Album Review: TOMB MOLD Planetary Clairvoyance
Death metal has molted and shed its form from its first inception in the late 80s through the 90s/early-2000s. Since then the genre has never died but more slowed down, with only the die-hard remaining. However, the mid-2010s until now has seen a fierce revival of the vicious genre in the most disgusting forms. Some might say in a manner of forms. One of the most noteworthy bands to come out of this revival since is Toronto’s Tomb Mold. Since their 2015 inception, the quartet has crafted a slew of some of the most memorable and raw death metal catalogs in the genre’s revival.
Since 2015, Tomb Mold has put out eight releases, three of which (since 2017) have been full-lengths. The Canadian death dealers don’t seem to know what a rest day is, nor do they seem to care. Three LPs in three years is back-breaking work, even for the most dedicated of bands. Nevertheless, Tomb Mold carry on their heinous sounds with barred teeth. Planetary Clairvoyance continues the band’s brand of death metal drenched in dread-laden doom.
Based on the title alone, one might think that Planetary Clairvoyance is a more technical record. Something more steeped in science fiction and technicality. That’s not untrue. Comparatively, Planetary Clairvoyance is more technical than Manor of Infinite Forms or Primordial Malignity. In the quest for the future of death metal, Tomb Mold have brought forward their most evolved form to date.
Planetary Clairvoyance is an immediately more aggressive record than one might have expected following Manor of Infinite Forms—it feels more direct, aggressive and assertive. The doom aspect of the band is almost entirely dropped and trade out for a straight death metal sound. People may complain, but this should be expected. Tomb Mold is a band that has molted quickly stylistically. When “Beg For Life” opens and persists, this feels necessary. The track fades in, and the song becomes pure old school death metal a-la something from an old Gorguts record.
The depth of a doom record isn’t unrecognizable, however. Planetary Clairvoyance has enough heaviness to crush a comet. Only four minutes into “Beg For Life” and the band establishes a very raw, aggressive presence. The drums alone are enough to shake nerves. When title track “Planetary Clairvoyance” hits, the album is a loose cannon. The blasts and builds are toppling. The progression is quick, deep, and sinister. Tomb Mold sounds like they wanted this album to be foreboding and uneasy—mission accomplished. Although the guitar solo pulls from the mood of the album, it nevertheless provides an epic feeling to the record.
The third track “Phosphorene Ultimate” is a full-on ambient track. It’s slow, drones a little and gives some melody—it evokes the feeling of stargazing. It’s a peaceful moment on an otherwise frantic album. And immediately following this tender moment, there is “Infinite Resurrection.” The track comes in quick. No intro, no friendly play, just immediate death metal face melting. The playing moves so quickly that it feels like the band has entered light speed. The aforementioned technicality is still on the cusp and the guitar work shines with twists and turns that are sure to break a few necks along the way.
Planetary Clairvoyance is a masterstroke by Tomb Mold. Three albums in three years by any band is impressive, but quality output like this is virtually unheard of. When one hears an album like this, it’s no wonder that death metal has made the comeback it has. Planetary Clairvoyance is one more amazing notch in Tomb Mold’s furious discography. It’s technical, harrowing and unrelenting. If you’ve been sleeping on this band, don’t for a second longer. Enter the stratosphere and get annihilated.