Death metal, like all genres of music, is constantly evolving. Whether bands seek to pay tribute to an older style of the music, they inevitably add something intangibly current. Not that I mean such a thing as modern, but any component of a band’s retro album has something progressive to it. It might be hard to pin down, identify with certainty, but a distillation of influences cannot always sanctify a tributary album as impossibly retro in entirety. That is why bands who have started one way eventually start doing something different.
Take death metal band Tomb Mold for one instance. Their earlier demo, The Bottomless Perdition, is a drastically less nefarious set of tunes than debut full-length album, Primordial Malignity. They sound decidedly retro on the latter, but more importantly, they sound more intense. The Bottomless Perdition didn’t herald the coming of their Primordial Malignity LP enough in my opinion. I was pleasantly surprised at the music featured on Primordial Malignity.
Not only is the production more decidedly raw and punishing, the intent in songwriting is varied and altogether much better than anything they’ve ever done. Each song on Primordial Malignity is crucial. There are no fillers. There are no half-hearted attempts at ballads, interludes or other nonsense. The music on Primordial Malignity is extreme, throwback, and oh so catchy without sounding like anything modern day death metal bands are doing.
The riffs are catchy. The songwriting keeps listeners honed in. The dense guitar riffs and cymbal crashes sometimes merge into a sludgy wall of muck that rises from a pit like tar and coats everything in the vicinity of the music. The guitar is suitably sludgy and downtuned. There are wailing notes and screeches in the background that almost go by unnoticed. Tomb Mold really took care of the details, not simply content to hack out another album predictably old-fashioned for hipsters. Primordial Malignity is definitive Tomb Mold now. If not, the metal community must mourn the direction these budding greats choose to take if they do so differently. Then again, I’m still rearing to know what they come up with in the years to come.
There’s chugging riffs, there’s blistering paces, there’s thrash pace drumming to punk three-chord transitions. There’s a lot that they cover in eight songs worth of subtle genius, and I had so much fun blasting this evolving repertoire of extreme metal through my loudspeakers. I fell in love with Primordial Malignity at first listen, and after several repeat listens, I am still as awestruck as the first time.
Take my word for it. Tomb Mold’s Primordial Malignity is bound to be one of the best death metal albums you’ll hear this year. It is arguably one of the better old-school death metal albums to come out in modern times.
1. Intro – They Grow Inside
2. Coincidence of Opposites
3. Bereavement of Flesh
4. Primordial Malignity
5. Merciless Watcher
6. Clockwise Metamorphosis
7. Twisted Trial
8. Vernal Grace – Outro
Tomb Mold are:
Max Klebanoff – Drums, Vocals
Derrick Vella – Guitars, Bass
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