Inverloch is a project spawned by two of the members of Disembowelment, an Australian death/doom band who had a mighty cult status, but split up long ago. First off, I've not listened to Disembowelment much, which certainly places me in the minority of people who have been paying attention the Inverloch's recent exploits, but nonetheless, my attention was grabbed by the band when I was handed a flier about their upcoming gig, and I decided to check out their EP.
With no frame of reference, I have to forsake comparing Inverloch's material to that of Disembowelment, but whatever the legacy it has to live up to, it sounds excellent in it's own right to me. The soft intro to the first track creates an atmosphere of beauty, before exploding into a death metal juggernaut, with a faster-tempo than I expected, and huge, levels of energy. The lower end is very well produced, and made my desk vibrate like nothing else which has passed through my speakers in a long time. The drums have a very nice tone, with an almost sinister rumble peeking out from behind the guitar and bass parts, but with crisp, fresh cymbals and a really enjoyable, reverb-filled snare sound, especially in the doomy parts. The other two tracks on the EP keep up the crushing feel, but are certainly more embracing of the doom-element, and, I'm told, sound more like Disembowelment did. The slower tempo gives the vocals a chance to sound incredibly guttural and dessicated, with the vocals at the start of "The Menin Road" utterly laying to waste most of the death/doom vocals I've listened to, and fit really well into the music, as crushing as the other instruments.
There are some really enjoyable moments of atmosphere among the heaviness, too, with sections which are not quite melancholy, but certainly have a slightly sad, dark feel to them. Towards the end of "Shadows of the Flame" for example, has a slow section with clean sounding lead-notes which are full to the brim with feeling, producing the beautiful, all-surrounding soundscape which I've come to associate with doom-metal in all of it's forms and hybridisations, no matter how brutal. After listening to the EP all the way through a couple of times, I could appreciate how complete it felt, too. The elements involved really work together well to build the overall feel. The vast-sounding atmospheric sections really blend well with the stone-crumbling power of the heavy sections to create something which simply works. The length of the EP isn't too short, either. All of the songs are reasonably long, and despite there only being three tracks, enough time elapses to get a good idea of the band's sound, as opposed to being merely presented with a tantalizing and ambiguous taster, which has certainly happened to me in the past.
Almost twenty years after Disembowelment split, Inverloch seem to demonstrate that the members involved certainly haven't lost anything to the time which has passed. A solid release, which seems to be turning heads in great numbers. I'm impressed, and look forward to seeing them live.
I'm giving this 8/10.
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Inverloch on Metal Archives