Inverloch "Distance Collapsed"

dISEMBOWELMENT.  There, I said it already.  One word into a review about Inverloch and I thought I should just get it out of the way early on.  Not that I wish to appear in anyway negligent of the legacy of aforementioned band but if, like me, you prefer to focus on the output at hand from the current band that is actually alive and kicking and recording music then you will want to read about Inverloch not dISEMBOWELMENT.

It is a hard legacy to get away from I grant you but the fact is that as a piece of death/doom metal "Distance Collapsed" is superb, regardless of how many quarters of another (now defunct) band are involved.  It is a clear step up from the "Dusk/Subside" EP from 2012, which although praised by most sections I did find a bit dull and safe.  It never really went anywhere despite the length of each of the 3 tracks I could never remember any actual crushing riffs just lots of atmosphere heaped on far too much.

On their debut full-length Inverloch unleash an absolutely crushing experience.  They still engage atmosphere throughout the record but they use it effectively alongside monolithic song structures instead of smothering them unnecessarily.  There's no getting away from the fact the whole record is positively dripping with dirge.  Whether it is a slow or more pacy section of a track, it is still there in the background,an almost endless procession of the true weight of mourning.  That's not to say that this bores me or is too slow or too deliberate, no my point is how well it fits.  On a good piece of death/doom you should be able to track that morbid vibe and whilst being able to pay attention to other sections of the music you shouldn't really lose track of it.

Album opener "Distance Collapsed (in rubble)" is as monolithic as the title suggests, yet immediately what is also obvious is the mastery of the instrumentation.  Inverloch clearly know what they are doing with their weapons of choice and although it may seem like a very odd comparison, the level of mastery is akin to that of Ulcerate - not in terms of pace or style - in terms of fluidity and focus.


In my notes for track two on the album I have written " almost a funeral ballad" which sounds ridiculous but the pace and combination of the melancholic notes, crushing riffs and slowed picked intro on "From The Eventide Pool" do make for something truly beautiful yet desolate at the same time.  

The assuredness to proceedings continues with "Lucid Delirium" which after a slamming start drops to a slower more familiar pace like dropping down through gears.  "The Empyrean Torment" shows that well balanced used of atmosphere although is the only track on here for me that could actually do with a trim (there's only so many riffs a guy can take ya know)?

Closing track "Cataclysm of Lacuna" is full of seeping vocals and riffs of incalculable weight which again uses the melancholic notes of the guitar to perfect effect and ends with a long fade out that leaves the impression that the band could still well be going playing out that song such is the feeling of vastness and expanse.  Overall five tracks is a very good fit in terms of length, it seems fitting to let the music fade out slowly and leave the promise of future dreadful beauty to come.  Inverloch have done themselves proud with their debut, it is accomplished, well balanced and a very strong statement of what is yet to come.

Available here.

4/5

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