Friday, April 15, 2011

Indian - "Guiltless" (2011) [Relapse Records]

Chicago based doom metal has always held itself to a high standard. As of three days ago, the bar has been pushed to a new standard. The band responsible is Indian, a five piece unit creating truly heavy, crushing, angry, huge doom metal. I have always viewed Indian as a doom metal band to keep an eye on. I thought this especially after witnessing their live show. So far, Indian has not disappointed me. In fact, they have greatly surpassed my expectations (not only as musicians, but in terms of pushing the doom metal genre forward). Guiltless is a masterpiece in every possible way with each track building and building until the very end. My favorite Indian release, by far!
Notable tracks on this album are "Guiltless", "The Fate Before Fate", and "No Grace". Each one of these tracks sticks true to Indian’s style, while continuing to push the envelope. "Guiltless" is a super intro track. The album is set off in a great direction as the drone slowly builds and the hammering drums enter a few minutes afterwards. The sound gets louder, heavier, and drives further and further (like a loyal Indian fan would expect), and the next track, "The Fate Before Fate", picks up where "Guiltless" leaves off. "The Fate Before Fate" is definitely my favorite track on the album. On past records, Indian tends to stay in particular song writing structure (and it usually isn’t the most melodic of song structures). However, on this track, Indian decides to try out some melodic doom and holy fuck do they pull it off! The guitar riff and the drum work on this track mesh together so well and the screeching vocals over the top are the icing on the cake! Finally, "No Grace" brings the album to a close with the same intensity and crushing style that Guiltless opened with. A full circle experience provided by a truly amazing doom metal band!
I am very, very proud to be a Chicagoan and to share the same city streets and great food spots with all the great Chicago doom bands, but especially with Indian. This band has proved that doom metal still has many more directions to take and they have also proved that doom metal doesn’t have to be stereotypical. With care and love (and some great songwriting and great musicians), you can go anywhere and do anything well, including stepping outside of your comfort zone. Thanks to the great work on Guiltless, Indian has gained a new realm of comfort. Please buy this album and give it multiple listens! Indian is a gem amongst Chicago doom metal and to pass on them or this Magnus opus is to miss out on a truly powerful doom metal experience!

     A final note, listen to "Supplicants". It's quite the surprise that I'm sure most Indian fans will enjoy.

-       - Pat

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