Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Indolent-Stillwalk (2012)

Post #276
As the runner-up from 2012's Independent Band Reader's Poll, Indolent were another local band high on my list to check out. Hearing tracks from their release Stillwalk through their websites and social networks was what brought them to my attention. Though they didn't quite pull out the victory, losing by a slim margin to Fist To The Sky in the end, I still wanted to give their album the attention it deserves.

Stillwalk opens with '49; a clean-guitar instrumental track that serves as an intro to this album, and it leads straight into the fast and furious 'Last Words'. It is an intricate, high-tempo riff that barrages yours ears while vocalist/bassist Scott Murphy's voice delivers the lyrics with a scratchy, melodic growl. His voice could be described as a 'grungier James Hetfield'. Throughout the song there are intermittent guitar leads that complement the rhythm guitars and vocal melodies. At the three-minute mark there's a minute-plus of guitar solos where brothers Jamie and Josh Booth shred like they mean business.

The next track 'Mind Over Martyr', is another heavy thrasher peppered equally with melodic guitar phrases and hardcore backing vocals sung by drummer Adam Booth. This song displays their potential with hardcore metal elements while maintaining their primarily thrash-inspired sound. Traditional metal influence is also apparent in the ever-present guitar solos. By this point I realize Indolent are truly filling the niche of quality thrash metal music for me!

'Visceral' and 'Undone' are two more of my favorite tracks on Stillwalk.They both feature the catchy yet challenging riffs, constant and clever use of melody, and true talent when it comes to lead guitar solos. Honestly, this is classic thrash metal at its best. This album amazed me the first time I heard is and never seems to stop growing on me. I seriously can't picture my music collection without it now. It has become an essential part of my collection.

Not to take away from the brilliance of the thrash and classic metal elements that dominate the style of this release, but there is a fair amount of clean guitar melodies and melodic guitar parts that give the entire album a very rewarding listening experience. Songs like 'Visceral' and 'Eyes Deep' are a couple examples that bring a variety of sounds, tones, and help to round out the diversity of the band's influences. The use of the softer and melodic guitar sounds brings an essential and timeless texture to Stillwalk that has forced me to keep listening to it over and over for months.

Whether you call Indolent traditional metal, melodic thrash, or melodic metalcore doesn't really matter. This album contains all of those elements, but the listening experience transcends them all. This is a top-notch metal album by any standards. If you're a fan of thrash or traditional heavy metal you're really doing yourself a disservice by not checking out Indolent!

Recommended tracks:
-'49/Last Words
-Mind Over Martyr
-Visceral (Melodic intro gives way to a rhythmic thrasher...)
-Undone (A slower-tempo thrashy number with melodic lead guitars. This song really reminds me of the late-80's and early- 90's heyday of thrash metal like Anthrax and Metallica)
-Monkey See
-Eyes Deep (An acoustic, melodic breakdown with guitar solo at the midpoint of this almost 8 minute track makes it a highlight track in my eyes. A true example of this band's talent!)

You can download or purchase this CD through cdbaby.

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