Indian_From All Purity“Noise” is a term often used to describe metal by those who haven’t yet submersed themselves in the genre. When you’re not used to being assaulted by distortion and screams, the whole panoply of extreme genres undoubtedly poses a seemingly impenetrable thicket of bloodied thorns; it seems insane that people would choose to settle in such an environment, make their homes there, and grow the forest ever greater. Yet even within the forest there are distinct layers: a canopy of traditionally heavy metal, with an understory of death metal and a dense and polluted underbrush of more blackened and brutal music still. Indian are the fetid leaf litter of the forest, the  floor of grimy, wet, compacted remains where plantae gives way to fungi and fungi to bacteria. They give noise a good name. From every pore, this music excretes static and dissolves itself, drawing from doom, black metal and feedback to produce what could be the first great metal album this year.

From All Purity is the soundtrack of maceration, a hint of the voice of rot. From the very first claustrophobic phrases of “Rape” to the grimy final riff of “Disambiguation,” no modicum of comfort ever penetrates the thick cumulose of noise. “Rape” is an insolent title to open with, but its sheer disturbing, horrific energy quickly puts to rest any suspicion of the song’s purpose being shock value. Following up the threatening opener, the lushly ominous and overbearing opening of “The Impetus Bleeds” gives way to an almost somber composition, channeling exsanguination in such detail that you can almost see the reflections off of the pooling blood. To call these smothering songs atmospheric betrays how tightly the smoldering and crackling noise gathers around you. It’s not an atmosphere but rather a shroud. Every phrase is drawn out almost to the point of painfulness and very rarely does the rumble of overdrive and feedback remove its hands from your throat.

Indian_2014To a first time listener, Indian brings to mind both the discomforting droning of Altar of Plagues and more immediately, the organic power of Ulcerate. While the latter of the two creates a sense of the absolute and malignant power and entropy to force the listener to consider their own insignificance, Indian instead makes the most insignificant thing absolute. Instead of being huge, menacing  and ambivalent, their music is deeply and intensely invested in a specific horror. In order to invoke this, they do exactly what Ulcerate does not; instead of constantly shifting drumming, off kilter riffs and blistering speed, every riff is painfully burned through over a long stretch of low-tempo, repetitive and unusually minimalistic, yet powerful drumming, which restrains from using any double bass whatsoever until the immense dying moments of “Disambiguation.” It makes every song feel like a split second stretched out over painful years of recollection.

Rather than dazzling, this record keeps its performances restrained, yet deeply emotive, disturbing and intertwined. Doom-laden riffs entrench themselves within the ever-present strata of static while the bass speaks in understated tones, creating lines so cohesive that they seem almost subconscious. The sheer cohesiveness of noise, riffing, lurching drums and tortured vocal work is mesmerizing. The gurgling, crackling screams and shrieks seem to have burrowed their way out of the music even in their most abstract setting, the almost formless but somehow hypnotic textured mass of static and noise that is “Clarify.” They hold weight, but never take precedence over the body of sound.

MouseListening to “Disambiguation,” my gaze is drawn to the desk in front of me and to a small packet of mouse bones, disarticulated and broken, matted in places with fur that was plastered onto them in the gizzard of an owl. The bones are petty, filthy, and tiny; they were, post-digestion, packed together violently enough to force a phalanx into the sinus cavity and thrust vertebra into the eye sockets. They exude digestion and decay, but even in their bent and shattered forms there is a kind of beauty, morbid yet transfixing. Their every millimeter carries something of the tiny life that was extinguished long before they came to me. From All Purity shares this sort of disturbing power, the feeling of being totally enveloped and consumed by a cosmically insignificant tragedy. Without question, Indian have produced something truly moving and disturbing, and I hesitate little in saying, even with such an early release date, that From All Purity has landed itself a spot on my year-end list. [Anyone gonna ask why he has mouse bones on his desk? — Steel Druhm].

