Words About Music
Indian “From All Purity”
Chicago doom metal act Indian has been crafting horrific, disgusting, mind-altering music for ten years and I can’t believe I haven’t listened to them until now. “From All Purity” is the group’s fifth studio release and, if 2014 plays its cards right, could very well end up being one of my favorites of the year. For a while, it has been that if you want truly horrific metal you have to turn to black metal. Recently though, doom metal seems to be making a comeback by taking itself seriously again. In the 90s, groups like Electric Wizard, Boris, and—to a degree—Neurosis took slow, heavy, downright nightmare-fueling heavy metal to new places by incorporating ear-piercing shrieks, feedback blasts, and riffs so heavy they’re almost indecipherable. Last year, my mind and ears were blown by Stone Titan whose debut “Scratch ‘n Sniff” proved to put doom metal back in this mindset again, but apparently I wasn’t listening to the doom scene well enough. If Indian has been doing this for ten years now, I can only imagine what else is out there.
Anyway, “From All Purity” is a sonic voyage for only the most committed fans of all things heavy. While “Scratch ‘n Sniff” had a hint of humor to it that lightened the load however slightly, “From All Purity,” and I imagine the rest of Indian’s discography, will leave you no room to breathe. There is no solace or period of safety within this album unless you press the pause button, but this is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to me about it. Indian incorporates different sounds from tons of different influences, most obviously groups like Swans and Electric Wizard, to scare the Christ out of you. I’m almost certain that this is what hell sounds like. The slow march of loud drums, low-tuned guitars, bass soaked in the unholiest of plagues, and vocals that screech the gospel of apocalyptic catastrophe the likes of which have never been imagined by mortal man.
The album itself offers little variation except for the noise experiment “Clarify,” but that doesn’t make it uninteresting. It only makes the record consistently harrowing and frightening in the best sense of both words. The first fifteen minutes of this six-track death sentence alone is enough to convince me that Indian is a group within the metal scene that is worth watching. If I do have a complaint, it’s that I’m worried that the album peaks early and sits comfortably for a good portion of its length. Also, it makes me want more from the group in the way of experimentation. Boris made their debut with an hour long sonic night terror that crushed everything in its path. Sleep recorded an hour long psychedelic journey through the middle east called “Dopesmoker.” Sunn O))) opted to use as few drums as physically possible throughout a very successful 15-year career. I’d love to see Indian explore different textures and possibilities in the realm of doom metal that we haven’t seen yet because if anyone is capable of doing so, it’s this band.
Overall, “From All Purity” is no laughing matter like some “stoner doom” groups like to paint themselves as. Besides, this is definitely not music to smoke marijuana to. This is music to make you sweat all the drugs out of your system. This is music to simultaneously laugh and cry to. This is music whose effects you’re going to exaggerate to your friends to get them to listen to it. This album is just downright filthy and gut-wrenching, but an experience I’d recommend to anyone who feels like they’ve built up a tolerance to this kind of thing. This band could do well to continue to improve as the years go by instead of sticking with this one sound, but for an introduction to this group it serves its purpose tenfold.
SCORE – 8.6
FAVORITE TRACKS – Rape, The Impetus Bleeds, Rhetoric of No, Disambiguation
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