Indian - The Unquiet Sky
Indian - The Unquiet Sky
By Mark Hensch
It finally hit me after spinning this CD
for probably the thousandth time; I've been spinning it a minimum of two
times daily, for almost two weeks without fail. What hit me is this; first,
this album title is perfect. Second, this album is beyond any foolish reviewer
to even attempt scrutiny.
The Unquiet Sky is a perfect moniker
for this doom masterpiece as the metal on here is so vast, so broad, so
infinite, it is like the entire atmosphere of Earth stretching well beyond
the horizons. Throughout this (almost) hour long nuclear winter, a buzzing
pestilence assaults the listener at every turn. How has Indian managed
to perfect a vibe so sinister, so evil, that it dogs one at every step?
Like being closely followed by some dark presence just beyond your reach,
The Unquiet Sky is a record both personal and completely removed.
Listening is like having amnesia, then coming out of it right as the people
you harmed in your previous life (and you know you would, you bastards!)
are about to torture you endlessly for your wrongs. There's no salvation
in sight on this disc, but it is never clear what you should be fleeing.
Thus, the reason why this disc is beyond any one critic, myself included.
How can you rate the unknowable? Though I intend to carry on the remainder
of this review as I would normally (song-by-song analysis, some poignant
closing thoughts perhaps) there will be NO final rating for this album.
I feel this is such a momentous album mere things like percentages and
ratings are beyond it; to listen to this is to understand what the doom
genre has been trying to achieve for ages. Yes, you read that right. I
think this is the epitome of doom metal folks.
The disc begins with massive understatement.
The first track, "No Able Fires" bored me a lot the first time I heard
it, but the reason was simple ignorance. The song mixes ambient roars with
buzzing distortion scratches on guitar, slowly ebbing and flowing. The
dam breaks in a deluge of catharsis on "Ration." Ominous and mammoth, those
noisy whistles and bells are still here, giving the song's now pounding
riff (a meatier version of the previous song's) an oddly celestial feel.
The song swings with crashing aplomb, producing some of the catchiest,
most focused doom that have ever crossed my ears. The main surprise is
the addition of vocals; frontman and guitarist Dylan O'Toole is possessed
by Satan, and nothing less than that. The man spits forth ichor-black bile;
coughing up chunks like a dying Ebola Virus victim, O'Toole has some of
the most diabolical screeches I've heard. The icing on the cake is a mid-tempo
steamrolling when the band speeds up and drops several sonic tons upon
your unsuspecting eardrums. The short but sweet "Dead Weight" careens like
two steam-engines colliding with one another....under the largest tidal
wave in Earth's history.
"Los Nietos" is the sound of war machines
grinding to war. This is the first song that really clicked for me on this
disc; the thrum of sheer malice this song conveys sounds like an evil version
of the Melvins. Wow. About this time, one also realizes drummer Brian Lynn
is phenomenal, and drums in some truly insane patterns not normally present
in doom bands. The utterly roasted by the abyss cavern churnings of "Queen"
should unnerve even the staunchest of listeners, and its galloping follow-up
"Tied and Gagged" is a jackhammer cacophony that batters everything in
its path to glistening goo. The brief instrumental "God of Panic, Lord
of Decay" is just down-and-dirty riff slapping, and what comes next none
will suspect. The completely psychotic derangement of "Loophole Noose"
is quite simply the most horrifying doom song ever. Even noise bands I've
covered (Prurient comes to mind) cannot hold a candle to this anomaly.
Slowly oozing forth cryptic rumbles and growls via the medium of eerie,
psychedelic distortion, the song lures you into a false sense of numb acceptance.
It is at this low point of nihilism the most crushing drone/doom riffery
ever comes and shatters all the matter; this song hits you so hard your
atom's quarks will be in f***ing pieces. The brutal kick to the corpse
that is "Shill" sounds like Mastodon brawling with Khanate on Jupiter,
where everything is just heavier because of all that mass. "We Can Build
You" is a submissive belch or two coming forth from the Earth, and oddly
enough the only peaceful moment of reprieve this CD offers. The closing
"Worshipper of Sores" is insult to injury, or basically more dismemberment.
This CD is total cataclysm.
Once an hour of pressure akin to iron weight
pressing torture has been enacted, one is left feeling bewildered and a
little scared. Indian have generated such a monolithic obelisk of crushing,
bleak doom that it can and must inspire nothing but fervent worship. To
be honest, I loathed this album at first, not being able to wrap my head
around it after only a listen or two. With the passage of time and intense
scrutiny, I think that The Unquiet Sky could very well be a sleeper
masterpiece in the doom scene. Massive, vast, and innovative beyond comprehension,
this disc is either one of the most punishing records ever or simply one
of the most unlistenable. I can't be the judge dear readers, this one rests
on you. Check it out!
1. No Able Fires
3. Dead Weight
4. Los Nietos
6. Tied and Gagged
7. God of Panic, Lord of Decay
8. Loophole Noose
10. We Can Build You
11. Worshipper of Sores
Rating: Beyond general ratings!
This disc must speak for itself! (beyond five stars? well below it? This
disc truly runs the gamut of human emotion)
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