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Review

Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance Review

Band: Tomb Mold
Album: Planetary Clairvoyance
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Genre: Death Metal
Country: Canada
Release Date: July 19th, 2019

Last year I was graced with the presence of Tomb Mold’s Manor of Infinite Forms. Then, I was introduced to a group of musicians who knew how to pummel the listener with delicious medium-rare riffs and head-nodding breakdowns. It was a pleasant surprise, as that album demonstrated a commitment to staying true to their own image, that being a combination of the old school fuzzy and analogue production with the pristine modern musicianship influenced by decades of fantastic death metal. Listening closely to Tomb Mold brings to mind the relentless old-school death metal conjured up by Incantation honed in and brought to clarity with the melody-diverse taste of Witch Vomit. Then, with a dash of science fiction as heard in Blood Incantation, Tomb Mold comes around and delivers the invasion of something gross, abhorrent, and vile, yet complex and intriguing. This fascinating album slipped past my vision in 2018, and until recently was blind to the huge potential Tomb Mold established with Manor of Infinite Forms. Since then, Tomb Mold has been in the furnaces brewing another more masterful, cohesive, and horrifying album known as Planetary Clairvoyance.

Fair warning, this will take two or three album-long listens to even begin tying down the different spacey and theatrical horrors described in each song. Tomb Mold hinted at this, but it was never revealed until this album; they are masters of storytelling. I found that reading the lyrics with each song helped give me some perspective in this category-5 hurricane riff storm known as Planetary Clairvoyance. I’m not kidding, each song has so many different riffs that are tasteful and intriguing in their own manner, bringing with them a fascination of some other-dimensional horror recounted by drummer and singer Max Klebanoff. The lyrics give you a ground to let the guitars, bass, and drums establish a complex atmosphere of all that is grotesque. Manor of Infinite Forms stuck out like a sore thumb to me because of how gross their sound is. That album was sopping wet with sewage crawling in alien lifeforms that should not be. Planetary Clairvoyance decides to continue their tour of the ugly cosmos and move on from the alien lifeforms found in the filth, bringing us to the hall of the outer world monstrosities that eat everything, from planets to identities. Glancing at the album cover gives the listener a preview of the complex and bizarre collection of stories Tomb Mold has in store for you.

In Manor of Infinite Forms, Tomb Mold made it very clear that these guitarists are not to be fucked around with; the real meat and thickness of Tomb Mold’s sound is because of the guitars, and boy is there a lot to taste. The lead and rhythm guitar lines, written by none other than Tomb Mold’s peerless guitarists Derrick Vella and Payson Power, weave back and forth, alternating between being in unison and being two creatures of their own free will. This alternation of having the guitars playing entirely different sounding lines and then spinning back into a singular riff is what provides the vivacity of experiencing Tomb Mold, and this is all brought to a whole new level in Planetary Clairvoyance. Steve Musgrave does a wonderful job adding weight to the actual melody of the song, and the listener can tether themselves to the bass should they fear getting lost amongst the guitars. Max does a wonderful job providing the percussive pulse of Tomb Mold which tastefully couples itself to the riffs, giving the listener a glimpse of Tomb Mold’s masterful cohesiveness as a group of musicians; they are tight.

Looking back and still in reflection I’m astounded as to how little improvements I can think of for Tomb Mold to work on for their future music. The production really does capture the atmosphere of 90’s death metal while bringing absolute and certain clarity to each Tomb Mold instrument, vocals included. There are moments where Max varies his vocal style, but he does tend to stay on his low ended and guttural growl which leaves room for desire. There are some high-pitched growls here and there, however it leaves the listener wondering if there could be more. In the description of my promo for this album, I saw that Derrick played classical guitar in Planetary Clairvoyance, yet I heard it very little. That is another source of intrigue and creativity that Tomb Mold could capitalize on should they invest on enhancing the pacing the album by building it around the more numerous classical guitar parts. If Tomb Mold was able to incorporate these minor inconveniences, even the stringiest of metal fans would have a hard time finding something to complain about.

I am pleased to say that Tomb Mold really outdid themselves in Planetary Clairvoyance, and I have high hopes that they will continue to release excellent albums for years to come. Manor of Infinite Forms warned the metal world about Tomb Mold’s infectious invasion, and here comes Planetary Clairvoyance delivering that promise. I wonder if Tomb Mold will abandon the filthy sound they had on Manor of Infinite Forms. It would be a shame if they did, because that was done so masterfully. I wonder if the next release will be a combination of the two, or something else entirely different and grotesque in it’s own way. But until then, pour yourself a glass and get ready to sit back and enjoy the ride; Tomb Mold does not disappoint.

Rating: 9/10

Tracklist:

  1. Beg For Life
  2. Planetary Clairvoyance
  3. Phosphorene Ultimate
  4. Infinite Resurrection
  5. Accelerative Phenomenae
  6. Cerulean Salvation
  7. Heat Death

Total Playing Time: 38:36

Click here to visit Tomb Mold’s Bandcamp

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