Few death metal bands have been able to maintain a high level of quality while releasing material in a short span of time, but Toronto’s Tomb Mold has done just that. Formed as a duo, the band quickly made a name for themselves with two well-received demos in 2016 and followed it up last year with a full length and another demo. On the most recent demo Cryptic Transmissions the group had expanded to a four piece, and with that lineup solidified they now bring listeners their second full length Manor of Infinite Forms. Containing newly recorded versions of the two tracks from Cryptic Transmissions alongside five brand new ones, Tomb Mold is once again doing what they do best and delivering a bottom-heavy attack of death metal with a large dose of Finnish influences.
Manor of Infinite Forms doesn’t stray far from the writing style the band has been utilizing since their inception, but it feels like a natural step forward from Primordial Malignity. The biggest differences are the production values and emphasis on slightly longer songs than before. On the production side, the bass drum has been brought up in the mix which adds a considerable amount of weight to each track. You can really feel every hit, and along with that difference there’s a bit more clarity to the guitar work than before which makes it even easier to pick out standout riffs. It’s a clear shift from the noisy, murky approaches of Tomb Mold’s previous efforts, but the added clarity doesn’t make the riffs any less creepy and haunting and the density ensures this album is just as crushing. With an extra minute or two per song, Manor of Infinite Forms is able to give each of its songs distinguishable elements rather than letting them all blur together into quick bursts and it works to the band’s benefits. They may still be pulling in a lot of familiar death metal elements, but there are plenty of riffs that will hold your attention and keep you coming back for more (especially those slow breaks on “Blood Mirror” and “Two Worlds Become One”).
Max Klebanoff’s vocal style has remained consistent throughout Tomb Mold’s releases, filling out the low end with his immense growls. This time around the vocals are a little further up in the mix and feel like they stand above the instrumentation rather than fighting to break through it. Though the pitch doesn’t drastically deviate throughout Manor of Infinite Forms it never becomes repetitive and there are enough instrumental breaks that each time the growls reappear they’re at the same level of intensity. Klebanoff has this type of death metal vocals down perfectly and delivers another killer performance on album number two.
With their expanded roster Tomb Mold has pushed out towards lengthier and slightly more complex songs, all while maintaining their dense sound and creepy atmosphere. It’s more of a refinement than a reinvention, but when the riffs stick with you like they do here that doesn’t really matter. Even with all of the death metal out there vying for your attention, these guys have continued their upward trajectory and should be on your radar if they aren’t already. Manor of Infinite Forms is available on 20 Buck Spin.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
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