Indian – Guiltless

Posted on April 15, 2011

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4/12/2011

Ow…I needed a few Halls drops just listening to the screeching on Indian’s fourth full-length. I can’t imagine how co-guitarists/vocalists Dylan O’Toole and Will Lindsay’s vocal chords must have felt after tracking Guiltless. These are not your refined, Melissa Cross-instructed “extreme vokills.” No, these are tortured screams from some realm of unfathomable agony yet to be discovered by man. The cries of torment let out by deities being flogged with a light-year long cat-o-nine-tails fashioned from the white-hot remains of a recently imploded star. At least the rest of the record is up to the vicious performances behind the mic.

Sure, Indian have been nailing thundering, “this-world-is-collapsing-around-me” doom to the gnarled boards of sloppy, Eyehategod sludge for their eight-year career, but where previous albums like Slights and Abuse and The Sycophant bordered on heavy simply for heavy’s sake, Guiltless feels like it has purpose. There’s a mission here; a newfound sense of urgency or emotion or complete lack of a fuck given about humanity, the world and our entire existence. Send this shit to one of the powder keg nations in the Middle East and our little grain of sand in the vast cosmic sea will be shredded on a molecular scale before the final chords of “Banality” decay into the ether.

It should be no surprise that a band crediting a member solely for “noise” is out to threaten the very definition of what doom can and should be. “The Fate Before Fate” is as traditional as this quintet gets: throbbing, crashing tom-tom and cymbal abuse, a subtle descending melody that’s somehow hummable while being cripplingly depressing and grainy shrieks from a sentient machine that somehow forms coherent thoughts. Maybe it’s that hint of black metal that’s been subconsciously incorporated from the recent acquisition of Lindsay from Windy City brethren Nachtmystium. That would certainly explain “Guilty,” a swift shock and awe assault built on double bass rumble and cut time riffing trading blows, halting for intermittent rest, and resuming for a fractured crescendo ripping at its seams. Indian have never sounded so cohesive, which is frankly unsettling given their sonic prowess. If you hear the faint sound of a wailing winter wind, don’t bother clutching your throat in defense; they’ve already torn it out.

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