Noxious riffs. Raw guitar tones. Primitive rhythms. Songs that immediately pound their way into your brain. Tomb Mold’s debut is death metal distilled to its very essence.
After grabbing my attention with their mephitic debut demo, 2016’s The Bottomless Perdition, I didn’t have to wait long for a follow-up, as only a mere few months later the Canadian duo were back with another short release to foul-up the air. It didn’t take long for the top death metal label in the game right now (Blood Harvest Records) to pick up on the scent and snap up a deal for Tomb Mold to release their debut full-length album. Fortunately, if you missed those releases (apart from clicking the previous links and checking them out) you can hear a small portion of them on this album in a revamped and much more satisfying form. Originally I was a little disappointed that the cavernous sound had been upgraded but after going back and listening to them side-by-side it turns out my memory was far too forgiving; Primordial Malignancy‘s sound destroys last year’s demos.
Hear that guitar tone? I want more of that in death metal. Fairly organic sounding but still heavy as fuck, similar to the natural sound used by Cadaveric Fumes on their recent EP but with a filthier final result. The drum sound works well with the guitars for the most part, the only issue I found was the cymbals often seemed to bleed together into a bit of a mess in parts. Maybe it was a deliberate effect of the reverb, maybe it was just me? Regardless, it’s a very minor nitpick (I’ve gotta try and feign criticism somewhere!). The bass clomps along in the background and works excellently with the percussion to really keep the record sounding thick, proving there’s really no need for a fancy digitised production aesthetic to make things sound heavy.
One of those tracks I mentioned before making a return appearance here is the thumping “Bereavement Of Flesh”, this song in particular would be a great entry point to the band’s style; it’s almost certainly the most straight-forward song on the album and beats the listener around the head with atavistic riffs that wouldn’t be astray on a Mammoth Grinder album. Although, in contrast, the swagger and groove is replaced (for the most part) with a grisly malevolence. Throughout the album the riffing treads a noticeably percussive path, ripping out twangy pull-off and hammer-on licks whenever they’re needed to break up the prevailing maelstrom. The style may seem relatively simplistic for the most part, but herein the album’s strength lies – catchiness. Akin to the flesh eating microorganisms that will eventually decompose your corpse, Tomb Mold strip back the riffs to bare bone, leaving only the essential parts, allowing you to hear every creak and crack of each song’s skeletal substratum. Normally I’d prefer some more fills and little adornments but these riffs alone are strong enough to carry the songs through, urging multiple replays. Replays it has certainly received and thoroughly deserved, this is definitely my most played album of the year so far and should please anyone looking for some quality death metal to rage along to.
You can pre-order Tomb Mold‘s Primordial Malignancy now through Blood Harvest Records‘ Bandcamp page, with both digital and physical copies available (CD’s, Black, Blue, or Red Vinyl) from February 3rd.