Stoned Jesus – Pilgrims

While they may not always stick the landing here, PiIgrims gives Stoned Jesus more than enough reason to get back on the road

Album Review by Max Sefton | 06 Sep 2018
Album title: Pilgrims
Artist: Stoned Jesus
Label: Napalm Records
Release date: 7 Sep

Their name may conjure a certain gonzo humour, but the new record from Stoned Jesus shows that the Ukrainian trio of Ihor Sydorenko (vocals/guitar), Serhij Sljussar (bass) and Dmytro Zinchenko (drums) are not here to mess around. Their fourth album, Pilgrims is heavy on low slung bass grooves and crunching stoner riffs – a top-down, chrome plated rock sound made for a European road trip.

The most exciting moments, like the sardonic vocals and whiplash riffs that close Excited, have the powerhouse appeal of Motörhead, while the loping rhythm of Thessalia recalls modern rock staples like Deftones.

As a record Pilgrims is a little uneven, with Distant Light lurching uneasily and the proggy flourishes of Feel struggling to maintain interest at a gargantuan nine minutes, but Stoned Jesus soon find their form once more, cutting loose with the high drama of Hands Resist Him and summoning a gothic vocal from Sydorenko.

The post-rock Water Me builds on layers of surprisingly melodic guitar before slabs of metallic riff pulverise your stereo. The beat pause and release of the guitars in the bridge neatly shows a great grasp of drama and musical dynamics as seconds of silence unspool amid the madness.

Stoned Jesus may not always stick the landing but they’re more serious about their craft than their name may let on. It’s not for everyone but PiIgrims gives Stoned Jesus more than enough reason to get back on the road.

Listen to: Excited, Thessalia