My copy of Chicago-based Indian’s third full album, Guiltless, arrived the other day and I think I’ve given it enough spins to weigh in on this droning, crushing, doom-laden album that I consider one of the best metal releases of 2011.
If my early descriptors didn’t give it away, let me reiterate: this album is insanely heavy. From the opening track “No Grace,” a track that is fuzz-filled and features aggressive, down-tuned guitars and tortured black metal/hardcore vocals, to the stoned, sludgy grinding of the title track, Guiltless is an unrelenting tour de force rich in ugly and hopeless dissonance. In addition to the typical guitar/drum/bass arrangement, the lineup includes Sean Patton on “noise,” whose grimy distortion adds a layer of filth and unease to each song on the album, creating a thicker and dirtier soundscape. Other bands take note: a noise man can add that extra layer of heaviness that turns a simply heavy song into a brutal one.
The band gives brief glimpses of a more traditional black metal side on “Guilty,” (which, surprise, follows “Guiltless”) with double kicks a-blazing and banshee screams. Only on “Supplicants” do we receive a break from Guiltless’ relentless crush, and that break comes in the form of a pensive, brooding acoustic number that leads straight into the closing track, “Banality,” another stoned bruiser. The album ends with less aggression than it opens with, but the feeling that you are left with is one that is void of hope and portends disaster.
As one of the heaviest, most desolate releases I have heard in some time, I highly recommend Guiltless. The band is currently playing shows in and around Chicago, but, when they come to New York, I will have a review.
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