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Wishbone Ash - Pilgrimage CD (album) cover

PILGRIMAGE

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

3.57 | 175 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This, their second album, contains a mixture of interesting and diverse styles; they were clearly experimenting to find their true direction. They found this on their next album, the incomparable Argus, but this disc was important preparation and also gave them the considerable commercial success needed to enable them to take time to get the next album completely prepared. Pilgrimage sounds slightly rushed out, evidence being the inclusion of a live track to fill up the album.

Vas Dis is one of the strangest tracks ever recorded by a band. Martin Turner's bass line and Steve Upton's drums drive the track along at a relentless pace with the twin guitars elaborating over the top and the "vocals" are scat style. Sounds weird but it works brilliantly. The excellent Pilgrim alternates quiet acoustic passages with harder rock and is a precursor of the Argus style. Jail Bait is a great conventional rock track with VERY dodgy subject matter.

Alone and Lullaby are pleasant atmospheric instrumentals, but the gem of the whole album is Valediction, a song about the ending of a relationship. Anyone who's been through a divorce will empathise! A fairly gentle number, it features some fine choral vocals, some neat rhythm changes and some of the finest melodic guitar playing ever recorded. Sadly, the final track, recorded live, is not quite up to scratch. A solid enough rock song, it shows that the prowess of the band extends beyond the studio, but the recording quality and rawness of the production are at odds with what went before.

Wishbone Ash have occasionally been criticised (in my view wrongly) by some for their vocal performance, but Martin Turner does an excellent job here and the rest of the band provide sound backing and choral support where needed. And through all the tracks, their instrumental virtuosity shines through.

Overall, this is definitely an album worth having. It is well worth 4* but doesn't quite make masterpiece standard due to some rough edges. They got that next time out. And how!

Tony Fisher | 4/5 |

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