Chicago doom and noise mongers INDIAN have never been an easygoing trip. If you plug in to their drenching work, you're obligated to abrasive tones and punishing volume. Now on their fifth offering "From All Purity", INDIAN shoves their listeners into the ugliest climates yet conjured by their fearsome cache.
The beleaguered crawl of the opening number "Rape" begins and ends with a haunting tribal slide from Bill Bumgardner. In-between, he delves a prolonged, hauling tempo that allows for the brutal, measured riffs to manifest from a shivery rip of squelching distortion (assumedly the audile rape portrayal). "Rape" then becomes a torturous drag unveiling the despairing after-effects of violation. Dylan O'Toole and Will Lindsay tear their esophagi apart along with their hapless guitar lines to convey outrage and demoralization. If you've seen any of the "I Spit On Your Grave" movies, then INDIAN provides a metallized interpretation of the defilement the leading ladies suffer in those full-frontal revenge flicks.
It doesn't get easier to digest from there. The opening bars of "The Impetus Bleeds" seeks to split the eardrums from the get-go with more puncturing feedback and a nasty chug that never gets past a few miles an hour. The band clobbers the hell out of every riff and beat, loading the already unpleasant track with some distressing scratchy fills. Conscience does play incrementally into this song if you listen up for the morose but peculiarly harmonious sways that float in and out of the song's unwavering agitation.
The buzzing intro to "Directional" gives the false impression INDIAN might step up the pace, but abandon all hope of that occurring. These guys are making a caustic point with "From All Purity" and "Directional" is no exception. The song drones in near ostinato with plodding back and forth chord patterns that conserve the ceaseless flagellation of this album. The guitars increase in vibrato in the last couple minutes before the frigid outro and they didn't even need the benefit of blustery wind samples to convey chilliness. This song was cold enough without them.
At last, "Rhetoric of No" accelerates slightly with a sweaty, rolling rhythm that skids yet again into another grueling doom crawl. At least the torrential guitars and Ron DeFries' tilling bass lines are heaped with such density you roll along with the song's bludgeoning cadence. At that point, you're helplessly captive, waiting to be picked apart by the shrill electronics and shrieking frets that natter about like sonic flies, setting the song up for a monstrously-layered finish.
"Clarify" yet again shows the listener no mercy with its disregard for auricle welfare. Piled with high-pitched ersatz, lurid distortion and perverse screams, all of it stings to take in as INDIAN issues a triple-dog-dare-you to hang with it the full 4:35. Wrapping this album is "Disambiguation", another bleak crawler that sounds like an attempt to dirty back up what PELICAN has been methodically spiffing over their past few albums. "Disambiguation" is this album's best-realized punctuation of heaviness and desperation with melodic undercurrents that represent open grace on an album that has all but shat on grace.
INDIAN has never been the type to mess around, but "From All Purity", to be blunt, isn't for sissies. While previous albums such as "The Sycophant" and the widely acclaimed "Guiltless" were pretty terrific for their brute force and instinctiveness, INDIAN appears to be channeling something deeper, if outright depraved with "From All Purity". This is a maudlin and loud undertaking with the express intent of refining their charbroiled intonations into something transcendental of mere doom. Refinement being subjective in this case.