Inverloch - Distance | Collapsed
Relapse Records
Doomdeath
5 songs (39:26)
Release year: 2016
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat

A project partly made up of the rhythm section of legendary doomdeath outfit diSEMBOWELMENT, Inverloch are very much a continuation of their forefathers in spirit. Despite having been around in various forms since 2011, when they were known as d.USK and were essentially a tribute act, this is only the band's début full-length after a well-received EP back in 2012. And some versions of this release come with the EP as bonus tracks, so those new can catch up very quickly! They'd be wise to do so, as Inverloch (named, assumedly, after the surprisingly nice-looking beach resort town in Australia) play some of the best funeral doom around at the moment, experimental and progressive in style without losing that essential core misery at the heart of the genre. There are moments when it's far from the funeral doom standard of slow pace and drawn-out riffs; opener Distance Collapsed (in Rubble) is practically old-school death metal for long stretches, seeming closer to Asphyx than the likes of Evoken.

Yet it never strays far from doom, returning back to deliciously slow riffs and deep growled vocals. Inverloch are clearly doom fans, having a skilled hand at what makes slow riffs not just atmospherically choice, but also awesome in that headbangable way that makes the best underground metal so, so good. Moments reminiscent of the wistful riffs of My Dying Bride, mournful and emotion-laden, can exist alongside almost post-rock chimes, and be intricately linked – this band's experience is clear from the skill of their writing alone. Take From the Eventide Pool as an example, mostly built around a single, plinking riff, but varied in how the other instruments back it, churning doom riffs, scurrying, hasty drumbeats, and eerie ambience making individual impacts and all existing to make it a remarkably compelling atmosphere-laden doom piece. And at barely over six minutes in length, it shows a band who know how to maximise the time given and not just stretch things out for the sake of it!

The entire album is less than forty minutes long, but does more than many manage with double that length. Lucid Delirium opens like prime Incantation, aggressive and single-mindedly blasting, but allows all to fall away in front of what is practically post-black riffing, shimmering hypnotically behind the vocals and sparse drums and ending with an ambience that flows directly into following track The Empyrean Torment. This is the longest on the album at over eleven minutes, but the most funereal in its doom metal; beginning with pounding slow riffs and more of those scurrying drum beats, soon developing into the most atmospherically dark piece on the album – that is, up until the old-school death metal breakdown and ensuing gleeful blasting madness. The two genres meet perfectly, and as someone who enjoys both a great deal, this is close to heaven, particularly when Inverloch reverse this and break back down into doom.

Slowing things down even more for finale Cataclysm of Lacuna, things are all over and done with, feeling very short for a funeral doom album but leaving you wanting more. I'm in two minds about this; it is undoubtedly impressive stuff for a fan of the genre, and you can't help but cheer the re-emergence of diSEMBOWELMENT. Yet Inverloch seem set to suffer the same fate as Triptykon, which is to be endlessly compared to their legendary, Celtic Frost-esque past. They are something of a different beast, yet clearly a spiritual successor; perhaps all that ultimately matters is how damn good they are, which is undeniable. Funeral doom fans will rightly be delighted with this.

Killing Songs :
All, especially Distance Collapsed (in Rubble) and The Empyrean Torment
Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Inverloch that we have reviewed:
Inverloch - Dusk... Subside reviewed by Charles and quoted no quote
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