Band: Tomb Mold
Album: Manor of Infinite Forms
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Release Date: 08 June, 2018
The sophomore slump is a dreaded, but all too real, stereotype in the music scene. A band shows up, rattles our bones, so we demand more and you better make it snappy! One problem that tends to arise from this is when they create a near replica of the first album; “Too derivative”, “uninspired”, or “sloppy and forced material” are all often written complaints. On the opposite end of the spectrum is when a band goes too far away from their previous record, or experiments too much. These records are commonly met with complaints such as: “they have abandoned what got them to the dance”, “this record leaves their original fan base behind”, and “Is this even the same group?”. Now, why did i mention all this? Because after listening to Tomb Mold’s latest effort, Manor of Infinite Forms, I don’t think anyone let them know about the sophomore slump. Ignorance certainly is bliss in this case.
Less than sixteen months since their debut LP, Primordial Malignity, Tomb mold has emerged with a “fresh” new batch of vile, brutal death metal tracks. If you don’t know already (And didn’t gather this from my long winded intro…) was met with a ton of well deserved praise, and subsequently came with the baggage of expectations and hype. This music is heavy enough that the baggage felt like nothing it seems. For Manor of Infinite Forms, Tomb Mold was able to expertly dissect both the successful and the weaker elements of the record and improve upon them. Everything you loved about the last record is still there. There is a ton of dense riffage packed into these seven tracks. The vocals are horrifyingly brutal and sit perfectly atop the chaotic stage the music portrays. Tomb Mold seems very self aware though, because as much as I loved Primordial Malignity I did have an issue with the mixing of the drums. The drums, especially the cymbals, were ear-piercingly loud. You couldn’t get the volume to the levels they deserved without it coming out abrasive in my opinion. Luckily with this release the production has been tightened up perfectly. You can still hear everything drummer/vocalist Max Klebanoff is pulling off on the drums without it being offensive to the ears, it’s mixed in perfectly. Credit is definitely due to the wonderful mixing/mastering job done by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Code Orange, Pissgrave etc.)
I’m gonna highlight some of the deeper tracks on this album as they are my personal favorites. Like a moldy tomb in a video game, the deeper you get into it (this album) the greater the reward. Smack dab in the center of the record is Final Struggle of Selves. This song is very thick in the beginning opening with some chugging riffs over some ever evolving drum beats. The song refuses to stay in one place constantly dragging you along for the ride. About halfway through the track we are hit with a very sudden transition that makes me want to start a pit even while I’m sitting here writing this, it’s fucking heavy to put it simply.
Chamber of Sacred Ootheca, I have no idea what ootheca is nor why it’s sacred, but what I do know is I want to spend all day in that damned chamber. The second this track started and I heard guitarist/bassist Derrick Vella speaking to me through this riff I was hooked. This chamber has to be massive to house a monolithic track like this one. This song scratches every itch I have. Chamber of Sacred Ootheca refuses to be stay at one pace, slowing down halfway through the song to get into the deep murky depths of the ootheca itself. That is, until Max unleashes a hellish shriek that welcomes us to one of the face-melting guitar solos that this song possess.
The final track Two Worlds Become One is a phenomenal album closer that opens with quite a surprise. If you had told me these guys would have an acoustic intro to one of their songs, I would’ve responded with something snarky like “These guys don’t even OWN an acoustic guitar”. Turns out hypothetical me is an idiot, because they did and they do. Don’t let the intro fool you or scare you into thinking a band with the name Tomb Mold would be anything but brutally heavy. The intro is a nice breather after the gruesome wasteland you’ve been traversing for over half an hour. You are then welcomed right back into bone rattling heaviness that Tomb Mold does so well. When this song speeds up about three minutes in it develops into one of my favorite grooves on the entire album. The throaty screams that emerge at the end of the song are soul chilling and create the perfect setting for the end of this album.
I’ve listened to this album at least once a day, if not more, for two weeks now. It started with me being hyped for the advance copy, to me falling in love with the album, to me becoming a damn detective studying this album looking for some sort of a flaw; I have still come up empty. I haven’t burned myself out from this constant listening, nor have I been forcing myself to listen to it. This album is what I wanted to listen to when Abysswalker dropped, and now that I have it I still struggle to turn something else on. Tomb Mold was the dark horse of 2017, and have followed it up with another undeniable contender for 2018. Do not sleep on these guys two years in a row because while the train hasn’t departed yet, it’s filling up fast and the album drops in a few weeks!
1. Manor of Infinite Forms
2. Blood Mirror
4. Final Struggle of Selves
5. Gored Embrace (Confronting Biodegredation)
6. Chamber of Sacred Ootheca
7. Two Worlds Become One
Total Playing Time: 40:58