Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed (Relapse)

Sunday, 6th March 2016
Rating: 8.5/10

Those who loyally follow the doom/death tag should immediately recall the inner workings of Inverloch (if for some reason it’s still a mystery). Formed from the band d.USK, Inverloch features two members of the celebrated doom/death band diSEMBOWELMENT, whose one full-length Transcendence into the Peripheral, is still held in quite high regard today. It’s also this pedigree that gives Inverloch a very high standard to keep to, which Distance | Collapsed elegantly does.

Distance | Collapsed is as bleak and downtrodden as it is brutal. Masterfully blurring the murky death metal waters with plenty of atmospheric riffs and occasional speed runs, the level of diversity for a doom/death act is admirable. They dynamics have some real strength to them, and the band seems to know not to linger too long at one tempo without desecrating the doom mythos. The highlight belongs to the longest track, “The Empyrean Torment,” which starts with an extended and crushing series of slow and doomy riffs, with a push into faster territory (which always seems to keep an old school vibe without sounding cliché) before shifting back into an almost funeral doom march. Also worth noting is “Cataclysm of Lacuna,” ending the album with a focus on melancholic guitarwork that seems almost upbeat in comparison to the rest of the disc. For what it’s worth, the album’s shorter run-time of under 40 minutes works wonders, trimming the fat that many likeminded bands get themselves invested in, and makes it an album worth returning to frequently.

diSEMBOWELMENT’s Transcendence into the Peripheral set the standard for many doom/death albums to come, and Inverloch maintains the legacy of that album with aplomb. That should be enough to assure the diehards, and any newcomers looking for an album that keeps the soul-crushing doom mentality without lulling the listener should welcome Distance | Collapsed.

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