Pilgrym - Pilgrimage - 2004

“Pilgrym are in the studio recording the new album – The Great Divide, which will include the epic 20 minute 2 part track, Great Divide Part 1 and 2 with full orchestration.”


Pilgrym is a band from England which has the potential to become big (if this is possible in our progscene). The music the band makes could be subscribed as typical English and classic progressive rock. My promo copy is one of the self-made first copies the band made. But the beautiful cover of artist Lee Gaskins deserves to be printed by a professional printing house. So I’m happy to hear that the band has signed a contract with the Swedish Transubstans label which will be distributed by Record Heaven. At the moment Pilgrym is recording the new album “The Great Divide”. But progVisions will first introduce you to the band with a review of their debut album “Pilgrimage”.


The Band:
Andy Wells – Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, organ, Mellotron and synths; Tony Drake – Vocals, guitars & lead guitar; Kevin Mulvihill – drums and percussion; Oliver Drake – additional guitar & bass; Mike Syslo – bass (Circus & Reborn); Emma Louise Pearson – keyboards (Reborn live)

(latest news: Jools Slater joined the band on flutes, saxophones & keyboards)


The album consist of seven Andy Wells compositions and the two bonus tracks “Reborn (Live)” (Drake/Wells) and “Circus (edit)”. The opener “Circus of the absurd” (7:57) starts with an instrumental opening and this up-tempo track already shows all the ingredients of the things to come. The guitar sound on this first track reminds me of Magenta. Also you will notice that the keyboards are playing an important role in the music of Pilgrym. The next track “Ghosts of years” is a ballad with some nice melodies. The middle part is instrumental with lots of keys and guitar. “Believe me now” (4:52) is more AOR and sounds like an Asia song to me. “Building a perfect universe pt1” (4:45) and “Building a perfect universe pt2” are far more interesting. Part one is divided in “Endless space”, “The spark” and “Creating God”. “Endless space” opens with spacey keyboard sounds and develops into sympho with broad keyboard layers and a melodic guitar part. “The spark” is again spacey and the church organ in “Creating God” is representing God. Part two is divided into “Understanding the machine” and “All that you see”. “Understanding the machine” has a lot of organ and melodic guitar work. “Song of the albatross” (7:02) starts of course with the sounds of the sea and the albatross. The opening is slow with delicate piano and keyboard work. Those mellow keyboard parts with beautiful string-sounds reminds me sometimes of Greenslade. And this is exactly why I like this album so much. Beautiful and melodic mellow prog. “Black sun” (7:14) reminds me somehow of a band like Porcupine Tree (“Signify” period) and of Pink Floyd. The bonus track “Reborn” shows that Pilgrym can reproduce their own sound also on stage.


The force behind Pilgrym is Andy Wells and Tony Drake. Both guys are also busy with their own solo albums. Andy Wells has made his second album “Lost toys” and Tony Drake is working on “Believe the dream”. The middle section of Pilgrym’s debut album “Pilgrimage” with tracks like “Building a perfect universe pt1 and pt2” and “Song of the albatross” is the most interesting for me. Here you can find fragments of the band’s own style which is still in the development stage. The future looks bright for Pilgrym. Can’t wait to hear “The Great Divide”.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - November 2004 -   - Hydeaway Productions