Indian - Slights and Abuse / The Sycophant (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Slights and Abuse / The Sycophant (2008)

Seventh Rule

The one thing that bothered me about Indian's debut release, The Unquiet Sky, was the eventual drone that builds when listening to doom metal. But the overall effect of doom metal is one of atmospheric fright and terror, using the relentless attack of slow guitars, thudding, rhythmic drums, and super heavy low-end bass parts. Over the top of it all are the most frightening sounding bloody vocal chords you'll ever hear. When put together, the formula produces an entity of itself.

Actually a combination of two separate vinyl releases, Slights and Abuse / The Sycophant has taken the group in a slightly different direction. Slights and Abuse pursues the more uptempo style from their last album and drawing patterns in them while relying on their traditional repetition; Indian has generated the same doom effect through crushing thrash riffs over half time drums.

The opening title track blows the eyebrows off your face like Looney Tunes TNT. The onslaught continues through "Second Death" and "Cursed Reform," preying on hyper-speed palm-muted riffs over non-traditional drum parts until the band moseys on into "Fatal Luck," a 15-minute return to their doom roots. Thundering bass, droning feedback, and painfully downtempo, the song builds until the visceral death metal vocals rip through over the top of everything. The song plays like a five-part suite, an exercise in classical composition.

While things seem to start out kosher for The Sycophant with "Lust," things start moving to a different territory for "Pigs in Your Open Wound," a steady song based off one chord with accents hit by all instruments, resembling something the Melvins might have done in the early `90s if they had adopted some sort of goat-sacrificing tendency. "Allotriography" starts with slow, spooky piano chords played over and over until an acoustic guitar starts picking along quietly behind it and chilling atmospheric effects are layered on top. One would suppose that it would be similar to doom metal written in the 1800s. "Gloat" is the first song that has ever made me feel uneasy while listening to it. It starts with a crowd chanting over some horrible cheering, like a stadium gathered to watch a witch burning. Then the music starts: a droning riff from the bass and drums, but with piano playing the lead. The crowd chanting comes back, and it's fucking unsettling.

The title track for album two is a wonderful closer because it's the best song on the album. Starting with some marching rhythms and some groove behind its riffs, the crowd appears for a little bit before it plays into an instrumental metal masterpiece. Okay, I guess it's not instrumental because the vocals kick in about five minutes into it, but the emotions conveyed with the instruments alone before that already speak dialogues.

Stream Slights and Abusehere.