Tomb Mold has only existed for a year and has already quickly made a name for themselves as one of the better and one of the more unique modern death metal bands; exploding into creation with two demos last year and now an album this year. I became aware of them almost immediately after their first demo, The Bottomless Perdition, came out due to a Canadian acquaintance sending it over, and it totally blew me away; blisteringly raw and chaotic, it was fundamentally a tribute to the classic Finnish death metal scene that I love so much and it immediately marked Tomb Mold as a band to be watched.
They soon put out another absolutely killer demo, which contained the first version of one of the songs on the album and marked a step towards the sound that they’ve embraced for the album- more complex, a bit less raw, no less killer.
Then came Primordial Malignity, which blew away all of my already extremely high expectations and is currently my favorite album to have been released this year, as of the time of this review, and quickly over repeated plays coming to be an early call for a recent favorite in general. Gone are the caverns of screaming noise; instead, there’s an organic crush of decay, beating down listeners into the abyss. The music is as strange and harrowing as I was hoping, but Tomb Mold have developed far beyond the base (if fucking killer) Finnish worship of their early demo material into something that I didn’t foresee at all but am extremely pleased with. They have evolved to play a style of death metal that, while retaining the same Finnish influence, has integrated the band’s other influences and identities as musicians to become something all their own. Fast and bouncing leads, ghastly rhythms, and horrifying snarling vocals are complemented by fantastic drumming that drives everything forward splendidly. Whenever a riff is played enough to even hint at becoming overly familiar, not only does the riff change but often the tempo does as well, with rapidfire changes between the bizarre twangs of Tomb Mold’s leads and a few more straightforward sections keeping the entire album grounded. Brief solos pop in and out for just long enough to impress without ever being distracting at all, which is how I think that death metal solos should be- I’m a much bigger fan of the Disma approach towards soloing than the Malmsteen one (at least in my death metal), and the Disma approach towards soloing is the one that the album has taken.
Filthy, massive, and just long enough to feel like a proper album without staying on for a second longer than the band felt like it had to (just barely surpassing the half hour mark), Tomb Mold have written an album to be listened to again…and again….and again.