Although they’ve only been around a short time, Toronto’s Tomb Mold are wasting no time leaving their footprint on the death metal community.
Their third album in three years, Planetary Clairvoyance, out July 19 on 20 Buck Spin, is just as highly acclaimed as their first two, and they’re not showing signs of slowing down with touring anytime soon—but they’re not letting it go to their heads.
“With the first record, [2017’s Primordial Malignity], it was just [vocalist and drummer] Max [Klebanoff] and myself,” guitarist Derrick Vella says, “and when we started, we wanted to do kind of a simplistic death metal style. Then, we got an offer for a [second] record, and we decided to keep writing music. Not that it necessarily had to be different from what we were doing, but we just wanted to write whatever we want and go from there.”
Tomb Mold added bassist Steve Musgrave and guitarist Payson Power, and with a more filled-out lineup, they started challenging themselves to write new and different music, starting with 2018’s Manor of Infinite Forms. Blending the heavy, the technical, and the aggressive into their classic death metal sound, they were able to grow and develop as a band.
With Planetary Clairvoyance, they focused more on the vibe they wanted to cultivate than on staying within any sort of musical box. While this is decidedly a death metal record, it takes a lot more risks when it comes to adding in new elements. The lyrical themes are still the band’s signature topics, however.
“We write a lot about feelings of death on a cosmic scale, and there’s a lot of cosmic gore imagery throughout the songs,” Vella explains. “There are themes of suffering and the vast emptiness of the end. We have a song on the record called ‘Accelerative Phenomenae,’ which refers to the events that culminate in a sorrowful meeting with death, where the lines of self and others are blurred. There is a lot about ego death, letting go of things [and] experiencing feelings of ascension or rebirth in your life. You can continue on one path that might be destructive or harmful or you can strive for something, but sometimes, you have to walk through a lot of shit to get to whatever you’re waiting for on the other side.”
Planetary Clairvoyance has an uplifting message for a band so focused on cosmic death and destruction, and Tomb Mold are only going to keep on creating, releasing new music, and redefining their sound and style in the future.