Inverloch

Dusk | Subside

01. Within Frozen Beauty
02. The Menin Road
03. Shadows Of The Flame

[04/10/12]
[Relapse Records]

I’m going to be fairly honest and sincere: I am not all that knowledgeable on doom metal. You have the melancholic masters of more mainstream doom like early Anathema and Katatonia, the masters of textures in Earth, and the masters of beauty in Woods Of Ypres. There is one, however, that always comes to mind, and their name was dISEMBOWELMENT, pioneers of what was to become the modern doom metal sound. Deep, harsh vocals on top of low-end guitar tones that filled the room up with an invisible mist, one that carries great weight, and is felt by all. It is also unseen by the human eye, visible in no realm of life we live in. However, after releasing one album and never playing live, they disbanded, forever invisible from the human eyes, just like the mist.

Over 20 years since the formation of dISEMBOWELMENT, two of the four member of the group formed another band, aptly given the name Inverloch. Hailing from Australia, this band shows that they know doom, and they know it well. They seem to pick up right where they left off after they’ve recorded Transcendence Into The Peripheral. Inverloch’s first EP opens up with ‘Within Frozen Beauty’, a monumental piece of good old fashioned doom metal. After roughly 45 seconds, the music begins to swell, with a very faint guitar line played over a very dreary soundscape that make you feel as if you are in the middle of a forest in winter, searching for your lost soul. All of a sudden, you are bombarded by many vicious guitar riffs played over some of the most demonic growls I have heard in my entire life. The rest of the song is relatively short, and the end fades out into another demonic soundscape.

The second song on the record, ‘The Menin Road’, is my favorite from the record. In opens where the previous song’s sound left off, and then continues assaulting your ears by delivering us a slow, sludgy, brilliant song that drives straight to your heart and makes you feel their anguish. It’s rather powerful, I might add. Such a slow song needs to be played with a certain feeling, which I think was attained by the band. Finally, enter ‘Shadows Of The Flame’, a nearly 9-minute epic track that has a little taste of everything: the sludge, the doom, the blastbeats, the speed, the emotion. This was actually the first song I heard, as I was streaming it on MetalSucks a couple of weeks before the record came out. I wasn’t too familiar with doom, and I figured what better way to discover it deeper than to listen to music made by some of its pioneers?

The production is crisp and clean, which I found shocking. Not to say that I anticipated bad production when I heard about the record, but normally early forms of sludge and doom had some lackluster production with average producers. With guitars this low, you would expect a sort of muddiness from the tone. I also expected the vocals to either be really up front, which would overtake the guitars and drums, or really low in the mix, barely audible. However, this is not the case, as the album feels full, and each instrument is clearly distinguishable from the others. Sometimes the sludge will throw off the recording’s sound; a prime example is some of the earliest Melvins and Neurosis records, which kind of ruined some of their earlier stuff for me, but I digress.

My only con to this EP is just that: it’s only an EP. While these three songs are fantastic, it leaves the listener desiring more. Clocking in around 22 minutes and by no means a short EP, but I want more from these guys. Unfortunately, that means waiting a few more months before I even begin to wonder whether or not they will be recording a full-length album. All I know is that if they do decide to write an album of doomy proportions that is around 7 or 8 songs, then I am all about it.

In summation, I think any metal fan, whether their savvy be tech, sludge, prog, etc. should pick this up.  I guarantee that you will not find any record released recently that even comes close to what this EP does in three songs. I can’t wait to see if this becomes a full-time thing. I’d love to hear a full-length from these guys, seeing how much I love this EP. A doom classic for the ages, no doubt.

Inverloch – Dusk | Subside gets…

4.5/5

– SS

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