that I liked best in these recordings.
As for criticisms, I would say that the some of the vocals could stand a bit of improvement before they are released on a finished product. There are moments when the voices are not quite pitch-perfect, and some passages could use just a bit more vocal dynamics and nuance. The sound production could also use a bit of beefing-up (I am an avid headphone listener, which tends to make such things more pronounced), but as this demo does not represent the final mixes, perhaps this will not be an issue when the finished product in finally unveiled.
You can currently hear all three tracks, free of charge I might add, at The Pilgrim's Bandcamp page or contact them via the page for a physical CD copy.
Reviewed by Jeff Matheus on December 24th, 2011