“Guiltless” is the third studio release from Chicago area doom metal band Indian. The most intriguing thing, other than the music of course, is the listing of Sean Patton with noise as his instrument. Any band that has the confidence to list someone with noise as their instrument is certainly worth a listen. Can even this idle curiosity about a line-up spark full fledge interest in Indian?
The short answer is yes, si, ja, da, sim, hai, ano, tak, and whatever other language the word yes exists in. “Guiltless” opens up with a brain busting, seven minutes worth of pure doom and sludge aptly named ‘The Grace’. Slow, creeping, droning, are but a few words to describe ‘The Grace’. It is utterly brilliant in composition and delivery, with vocals that only echo the general feel of the song. The title track, ‘Guiltless’, solidifies any doubt that Indian is pure doom metal. The low slow playing in both guitar and rhythm sections are nothing short of genius. The title track gives the listener the full in your face answer why Patton is labelled as noise. The almost desperate mixes and sounds in this extended play put the icing on the doom cake. The fuzzed out vocals add that flair of desperation and hopelessness that all of us have come to appreciate in this style of metal.
This release has a real Celtic Frost and Triptykon feel to the music. It may seem presumptuous to compare the likes of Tom G to a relatively newer band but Indian has really captured that doom spirit. ‘The End of Truth’ is a perfect example of that darkened spirit. The brilliantly done vocals layered over the down tempo sludge riffs, make for a brute force attack on the senses. This gives way to a well done and somewhat haunting acoustic interlude. Using a pure acoustic track with this style of music is very risky but the Chicago boys really seemed to nail this one. ‘Supplicants’ completely fit in the overall spirit, albeit darkened, of “Guiltless”.
From the eerie acoustic drones, the listener gets taken down further into darkness with ‘Benality’. A truly slow well-hammered trip down through the mist, is what this song gives us. One of the darkest entrants on this release, ‘Benality’ has near perfect ending notes.
Overall the Chi-Town group has put a dynamic and powerful collection together. You can’t listen to one track and get any sense of the pure emotion that is generated by the collective. A complete start to finish listen will take you on a journey through the dark and more desperate feelings in the world. At the end of the journey one is left with a total feeling of “Guiltless”.