Indian - Guiltless
Release Date: April 4, 2011
Record Label: Relapse Records
If by chance you've ever found yourself wondering what it would feel like to be flattened under a steamroller, just give a listen to Guiltless, the latest release by sludge/doom metal outfit Indian. But in this instance, the steamroller just crawled out of a Stephen King novel, driven by a coked-up Baphomet. While doom metal has never flirted too much with the notion of accessibility, Guiltless is the genre's defining elements rolled into one giant slab of metal and turned up a notch. The lumbering percussion propels ten-ton slab guitar riffs caked in crushing waves of distortion. The vocals are harsh and unsettling, sounding something like a Nazgūl that just caught a whiff of One Ring. The bass guitar, though moderately indistinguishable upon first listen, provide a thundering backdrop to the already mammoth sound.
Though there's nothing remarkably new here in the way of creativity, Indian have an obvious knack for forging a dense, merciless brand of doom metal that, while taking several listens to truly sink in, nonetheless leaves an impression. Those who like their metal to be as heavy and crushing as possible will no doubt love this release, as it plays remarkably well on the tropes of the genre without dragging or becoming boring. So while some listeners may find that this is an album one has to be in the mood for, by and large it's a satisfying journey through the murky, claustrophobic catacomb that is doom metal. Sludgy riffs and dissonant lead parts abound, Guiltless delivers heaviness in spades. What surprises or creative leaps it might lack, it makes up for in sheer, undiluted might.