Rating: 4.0/5.0
Label: Relapse Records
Websites:  |
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 01.21.2014

  • Now we’re talking! I was just asking for a proper release and it seems Relapse obliges. And as I saw the review up I was also hearing the stream at pitchfork, it all came together quite beautifully. Odd word choice for this, I know, but two weeks into 2014 seemed like a lot without good new metal.

    Edit: As for the mouse carcass, I’m not sure I really want to know.

    • Tho art impatient!

      • I was becoming worried that the album of the month end up being Periphery or Within Temptation

        • Could happen!

          • Yeah, perhaps in a world where The Simpsons “apologizing” to Judas Priest for calling them death metal is considered metal news.

            Oh, wait…

    • That guy

      Judge not my interest in skeletal anatomy, lest you be judged for your inability to differentiate a phalanx from a caudal vertebra.

  • Czeching You Out

    Hot damn Steel Druhm, that was a brutal as hell, glorious analogy in the first paragraph.

    • Thank Kronos, he wrote it, not me.

      • Czeching You Out

        ….That was an embarrassing mistake. Kronos can expect an apologetic fruit basket at some unknown point in the future.

  • 6810

    Ok, I like the new Indian. Love it actually. No dispute. But this:

    “When you’re not used to being
    assaulted by distortion and screams, the whole panoply of extreme genres
    undoubtedly poses a seemingly impenetrable thicket of bloodied thorns;
    it seems insane that people would choose to settle in such an
    environment, make their homes there, and grow the forest ever greater.”

    Is some rather bad writing. Not saying the author is bad, just the writing. Doesn’t AMG et al usually pick up on this sort of thing? Like my English teacher in high school used to say: “No matter how much you like it, a first draft is still a first draft. Rewrite and resubmit”.

    • Feytalist

      I don’t do English lit or anything, but it seems alright to me. Nicely evocative. And the semicolon in the middle breaks up the flow somewhat.

    • Arjan Zwamborn

      Care to elaborate why the writing is bad? To me it is a perfectly crafted sentence, and it expresses very nicely how people within and outside the genre of metal look upon it’s music.

      • 6810


        #1 There are two adverbs (adjectives ending in -ly) in the one sentence. This is verbosity. In fact, good writing seldom uses adverbs. Rather good writing, that is, clear writing, uses them judiciously. Check out a style manual for more details.

        #2 The semi-colon doesn’t really make sense. Try looking up colon and semi-colon conventions of use. The sentence should have been split into two where the semi-colon is used as there are clearly two distinct ideas being presented (1. Noise is impenetrable/unpleasant to the novice listener. 2. however, once an understanding of genre conventions is acquired pleasure from it can be obtained)

        #3 The description of metal/noise is a metaphor. Great! However, the use of the word “undoubtedly” is redundant because the description is clearly a metaphor and doesn’t require argumentative qualification (ie – legitimation).

        #4 Although language is evolving/changing and common use determines validity, generally speaking humans cannot “grow” a forest since grow is an intransitive verb. “A tree grows” is correct. “A man grows a tree” is incorrect. An alternative? “A man plants a seed and nurtures it into a tree”.

        For the record, I’m not saying the metaphor is bad or the description fails to be evocative. In fact, I rather like it. I am, however saying that it is poorly written (which is out of step with the level of quality on AMG) and needs some fine tuning.

        • Zadion

          This is the most massive grammar elitism comment I’ve ever seen on the AMG comment section.

          • 6810

            Ahh, the modern internet where reductionism is the main currency, binary opposition is the norm and fear of good writing is paramount.

            Shall I be equally flippant?

            Yours is the most cliched of unoriginal, recycled, throw-away one liners I have ever read on AMG.

            Perhaps youse young’uns in a world dominated by literature in 128 characters or less, where opposition to the man (or anyone older than you) forget that some of us metal heads have been around the block more than a few times, hold down jobs, have kids, mortgages and all the rest and see a terrible amount of bad writing on a daily basis and have been doing this genre since before our critics were born.

            (How’s that for a run on sentence? See, anyone can do it! Fun for all the family!)

            Oh, by the way, the term “grammar elitism” as a thing/meme was put out to pasture a long time ago.

