Among the punishing ranks of extreme metal bands, many have sought to push forward the boundaries of extremity. It is this mindset that made punk move all the way to grindcore in two decades. During all this time of searching for extremity, many genres have appeared and new frontiers looked upon to transpose, and with all the genre inbreeding we came to sludge, the bastard child of Black Sabbath and Black Flag. Using some of this genre’s main characteristics as a blueprint, countless of the most punishing artists in metal today created their unique sound, from Thou and The Body to Primitive Man and, of course, Indian.
Hailing from Chicago, Indian are the creators of a unique blend of black metal, sludge and noise, which after stewing for some time, gave birth to one of the most brutal records of the last decade, From All Purity. This LP is a perfect distillation of the band’s idiosyncrasies, that during its 40 minutes never lets the listener take a rest from all the screeching, hammering riffs and feedback. Being at heart a sludge band, during the record there are a lot of gargantuan headbangable moments, largely in lieu of the sort of avant-garde experimentation that often pushes the genre in the opposite direction towards lusher sounds. Tracks like ‘R*pe’ and ‘Rhetoric Of No’ are pretty brutal displays of the sludginess the band carries in their heart, along with the blackened vocals courtesy of Dylan O’Toole, but noise also rises to the forefront of the band’s composition style, using a lot of feedback and claustrophobic distortion intertwined with their slow riffs.
On ‘Clarify’, Indian rotate the harshness knob to the maximum setting, creating the most abstract piece in the album, one that serves as a noise interlude and also as a showcase of what they can do in the straight-up noise realm should they ever decide to explore it even further. If you crave brutal songwriting and impenetrable soundscapes, this album is definitely a must have in your collection. After hearing From All Purity, your scale of heaviness will be forever changed from 0 to Indian.
Words: Benjamim Gomes