Inverloch's debut EP, Dusk | Subside, came out way back in 2012, right around the time I was getting seriously back into metal (and also around the time my very first review appeared on this site). Inverloch was getting some good attention, in no small part because it featured two former members of the short-lived but very well-regarded funeral doom progenitors Disembowelment. I didn't really "get" Disembowelment at first, because I think my ears just weren't ready for how low and slow funeral doom can get. I eventually came around to Disembowelment, but at the time, I found Inverloch's death/funeral doom mix much more accessible.
Now, four years after that first EP, we finally get a full length from Inverloch, Distance | Collapsed. Now, there are plenty of bands that mash up "x genre" and "y genre," with varying degrees of success, but Inverloch's rumbling death metal and funeral doom mix is damn near flawless. It's easy to jolt a listener with a quick change just for change's sake, but Inverloch never makes a misstep that way. I'm never drawn out of the music because of an awkward transition. Take the opening, sort-of-title track, "Distance Collapsed (in Rubble)." The stomping death metal eventually gives way to sad slowness, but you never get that jarring feeling of, "Wait, what just happened?" Sure, you can pin down the shifts in sound if you're looking to dissect the songs that way, but it's just as easy to be carried away, leaving intellectualism behind. Sometimes, they even put the two sounds right on top of each other, like the churning riff over the slow doom in the middle of "Lucid Delirium." It's a fantastic pairing overall, never letting you get too doomed out or, conversely, numb to the death rampage. This album is a relatively trim 40 minutes, but I could easily listen to 80 minutes of death/doom this good.
I've already shot my mouth off about what album(s) might rule 2016 for funeral doom, so I'm going to stop saying dumb stuff like that, especially since we're only in March and I've already been blown away by yet another doomy offering. But we've definitely got another standout here.