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Doom/sludge Godliness - 97%

MosquitoControl, June 22nd, 2007

Extreme doom/sludge metal is often difficult music to listen to. The songs are almost always too long, the lyrics/vocals too obscure/indecipherable (even by metal standards), the pacing glacial or slower, and variety virtually non-existent. But when a band gets the genre right, as is the case with Indian and their album The Unquiet Sky, what results is some of the best heavy metal going.

First, The Unquiet Sky is stunningly well-produced. The guitars are thick and dense, with enough gain and reverb to make each riff hit like a sledge hammer. The bass is full and rumbling, perfectly complimenting the heaviness of the guitars. What's especially noticeable in this racket is how live and real the drums sound; there is no click-clack bass drum, no flatted machine snares. Instead the ride and crash sound like they are being beaten to pieces by a maniac. The vocals are mixed well with the other instruments, never over-powering, but often providing a nice counterpoint to the guitars.

Indian shows some good song writing ability too, not content to simply trudge along at the same pace for an entire album. When they do decide to up the tempo, as in "Dead Weight," "Los Nietos," and "Tied and Gagged," they mine the same territory as Eyehategod, even capturing some of the same swamp groove that EHG made famous; "Worshipper of Sores," is probably the best EHG song not written by EHG (yes, the song is that good). Just as easily they crawl along with "Queen," a song that features a riff to make Toni Iommi jealous, all soaked in the glorious unholy feedback that separates great sludge from merely good sludge.

This definitely ranks as one of the better doom/sludge albums of the last few years. It fits nicely with efforts from Conifer, Eyehategod, Ufomammut and anyone else making progressive super-heavy stoner doom metal. An absolutely essential record from a band to expect great things of.