Have you ever heard an album so filthy and inviting that it made you excited to die and begin decomposing immediately? No? Well, the point that I was trying to make is that Tomb Mold’s debut Primordial Malignity manages to be grim and disgusting yet fun and groovy at the same time. This immaculate amalgam of everything gross and obscene comes out to be a heavy hitting cavernous death metal album that knows what the hell it’s doing here. Primordial Malignity released on February 3rd, 2017, and the world is ever the better and ever the grimier for it.
Reminiscent of certain Finnish death metal acts, Tomb Mold utilizes a strange springy guitar tone that sounds absolutely bizarre and has a haunting effect. At the same time, it makes the music lighter and bouncier. I’m not the type of person that dances to death metal, but I wouldn’t be opposed to boogieing down to “Coincidence of Opposites” for a short while. It’s strange, really, how inviting their sound is. The riffing is impeccable and spices things up well before a particular sound gets stale. There’s a wide array of interesting sounds that can be heard emanating from the guitar and it feeds into the horror feel while still sounding nice. The production, which is a fair amount cleaner than that of their demos, helps prevent staling as well. It’s not claustrophobic like some traditional death metal bands; It feels like the listener is locked inside of a mausoleum or a tomb rather than trapped inside of a casket. It’s like reading a ghost story from the comfort of your bed: the experience is immersive and unsettling, but you’re still warm and comfortable for the full duration. I hope Tomb Mold realizes the irony in having such a fresh sound.
I was surprised at how quickly the end of the record came, at just over half an hour in. Death metal has a bad habit of overstaying it’s welcome on an album and getting tired by the end, but that is not the case with Tomb Mold. A couple more songs would have gotten no complaints from me, but Tomb Mold did what they came to do and packed it up. There really is no filler across all of Primordial Malignity; even the rerecording of “Bereavement of Flesh” from their second demo managed to hold my attention despite my having heard it several times over already. A parallel could be drawn between Tomb Mold and Gatecreeper, the fresh-on-the-scene death metal band from Arizona: They both cut right to the bone and don’t waste any time making the music that they want. No ten minute instrumental intros, no excessively long samples, just top performance death metal. I thought Gatecreeper was going quickly with their releases, having released a demo in 2014 and a debut just last year, but Tomb Mold makes that seem like a gradual process. These Canadian death metallers released two demos in 2016 and wasted no time in getting their first full length completed and distributed through Blood Harvest Records. They’ve spread their spores, and they’re sprouting quick enough to please any fan of the band.
Regardless of whether you focus on the intimidating subterranean vocals, the unpredictable and technically impressive guitar work, the subtle but sinister bass lines, or something else entirely, it’s hard to find anything problematic about Primordial Malignity. There seem to be great things on the horizon for Tomb Mold, and it’ll only take you half an hour to see why for yourself.
Primordial Malignity is out now on Blood Harvest Records.