          • I’m not sure the effort you put into this was worth it, dude.

        • What is this, a grammar rodeo?

        • Arjan Zwamborn

          I think overall you’re being a bit difficult – presumably on purpose – and are in some way attempting to get attention by showing off with your knowledge of the English language. That said, at the very least you’re responding with an actual response, which promotes you from an internet troll or flamer to a more regular online writing style police officer.

          That said, your first three objections to this review are issues you have with its style, and has nothing to do with spelling or grammar. This hardly makes an article bad, since problems with the style of writing are not by definition ‘wrong’.
          As for ‘growing trees’, I believe man can ‘grow’ plants just as they can cultivate them. So in the current sentence growing is not meant as ‘growing taller’, but as a synonym for ‘cultivating’. I think there is nothing wrong with the current use of the verb.

          Basically I find your conclusion that this article is poorly written an unjust one. When you’re/your and the such are misused, then I’d be more inclined to agree with you. As it is clearly not the case for Kronos’ article; it is clear that thought and attention went into writing it, which I remind you he and other writers on this blog do as a hobby.

          Besides, calling someone out over the internet over some minor complaints that might or might not be actual flaws and offending someone’s writing is plain rude. If we’re critizing one another, perhaps you should work on that.

        • John Allen

          I would be prepared to argue in favor of that semicolon; it connects two related ideas that are a bit too close together to want to separate with a period.

        • nuiski

          Steven Pinker wrote a chapter about you in his book “The Language Instinct”. The chapter in question is called “The Language Mavens”. You sir, are a language maven!

        • That guy

          Kronos here. You’re not wrong, and I’m actually happy to see that people read this enough to get at me for style. I’m aware of verbosity, and despite it being usually seen as bad form, I’m very amused by it, especially when it can be hyperbolically or litotically employed so I tend to use it a lot.
          I’ll mind my semicolons from now on, dear commenter.

    • I’m a fan of editing, and while that passage isn’t exactly the best thing I’ve ever read, I’ve seen plenty worse pass through this website. Some writers simply have a verbose style. I’d rather see verbosity than cheap one-liners, though.

      Still, blogs are kind of first draft endeavors. One of the tricks of being a good blog is being able to pop out passable stuff on your first try and get it out in time for readers. That means that pieces that should have heavy edits often only receive a copy edit. Until we are rolling in dough, we simply can’t afford to do more than that.

      While we do our best to make sure that our writing is good, what’s considered “good” is a matter of taste for some, and the restraints of reviewing can cause the over-ambitious writer to experiment with describing something that can be quite banal or that they’ve reviewed hundreds of times before. They might also be new and reaching too hard to try to develop a “voice.” Either way, amateur writers on the Internet who are receiving no pay, should certainly not be held to professional levels of writing standards. They should also not be expected to have read “numerous” style guides.

      If we had the luxury of rewrite and resubmit we’d do it. But we don’t. So calm down.

      • Rewrites? We don’t need no stinking rewrites!

        • No, no. We need them. “Rewrites? We can’t afford no stinking rewrites!”

  • Arjan Zwamborn

    I am so going to listen to this. This is exactly what I needed after Altar of Plagues disbanded.

  • TminusEight

    Wow. Gotta check this out… but whether or not it’s a candidate for album of the year, this review is a dead cert for the lit prize. Nice job.

    • TminusEight

      And I’m digging that cover art.

      • TminusEight

        A whole new definition of off-your-face :D

        • TminusEight

          OK, I’ll shut up now. Just listened to the track you linked… holy shit. I see what you mean. I’m buyin’ this right now.

  • Innit Bartender

    I got this album, put it on and went to shower. Even through the waterfall I could hear the screams on “Rape” and started to think that my neighbours would knock or call someone. It’s surely a “difficult” album. More listens are in order.

    • Luís Pedro Coutinho

      You’re crazy lol Is this album so good?

      • Innit Bartender

        Well actually I am currently owned by Solar Halos, so getting through Indian has taken a little step back…

  • Luís Pedro Coutinho

    I got the album. Now I have to listen to it…