Canadian Death Metal band Tomb Mold showed plenty of promising potential with the release of early demo tapes and their debut album ‘Primordial Malignity’ in 2017. They came out of the gate swinging, developing their brand of Death Metal around a core old-school influence, loaded with copious amounts of full-blooded brutality, and a competent delivery of ripping extremities. The band’s sophomore release ‘Manor of Infinite Forms’ (2018) saw them gaining great traction in the underground, offering more instrumentally distinct features and an overall upgrade in their technical capabilities. With that, Tomb Mold pulled together a nearly perfect slab of dirty, rotten Death Metal, arranged with nimble-fingered throwback elements and burly percussive grooves. Inevitably, expectations for their upcoming record ‘Planetary Clairvoyance’ remain quite high, but fear not! As the science fiction-themed illustration on the album cover suggests, the nature of the band’s sound has mutated, adding collected material and inspiration from far beyond the earth’s atmosphere, while keeping their vile roots fully intact.

‘Planetary Clairvoyance,’ set to be released July 19th via 20 Buck Spin, pulls its listeners in like a black hole and presents a boundless cluster of non-stop riffage. Tomb Mold are a band that proudly breed brutal sounds and are known to implement a lurid aesthetic, but I believe they offer a musical dynamic on Planetary Clairvoyance that widely sets them apart from their contemporaries. Through adding an abundance of disgusting detail in each of their song arrangements, the band have warped and reshaped the possibilities of how brutal Death Metal can be played and presented. The brooding introduction of Beg for Life initiates this album with sheer heaviness and pulsing percussion. With their ability to seamlessly transition and transform each musical section, Tomb Mold go from heavy, sludging riffs to frantic, chaotic segments throughout the opener and well into self titled track Planetary Clairvoyance. This theme of variation and transformation recurs throughout the entire album and allows each song to place a gruesomely gripping hold on its listener.

There is certainly no shortage of riffs amongst the filth, taking notes from a wide range of Death Metal influences. Looking at the track Accelerative Phenomenae, the band utilises some Bolt Thrower style Doom riffage up front and takes you down an endless spiral of never ending guitar licks, thickening the vortex that is this album. Complimenting the stringwork and overall atmosphere of this album comes the relentless and bottomless “astral projections” (as the band puts it); i.e. the vocals. The echoing low-end growl is a vital ingredient to the band’s sound and stays consistent in finding its place amongst the muddy production that these guys employ quite perfectly. It works especially well amid the rhythmically foreboding elements of Cerulean Salvation, a track that rounds off the more ominous qualities of this record and smashes forth with sludging force, setting the tone for the technically driven conclusion to the album, Heat Death. Lending itself quite nicely to the visual nature of the cover, the album comes to a close with an extraterrestrial, sci-fi soundbite, almost as if it came straight out of The Thing, perhaps the perfect conclusion to this cosmic journey of horror.

On the surface, ‘Planetary Clairvoyance’ plays as a top notch Death Metal record, but sifting through the sediment reveals a surplus of imaginative riffing, packaged inside an otherworldly realm of grandiose brutality. ‘Planetary Clairvoyance’ creates this sort of hallway of horror effect throughout the course of the album. The subtle, clean nuances the band use to build more of an overall cohesive atmosphere, the harrowing interlude Phosphorene Ultimate, the acceleration and slowing down of the tempo, the bludgeoning break-neck grooves, all represent a new doorway; behind each door a shocking and intriguing new development that makes up all of the components of this album. With that, the band have levelled up yet again, continuing their path of brutality on an upward trajectory towards a more celestial status.