Sunday, April 3, 2016

Inverloch (review by Akerblogger)

An All-Consuming Dismal Mire: Inverloch - Distance | Collapsed (2016)
Gathering and reshaping the mucoid toxins of 90's death-doom druids Disembowelment, drummer Paul Maziotta and guitarist Matthew Skarajew merged Voidchrist bassist Chris Jordon, vocalist Ben James and Guitarist Mark Cullen to form Inverloch - a chest-crushingly heavy band integrating the suffocating atmospheres of funeral-doom and the oppressiveness of ungodly death-metal. It's a dragging album, one that hooks into the ear-drums and slowly pulls the listener down into a dismal mire.
Distance | Collapsed opens with the the eight-minute plus 'Distance Collapsed (In Rubble)', a fittingly all-consuming Goliath of an opening track that moves from a lead-heavy and pummeling old-school death opening to a thick and atmospheric closing, tinged with melody and melancholy. The vocals are deep, gargled and prolonged, reaching through the murky heaviness like a sulfurous cloud. There is such a depth to the album's sound. It's crushingly heavy - each chug and each crash reverberates with the force of entire forests toppling to the ground, bringing buildings to the ground, rumbling with a eerie constancy. Yet the album transitions to something more brooding with 'From the Eventide Pool'.
There is a certain dreamlike melodic quality to the lead guitar that flutters above the crushing barbarism of the rumbled vocals and the crunching riffs; it's rather tender and beautiful in a perverse and unsettling way. This is an album of juxtapositions, however, and 'Lucid Delirium' writhes into paranoid existence - a song rid of tenderness and humanity. It's a crunching assault of cavernous death-metal, a song that demonstrates the truly demonic side to Inverloch; even less accessible than the first track, 'Lucid Delirium' is a cascading force of grating, almost monotone, doom-death - slower and toneless, into the abyss deeper we're dragged. 'The Empyrean Torment' is similarly dense; seven-minutes of steady mortar-fire like drums, ice-cold growls like wind through desolate fields and somber riff progressions collapses into a passage of more unforgiving intensity. It ends with 'Cataclysm of Lacuna' that carries on the from the last but with a solitary and somber lead resonating like a funeral-song above the collapse.
This is a genuinely dense and heavy album that shows that incessant and grating noise and violence is not always the best at creating atmosphere; Inverloch manage to balance elements of tenderness and heaviness, channeling them as one through cleverly thought out song progressions. Many bands attempt to smother their listeners into a tormented state of despair but only a handful genuinely succeed: Celtic Frost, Triptykon, Vallenfyre, Anaal Nathrakh, Wormed, Indian, and Darkspace are those, in my opinion, who have really succeeded in creating absolutely soul-destroying atmospheres in the past few years: Inverloch are now added to that list.
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