It is a rare phenomenon when two bands merge, and by doing so they transcend each other’s limitations. Indoctrine is an impressive, albeit experimental record, where noisy Revenge members meet Alan Averill from Primordial, aka violent musicians are enthralled into order by clean vocals and an excellent concept.
There are two elements at play in the record: the chainsaw wargrind riffs and the startling performance of the singer, which totally steals the show from everything else, yet blends perfectly with the music at the same time.
The use of vocals is very fitting, indeed. Nemtheanga acts his role as a guerrilla fighter, a dehumanized creature, yet human, all too human; thus both clean and unclean vocals are appropriate. The terrifying part, is that this suicide bomber appears more human than he should be, as often the lyrics can foster a relationship of understanding with the listener, as we delve into the main character’s emotions and the forces that shaped him.
The simple yet fascinating way they structure their songs is exemplified in “Salvation in the Barrel of a Gun” and in “Bite the Hand,” “Purge the Flesh.” In the second case, the main idea follows the schema A → B → B’, where B’ implies melodic riffing, slightly reminiscent in position or rhythm of the (usually) chromatic B that can support clean vocals.
Riff B’ is so good, that one cannot help but wonder about how much talent it takes to write an unconventional harmonic pattern, put totally uncatchy vocals on top, fit it into a wargrind post-apocalyptic sonic canvas and make it memorable and addictive at the same time.
One reason it fits, is because the band aims to write less violent riffs that focus on power chords at the same time as the vocal timbre changes, a simple and very prevalent idea. The thanatometallic use of bridges is rather the simplest and most obvious choice, yet the bands that do it, are alarmingly few.
In “Salvation in the Barrel of a Gun,” we have two riffs that repeat themselves in an A→B→A’→B’ pattern, paving the way for this bloody opera to commence.
The above framework is used in metalcore. Nevertheless, the commonalities end here, since, soundwise, there is no standardized melodic pattern in the vocals, as they resemble the ravings of a madman. This is not collage music, no elements are amiss here.
And with the brilliant guitar work, that sounds like a petroleum motorboat engine and the drums that mimic a hail of bullets, the singer finds the ideal vehicle of expression.
There is only one obvious fault in the record: the instrumental journey could be slightly more intriguing. The listener might sometimes take his dose of the terror version of Primordial, and prefer to skip the rest of the song, because it doesn’t count up so well as the singer. Considering the experimental nature of the records though, this sole lack, although noteworthy, spells triumph for the band. Much recommended.