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Wishbone Ash - Pilgrimage CD (album) cover


Wishbone Ash


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3.61 | 263 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pilgrimage is a subtle and interesting collection of early '70's art-rock that doesn't have the ambition to jump fully into the prog circle, but has plenty of nuanced artistry and instrumental work to make it something more than old- fashioned classic rock.

The album opens with the quirky "Vas Dis," an upbeat and complex song that ties the listener up in tempo and instrumental knots. The song shows off strong musicianship and tight playing. It's fairly aggressive, jazzy, and certainly a bold move to start the album off with.

"The Pilgrim" is probably the standout track, featuring exceptionally restrained guitar textures that weave around the melodic bass playing of Turner. It's a dreamy track that transitions into an upbeat and powerful rock instrumental with complex playing by all members. A great track.

This sort of song, which we hear again in the two instrumental interludes of "Alone" and "Lullaby" are the clear winners of the album. "Jailbait," a slice of good-old-fashioned-boogie-woogie classic rock works as a tongue-in-cheek diversion but doesn't leave much impression. The band doesn't feel as comfortable playing this kind of music, like they don't have the hooks or energy to grab hold of the listener.

"Valediction" is another thoughtful song, and is the most lyrically heavily track on the record. It's a true ballad that builds nicely to an engaging finale, but shows one of the weaknesses of the band: the lead vocals, which are tepid and without much emotion. Luckily for us there are instrumental highlights throughout for it not to matter much. We close with two live samples, included the extended "Where Were You Tomorrow," showing Wishbone Ash indulge their boogie-woogie stylings in an enjoyable closer.

A good, but not great album that is best when the band indulges their skills as writers and instrumentalists and not as rock stars.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |


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