Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Reader on 4/9

From The Chicago Reader

Critic's Choice

Indian, Bloodiest, Anatomy of Habit

When: Sat., April 9, 10 p.m.
Price: $8

It's been three long years since Chicago doom unit INDIAN released an album. The news that they'd signed to Relapse for their fourth full-length boded well, as did the addition of a second guitarist and vocalist, Will Lindsay of Wolves in the Throne Room. Produced by Sanford Parker and due on Tuesday, Guiltless is worth the wait—a hundred tons of crusty, primitive grit, churning with a beautiful mess of greasy, grimy gopher guts. The noise and drone elements that were already a huge part of Indian's sound don't exactly dominate the record, but they add something important this time out: a new feeling of promise and threat, woven deep into the fuzzy, feedback-drooling riffs. And then there's something like emotional depth, which I wasn't quite prepared for: Guiltless is akin to a song cycle of remorse and ruthlessness, a cathartic drama of accused and accuser, all rendered in vicious, vibrating screams. This isn't the almost relaxing flavor of doom favored by heavy-lidded stoners—this is Armageddon style. —Monica Kendrick

Not to disparage the efforts of the good people at Relapse's design department, but if they were really serious about capturing the feel of Descent, the new debut album by local septet BLOODIEST, they would've packaged each copy in a jagged monolith of black marble as tall as a three-flat. That approach would at least adequately reflect Descent's immense mass and raw, cruel beauty. Working out of Steve Albini's Electrical Audio, producer Sanford Parker didn't do much more than capture the band as they sound in their killer live shows—and that's all he really needed to do. When you've got three guitars, gothic piano, and the unhinged vocalizations of man-about-metal-town Bruce Lamont, do you even need overdubs? Descent rumbles with the heavy energy of metal, but there's something almost classically elegant about the way the songs carry themselves, even as they edge toward pure noise. —Miles Raymer