Indian - Slights and Abuse/The Sycophant
Seventh Rule Recordings
Aggressive Sludge/Doom
9 songs (56'24")
Release year: 2008
Indian, Seventh Rule Recordings
Reviewed by Adam
If you take a trip into the dark and desolate underworld of doom, you never know what you might find. I like to do this occasionally as relying on the metal mainstream to tune your ear into up and coming doom and sludge bands is generally not reliable. On my latest excursion, Chicago outfit Indian caught my ear. Their debut album, The Unquiet Sky, was much revered in the few reviews I could find. The few snippets I heard revealed a thick and sludgy sound that was undeniably doom, with a hint of sludge. I am a sucker for this kind of music so I picked up their latest CD, which is actually a combination of two recently released vinyl EP’s, Slights and Abuse and The Sycophant.

I was surprised to hear the opening track, Slights and Abuse, explode out my speakers with much more speed than I had heard in samples of their previous album. The guitar tone is thick and crusty, recalling sludge titans like Crowbar and Eyehategod. Guitarist Dylan O’Toole’s vocals are supremely angry and at times border on a black metal shriek, all the while maintaining a low end that fits Indian’s sound very well. In fact, the first three tracks have much more in common with the two bands previously mentioned and really have little to do with doom. There were even moments where tinges of the “math” metal sound you might find on early Dillinger Escape Plan can be heard. An interesting approach to say the least, and one that shows Indian are more than just your average crusty stoner doom band. It really isn’t until Fatal Lack that they dial the RPM’s down to a crawl in the form of the fifteen minute slowly oozing song Fatal Lack. This song could have definitely benefited from a reduction in runtime, as I found it a bit boring at times. Track 5 is where The Sycophant kicks in, and curiously it is even more experimental in nature than Slights and Abuse. Songs like Lust, the instrumental Allotriophagy, and Gloat see Indian exploring new touches of clean guitar, piano, and shoegaze doom respectively. The strangely titled Pigs in Your Open Wound is a driving sludge affair that centers on a riff repeated over the course of its four and a half minutes. The closing title track is more in the vein of their past work, and ends the album in stunningly heavy fashion. Repeated listens have reinforced my initial opinion that this sludgy slab of doom is the best effort on the album.

This is easily one of the more refreshing albums I have heard this year as far as doom and sludge are concerned. If you consider yourself of a fan of sludge, doom, or even stoner metal, Slights and Abuse/The Sycophant should suit you quite well. It is heavy and angry enough to recall Indian’s debut album, while adding elements of speed and experimentation to show that they are far from content resting on their laurels.
Killing Songs :
Slights and Abuse, Cursed Reform, The Sycophant
Adam quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Indian that we have reviewed:
Indian - From All Purity reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
Indian - Guiltless reviewed by Brian and quoted 92 / 100
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