Distance | Collapsed

Out of the shadows

dB Rating: 9/10

Release Date: March 4th, 2016
Label: Relapse

Distance | Collapsed was in our most anticipated list this year, and boy did it deserve it, despite only an EP’s worth of previous material from this Australian band. That early EP could have arrived at Relapse offices as an unsolicited crusty demo tape with zero fanfare, and Inverloch would likely get signed and promoted. Listeners knew that Inverloch were capable of tremendous things after just a taste, but this record— possibly one of the year’s best when the cards are counted—far surpasses even those expectations.

What raises the material on Distance | Collapsed above so many other bands bearing the “doom/death” description is how Inverloch breathes Prometheus-like fire into both genres. Both genres are among the most copied and cribbed in metal at this part of the new century, yet both suffer from a startling lack of originality.

Inverloch, however, meld both with a virtuoso hand and formidable chops. The eponymous opener is a risky balance between early Morbid Angel drive and Into the Pandemonium bombast that never falters. The slow, but by no means plodding “From the Eventide Pool” will remind listeners of Decibel favorites Evoken, another band that gets doom right. Then Inverloch completely blow your mind and go Steve Tucker-era Morbid Angel on “Lucid Delirium.” What makes this album especially imposing is that it sounds like it was recorded in a bomb shelter. The production gives this band a huge sound and cavernous tone. And you can never falter with such imposing tone.

Reviewers could make this easier on readers and say, “RIYL: Evoken, Morbid Angel, Esoteric, Mitochondrion and Paradise Lost.” But when the superlatives are earned, pull out the thesaurus and give an original voice—and startling talent—the attention it deserves.

— Justin M. Norton

For more on Inverloch, don’t miss the April 2016 issue, which includes a full-page profile on the band, as well as the above review. The issue can also be purchased digitally via our app for iPad/iPhone and Android.