"...From the Earth to the Sky and Back" (Heavy Psych Sounds; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

So here's the thing: The Pilgrim's "...From the Earth to the Sky and Back" sounds nothing like I expected it to sound. This is entirely my fault. I simply looked at the record label (Heavy Psych Sounds) and the album cover (a Zig Zag sketch of a wizard smoking a pipe in the middle of a desert) I thought I would be listening to a doom metal or stoner record. So my expectations were shot as I listened the album from the beginning.

Had I done further research prior to listening to "...From the Earth to the Sky and Back"  my expectations may have been altered. Because "...From the Earth to the Sky and Back" isn't a doom metal or stoner record at all. In fact, it's a collection of retro rock tunes that bring to mind the late 60s sound of Crosby, Stills & Nash or Captain Beyond or  Zephyr.

The band calls their music "space folk" and that fits just as well as anything else, although I think using "space" in that phrase to be misleading. The album is loaded with atmospheric acoustic and electric guitars, played and recorded exquisitely, giving the entire collection a down-to-earth feel rather than a spacy feel. It's an authentic emulation of the music from a different era, re-captured with the magic of today's studios and modern musicians.

That being said, I can see that "...From the Earth to the Sky and Back" isn't for everyone. Some will find its heavy focus on atmosphere distracting, perhaps even dull. And the album's ambling pace throughout might turn off those who like their music fast and hard.  But if you're looking for something that transports you to another time and another place, even if just for 45 minutes or so, I think that "...From the Earth to the Sky and Back" may be exactly what you're looking for.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.