As weird as this is going to sound, there’s likely not another metal sub-genre bursting with more life than death metal. As black metal and doom remain kind of stagnant right now with bands coming in to freshen the sound, there have been plenty of death metal bands and records the past few years that are making the sound more exciting in the deadliest of manners.
One of those is Toronto smashers Tomb Mold, who are on an impressive clip, delivering three devastating records in as many years, the latest being “Planetary Clairvoyance.” This seven track, 38-minute record is more smothering goodness from a band that is a force both on record and live. The power is relentless, and the twists and turns on this album could jerk your neck out of place, which would hurt real bad, but it would be worth it, right? I’ve had the music for about a month now, and I’ve maybe heard it 40 times? That’s a lot considering I have to listen to a lot of stuff for this site, so that’s a testament to how nasty and good this album is. It’s arguably the best thing they’ve done so far. The band—vocalist/drummer Max Klebanoff, guitarists Derrick Vella and Payson Power, and bassist Steve Musgrave—have truly come into their own as a unit, and the display they unleash on this beast is overwhelming and so goddamn infectious you can’t help but keep coming back.
“Beg for Life” starts the record in a cloud of space haze before the guitars light up, smashing bodies and letting riffs devour everything. The playing is spindly and savage, as the drumming begins to decimate, and the guitars chug through the gates. The track halts as classic acoustic guitars slip in, and as the song rambles back to life, things crush anew. The drums destroy bones, the growls scar, and the guitars shoot off into space. The title cut rips through as riffs play tricks on you, and filthy guitars spread soot over the chorus. The leads chew while the growls boil, sending the track into dust. But wait! A fucking nasty new riff comes in and lays waste to everything, killing everything as the track comes to its end. “Phosphorene Ultimate” basks in mystical noise as a synth fog settles over the picture, making things uneasy, and then an alien transmission begins to crackle, as the instrumental track slowly drips into a fog.
“Infinite Resurrection” utterly wrecks shit as massive, nasty growls pummel the earth, and the band starts to decimate everything. The pace thrashes and stomps violently, while the guitars melt through rock, the drumming crushes wills, and everything ends in a delirious assault. “Accelerative Phenomenae” smashes bodies when it starts its run downhill, as the growls suffocate, and mean thrashing eats away at your rib cage. The playing then speeds up dangerously with the attack smothering, chaos erupting, and the track blasting to its end. “Cerulean Salvation” punishes as the guitars heat up and land heavy jabs, and the infernal approach makes it impossible to breathe. Guitars spill their guts all over as the growls sink their teeth into muscle, the leads soar, and everything disappears into a sound basement. Closer “Heat Death” does a good job living up to its name with its melodic violence as the guitars go for the jugular, and gruff growls hulk their way toward you. The guitars twist and shift, the playing rearranges faces, and the song is sucked into a gross vortex of sound that ends the record in disgust.
Tomb Mold are at the top of their game right now, firing up some of the best death metal on planet earth, which makes itself known on “Planetary Clairvoyance.” Considering this band fucking rips live, it’s fun to imagine what these songs will sound like in the flesh, but just settling with the record at home also is a devastating experience. Tomb Mold are operating on a level very few other bands could even find, much less try to achieve, and this album will bloody faces for years to come as they continue their campaign in interplanetary chaos.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/tombmold/
To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/planetaryclairvoyance
For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/