Manor of Infinite Forms by Tomb Mold
Having been introduced to Tomb Mold on their 2016 debut, Primordial Malignity, I’ve always kept my eye on this little group of Canadian death metal killers. I thought Primordial Malignity was an interesting and refreshing take on old school death metal style, despite their name, Tomb Mold offers something fresh yet again. Now that they return with their sophomore effort on the AWESOME record label, 20 Buck Spin, its all the better and sicker. Where as the first record was pretty much balls out/amputated, gritty death metal; Manor of Infinite forms is a tad more polished with a lot more style… which, as you well know, is something I’m all for.
There’s a fine line to walk though, especially within the death metal crypts. When a band like Tomb Mold established themselves with dark, fast, evil, dirty, gross sounding metal (which I love) but wants to expand in a new direction while staying true to their roots at the same time, especially within the confines of death metal, that can prove to be a difficult mission. Tomb Mold seemingly scoffs at that, puts their cigarette out in a human skull, and says, “mission accomplished.” They do a remarkable job at maintaining their brutal death metal spirit while exploring some uncharted graves beyond their previous realm. The production here is a little better.. more polished.. but not too much. The songs seem to slow down just enough for the newly expanded line up to show their skills. And they do it so well in fact that when you go back and listen to their previous record, you might realize that the full on brutal speed approach to their flavor of death metal just isn’t their cup o blood. Not that it was or is bad, but this is so much cooler.
Please do NOT mistake this as me saying that Tomb Mold has gone soft (no necrophilia pun intended), as there are more than enough D-beats and pure death metal rage on this one; its just combined with a little more groove. The only way I can describe their sound is it just seems to OOZE. Like.. it seethes… it drips… its just..it’s gross. It’s THICK. Its vile. It fucking rules. They managed to capture exactly what the album art and title portrays, which is so important to death metal and so cool and absolutely perfect when death metal bands nail that. Tomb Mold does. This record sounds like you’re trying to escape a labyrinth constructed of decay and viscera… oozing and pulsing as formless beings try to spread their plague of decay upon your soul.. turned on yet? I loved every second of it. Extremely captivating, Tomb Mold lures you in their abyss and stalks you, haunts you, seemingly twists their musical knife in you and leaves you wanting more somehow. At the time of writing this review, I have listened to the album in its entirety far too many times and simultaneously drank way too many mugs of coffee for my mental and physical well-being, but, hey, I embrace death and all the spoils that come with it.
Tomb Mold, to me, is like the perfect modern death metal band. They stay very true to the old school death metal roots which I am completely biased towards and love with all my decomposing soul, while adding just enough of a new spin on it that I really dig. Like a grave. The production sounds “new” while the music sounds “old.” And they have RIFFS too! In fact, the guitar work is easily the most interesting and impressive aspect of the record. It keeps a certain rhythm and stands out against the ever ravenous death metal percussion. Throw in some super guttural vocals and I’m all in. Not only that, the tone of the guitars is just murderous..like stalking murderous. It almost has a vintage tone and vibe to it that you would think might not work too well with this style of music, but in fact, it does. It does VERY well. And the bass doesn't get lost in the mix either! In fact it shines on several tracks and that warms my death metal bass player heart. I would really love to know what kind of gear these guys use because they are just death metal magicians, and the coolest part is, its nothing fancy. Its just REALLY GOOD METAL. Thats it, This is not modern death metal that I feel just try to be SO extreme and relentless that it looses a little something (although many modern death metal bands are very good at that, I feel like this is just a little cooler), Tomb Mold sort of reinvents that wheel. They keep the chugging, and menacing going while spicing it up with an insidious groove… how does it get better than that? Tomb Mold solidifies their unique and fascinatingly horrific approach to death metal with this record, making them, for my money, one of (of not the) most interesting and accessible modern death metal band right now. I can’t wait to see their live show AT MIGRATION FEST JULY 26th - 29th at MR SMALLS THEATER in PITTSBURGH! Shameless plug. Sorry not sorry. If you’re any sort of death metal fan, do yourself a favor, please… check out Tomb Mold. If you’re no fan of death metal, then stay far, far, away… which I suppose is the highest compliment for a death metal band. Bravo, you Canadian sickos.
Rock Rating: 5/5
Gym Rating: 4/5
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