Bands often are expected, maybe even forced, to compete with the pressure of a great record. People always want to hear what you’re going to do next, how you’re going to top that big milestone, and whether or not that’s fair, it’s what happens. It’s the price of success, adulation, or both pushed together.
Australian death doom unit Inverloch perhaps have even more pressure riding on their shoulders, whether they choose to see it that way or not. They’re not just riding on the success of a record, they’re here to answer to being the second stage of a legendary band (in a sense). With two members of the heavily influential, way-ahead-of-their-time diSEMBOWELMENT in the ranks, people are always going to compare this band to the one that created 1993’s seminal “Transcendence Into the Peripheral,” a record that transformed and inspired a gigantic wave of musicians in its wake, even if that band didn’t survive very long after its push into the world. Inverloch initially formed with the idea of playing songs from the heralded album (under the name d.USK), but as time has passed, they’re gotten into making new music for a whole new generation of listeners. And the results are pretty damn great and wholly catastrophic.
Inverloch came to life in 2011, led by former diSEMBOWELMENT members Matthew Skarajew (guitars) and Paul Mazziotta (drums). They recruited to the ranks vocalist Ben James and guitarist Mark Cullen, and a couple years ago, bassist Chris Jordon joined the fold. The band issued an EP in 2012 called “Dusk l Subside,” and now they’re back with their massive debut record “Distance l Collapsed” that force-feeds the grime and punishment. Really, this is an amazing pick-up spot from the original band, and this record is so packed with sooty goodness that it’s hard to refrain from being giddy with excitement over where the project goes from here.
“Distance Collapsed (In Rubble)” begins the record with waves of sound rolling in, and then the track opens up slowly, with gurgling growls, a death-doom mass, and the pace slithering and mauling along the way. The music gets chunkier for a stretch, and then everything explodes again, with vicious playing, a heavy sense of murk, and sorrowful passages that carry the song out. “From the Eventide Pool” has deep eeriness at first, and then a slowly crawling pace that feels like a black dose of funeral doom. The elements bubble, while guitars drip, and the cavernous growls feel like they can down buildings. The track keeps stretching its wretched wings until it ends in a pool of gloom. “Lucid Delirium” crushes right away, with a sludgy disposition that suddenly gets speedy and aggressive. The growls sound infernal, while the song viciously pounds away, chugging in place for an extended, hellish period, and the drone scorches.
“The Empyrean Torment” is the longest cut at 11:49, and it drowns in noise, while the guitars and growls light the fires. The pace is just smothering and suffocating, giving you no place to run or hide, and the weight of it all bears down and forces gravity against you. Guitars trickle in and add some streams of color to the chaos, while the growls are impossibly gargantuan, the rhythm section heaves boulders of power, and the back end finally gives way, with a fog rising and sounds spreading. Closer “Cataclysm of Lacuna” has a slow menace at its start, blistering and bringing on the slowly meted-out fury. Drums kick up and add to the bruising, while mournful guitars flow darkly, and the body of the song bleeds into tributaries, finishing off its run, and this massive record, with a blaze of noise.
If one wants to put Inverloch on the exam table and compare it fiber by fiber to diSEMBOWELMENT, go right ahead and waste your time. You can hear from these massive five cuts how true to the original mission this band is, and the great thing is we now have a future we lost when diSEMBOWELMENT dissolved. Inverloch are furious, nasty, and every bit a guttural pleasure to endure both on record and live, where they will dice your flesh.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/InverlochOfficial/
To buy the album, go here: https://store.relapse.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://relapse.com/