It's been two months since the release of Tomb Mold's headbanging ripper, Manor of Infinite Forms, on 20 Buck Spin, but the mature and textured sounds on this album call to mind an album from more than two decades ago.
Tomb Mold, for those late to the party (kind of like the write-up), is a death metal outfit from Canada. Their sound shows influences that are well selected from across the extreme metal landscape, all while keeping a sound intact that feels like their own in the crowded landscape that is awesome death metal in 2018.
I'll admit that Tomb Mold's new album got lost in the shuffle at first as I sorted through all the new music I've been trying to take in this year, but I was reminded that there was something I really liked about the band when they started popping up on my social media. Then a friend made the trek to Migration Fest in Pittsburgh. Seeing the lineup for the fest reminded me of several bands that I wanted to dig more into, including Tomb Mold. By the time he shared a clip of their live set, I was already a full weekend of listening into the process and the footage confirmed exactly what I though - Tomb Mold rules.
It's easy to get hyped on a band in the moment, but what intrigued most about Manor of Infinite Forms is that the songs have a certain sound to them that is as close to transcendent as is possible in this day and age. It feels like more music than ever is being produced by more artists and with every Bandcamp page the springs up, there's another one ready to replace it as the best sound of the week just a few days later.
It was while listening to "Blood Mirror" that I realized there was something more to this for my attraction to their sound. The song appeared first on their Cryptic Transmissions cassette, and it first triggered a signal in my brain to a sound I remember first hearing in metal way back in the mid-1990s.
I was probably still in middle school when I became obsessed with Mortification. Their album Scrolls of the Megilloth is an all-time favorite and absolutely genre classic, but they also released several other albums that had some variance of the extreme metal sound. Released in 1993, Post Momentary Affliction was both crazily heavy and very unique in sound and approach. The artwork for the album was banned in the United States and they had to have a separate album cover for that market.
Post Momentary Affliction was a landmark album and it has done something that few other albums have done in the death metal genre over the past 25 years - remained relevant. And it is that legendary release that provides the same kind of atmosphere and sound that is present on Manor of Infinite Forms.
I'm not trying to step across 25 years of extreme music and simply say that these are the only two albums that share similarities, nor am I trying to say that the members of Tomb Mold even know or like Mortification. What I'm saying is that there is something fantastic about both of these artists that resonates with me, crossing time, to channel fantastic atmosphere and sound.
by Daniel Coughlin