It’s a rare thing that only four years and three full-length records into their career a band can already be considered a consistent and reliable force, however it was clear even from their early fledgling demos that Canadian four-piece Tomb Mold were the real warped and deathly deal. Their idiosyncratic sound may echo the nascent late ’80s/early ’90s Finnish and Florida scenes’ glory days, yet whilst their tunes never stray from this line of vicious purity there are more than enough wild dynamics and moments of atmospheric ingenuity to allay fears that they represent little more than a respectful tribute to death metal’s golden age. Hot on the heels of last years Manor Of Infinite Forms (hailed by many as the underground event of 2018), Planetary Clairvoyance is somehow darker, nastier, weirder and quite simply better.
Sounding almost drunk with enthusiasm, this third LP slams home the creative and technical brilliance of Tomb Mold with merciless power. From the multi-limbed, bug-eyed assault of opener ‘Beg For Life’, every moment sounds like the ultimate upgrade for the Ontario natives, with the bellicose assault of Finn-death legends Demigod and early Incantations churning horror transported into their traditionally skewed hall of mirrors approach. The result is a record brimming with an absurd number of destructive riffs, and what are easily the finest songs Tomb Mold have written, full of fluid tempo shifts, scalpel keen dynamics and even some undeniably weighty grooves (the last minute or so of the title-track underpins those signature death metal blows with a heaving, Dime-worthy swing).
Looking beyond the primitive brutality however, Tomb Mold are still keen to satisfy their progressive urges, the likes of ‘Cerulean Salvation’ mirroring the sophisticated attack of latter-day Death and the glorious climax of ‘Heat Death’ all uncoiling lead breaks and aglow with an abyss-conjuring darkness. Not to mention instrumental respite ‘Phosphorene Ultimate’, which sounds somewhat akin to a skittering interstellar transmission from worlds unknown. Thankfully, Tomb Mold remain unsullied by either the overtly clinical tech-death mob or the posturing atmospheric contingent of modern death metal, and reject the notion of fitting into any of the genre’s many sub-strains. As it is, these standard bearers of contemporary violence remain as diverse, distinctive and deadly as ever, and Planetary Clairvoyance comprehensively kills.
Planetary Clairvoyance is out 19th July via 20 Buck Spin and can be purchased here.
Words: Tony Bliss